This blog is inactive….

For some reason people still sign up to follow my blog, I really don’t know why being that I haven’t posted in quite a while. I’m not active on the blog and don’t look forward to being active in the future. I suggest  that if you actually want to learn a bit more about anymore see some pictures or just generally entertain yourself that you follow my wife’s blog. Her name is Kris Cunningham and she runs the Panama Aventure blog. She remains quite active as  it is current on names and numbers of helpful people should you need that information. If you want to go back in time and read my blog, knock your self out but don’t hold your breath waiting for me to write too much more 🙂

If you’re headed here to Panama  I wish you good luck and perhaps we’ll run into each other when you get here.



Panama is the Happiest Country, 2nd Year in a Row!

Why Panamanians are so happy

I don’t post a lot but I thought this was worth the time to pound the drum. Long story short is that Panamanians have a “Positive Outlook”. That to me is SO important!

A woman wearing a traditional "pollera" -big one-piece skirt- takes part in a parade to commemorate the anniversary of the declaration of the Panamanian indenpendence in Chorrera, 30 km from Panama City on November 10, 2014. Panama will celebrate 193 years from its independence from Spain next November 28. AFP PHOTO / Rodrigo ARANGUA        (Photo credit should read RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/Getty Images)

A woman wearing a traditional “pollera” -big one-piece skirt- takes part in a parade to commemorate the anniversary of the declaration of the Panamanian indenpendence in Chorrera, 30 km from Panama City on November 10, 2014. Panama will celebrate 193 years from its independence from Spain next November 28. AFP PHOTO / Rodrigo ARANGUA (Photo credit should read RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/Getty Images)

I remember listening to a motivational tape that stressed “DO NOT ASSOCIATE WITH NEGATIVE PEOPLES”,  English wasn’t the speaker’s first language but it made the phrase unforgettable to me.

Wondered exactly why I feel so good here in Panama. Being around folks with Positive Outlooks is a BiG reason why!





Video of Ed Horna- Rental Property Available in David/Boquete

Ed wanted to make a new video since the old one was two years old and I’m making it available here. DO NOT CONTACT ME (JOEL), contact Ed (Eduardo Horna 507-6567-1127, 507-6757-0005 ) for any and all rental/purchase questions.

Special thanks go to Kris for the camera work and uploading to Youtube!


Contact information: Eduardo Horna

507-6567-1127 507-6757-0005




Photos and more photos for Ma

At Jerry and Jennifers great covered patio area-the best!

At Jerry and Jennifer’s great covered patio area-the best!

Tranquilo, todo bien!

Tranquilo, todo bien!

2 bikers from Poland who stayed with us.

Two bikers from Poland who stayed with us

The 8'x8' pool, a lovely way to cool off on a hot, 95 degree afternoon in David's

The 8’x8′ pool, a lovely way to cool off on a hot, 95 degree afternoon in David’s

Cooling off after a bike ride.

Cooling off after a bike ride.

Wispy pink clouds at sunset

Wispy pink clouds at sunset



My mother, Elizabeth (Ma) up in Portland, Maine, doesn’t get to see the photos I take (ipad issues) SO…I am posting  a few to help catch her up on things I may have spoken of but that she didn’t see. They may or may not be of interest to the casual viewer but here they are anyway.

More photos next post.

Enjoying the moment….



Back in David and liking it a lot

Boy, did I ever love our trip to Ometepe, Nicaragua. People who have traveled there often describe it as “magical”, “peaceful”, “seductive”,  etc. I fall into that group, the island has a special feel to it that words don’t really convey. It’s a “feel” thing.

 Part of me wanted to buy some land and just stay there in a sort of suspended animation. But the more rational, “left brain” part pulled back on the reins and said, “let’s give this some more thought”. Really, Joel,  are you ready to dash off to live on an island with an active volcano, the occasional mudslide, and few gringos to talk to just because it is such a neat place??? YES!—NOT!!! (Wish I could say that but not right now!)

