Sad story of an ExPat living in Chiriquí, Panama, as I tell people you need to visit Panama for 6 months to a year with minimum personal effects to decide IF Panama is your "cup of tea". Re, there are other stories of happy ExPats living in Panama also, but the below writer has items you want to be aware of if considering Panamá for a destination..:
I moved to Panama back in 2011 after researching the country for a few months. I had been looking for a less expensive place to live that was cleaner, had great produce, warmer, etc. & had been researching several countries in Latin America.
Unfortunately, after being here for 8 months I realized this wasn’t a country I could handle living in & that the expats hadn’t divulged a lot of crucial information that would have struck Panama off my list. Issues such as:
No reliable water. Unless you live in a very expensive area, you will be almost certain to experience water outages & they NEVER tell you in advance. In the last house I lived in 30 minutes outside of Panama city, there were days I want 12 hours with NO WATER.This went on for 6 months non stop. One week I went without water for 2 1/2 days.
Electricity is a terrible problem in Panama. There are power surges all the time which has ruined almost all of my electrical equipment.There are brown outs & blackouts too. In one of the houses I lived in, I went for 7 hours with NO electricity.It’s bad enough that my food goes bad, but then in the extreme heat not to have access to a fan & no way to work or see anything, it’s a nightmare!
I work online & the first question I asked when deciding if Panama had what I needed was… “How is the Internet?” I was told by several people that it was fine.Well I can tell you that IT’S ALL A LIE!I have lived in 7 different houses & I’ve had Internet problems in all of them. Either the speeds aren’t what I pay for, or the Internet goes down all the time, or there are glitches.One can’t even have a proper meeting because my phone line may go down at any time.The ISP here doesn’t know what they are doing & they don’t let you speak to a manager. I was just lied to about the cost of my move, so in the end I wasn’t charged the $20 I was told I would be, I was charged $60.I tried to fight them on it, but here in Panama, fighting any company is next to near impossible. They don’t take any responsibility for their mistakes or actions, they won’t let you speak to a manager, & they are very greedy. They will do everything in their power NOT to give you a credit or give you your money back if you need to return something.
So by the time I started to figure out only some of the issues I mentioned above (trust me there’s way more), my online business was failing because of Google’s algorithm change.
I had no money to leave the country, I was STUCK here & as I’ve learned over the last 2 1/2 years, there are several expats that have been in the same boat I am in. They want to leave & yet can’t.”