Now that I have been back in David I’ve had some time to mull over my quandry and I have to say that life here in David suits Kris and me quite well. And that’s great because it would be costly to move ANYWHERE  away from here anytime soon. We have a pleasant, affordable life and that is not lost on us.

Home-That’s what the David area has become -home, with all the familiarity that comes with knowing the area and being comfortable with your surroundings. We have  a very nice rental house, many good friends. And there are many stores and convieniences that we enjoy and would certainly miss if we moved elsewhere. We feel safe in our home and neighborhood and know our way around. Want to go to the mountains or beach? Either is only 45 minutes away!

Where Boquete is known as the land of eternal spring, David has earned the reputation of being hot. When we tell people we live in David we always hear, “It’s so hot”. Maybe David would be a more popular place if people knew that David ALSO can be quite pleasant (70-84) for many months during the wet season. The  hot weather will be starting mid-December through mid-April but that’s okay, we have a/c and can take more trips up to cool Boquete! As for now, I’m sure liking the 74 degrees weather at 6:30 pm I write these words!

Day to day life in our neighborhood is similar to the way it was like years ago in small towns in the states and that’s a pretty nice way to live. Folks here  are often found enjoying themselves on the front patios talking with friends and family.  It’s a relaxed, low stress type of life, people’s attitude is very “live and let live”.  Did I mention the low stress part? 🙂

Holidays? Halloween here is a non-event. Thanksgiving is observed and this Thanksgiving will probably be celebrated up in Boquete with our stateside buddies. Ham, turkey and dressing, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pies and all that good t-day stuff.

Good time with good friends, yes, indeed, followed by… (drum roll)…..Christmas time! … I’m SO looking forward to it! Love the lights and decorations, the fireworks (MANY!!!), and walking all around the neighborhood at midnight with everyone exchanging “Feliz Navidads”. Fun!

Yes, David has worked out quite well for us indeed. We may end up leaving here sometime, but I doubt it will be sometime soon!

Enjoy the moment



Services offered to Expats in Boquete/David Area

We rent a house here in David and pay the rent to the owner’s agent and now my friend Ed Horna  On his last visit we sat down and he ran by me some ideas he had to help the expats,both  new arrivals and established ones, with things as simple as translations to providing tours of the area. I thought Ed had a great idea and said I’d be happy to help him.

Wow- the idea of having a Panamanian who spoke good English and Spanish and who would accompany me, translating and explaining things sounded like a dream! I suggested he look into providing rides to and from the David airport for folks who like having a reliable, English-speaking driver. We tossed around some other ideas and Ed came up with some services and pricing. I’m happy to help spread the word that now you have someone here in the David/Boquete area to help navigate the new world that is Panama.

I think his business idea is solid and sure that once people hear about it they will see the value of the services offered. Ed is a great guy and I know he will do his best to help the expat. Ed is Panamanian but spent 10 years in the states, in Washington, learned English and is now back in Panama working with his lawyer wife selling homes and servicing rentals. It is a cliche, this is only the tip of the iceberg, Ed can REALLY help you out in so many ways but this is a good starting place.  Here is his email below:


Hey Joel ,

This is what I was thinking …..

To be able to help and give out better services to the expat I am
offering these services:
Full tour of the city of David/Boquete, up 2 people, 10.00 extra for each person, max 4 people, 75.00 per day.

Included are: All type of advice on how to do things here, where to go, where to shop, what hospital to go, etc , etc .

Of course if someone wants my services for several days we can make a package or special price .

AIRPORT RIDES :  55.00 to the airport (Boquete – David or David- Boquete) up to 2 people .

with 48 hrs notice will be nice .

:  Boquete , Cerro Punta , Caldera Hot Spring , Las Lajas beach or any place they want to go in the Chiriqui Provincia will be 95.00 up 2 people for one day, 10.00 extra per each person, up to 4 people max .

Again, that will included all advance questions and answers.

:  If some one needs assistance with getting their cable or internet hook up, medical appointment or shopping and their Spanish is not so good ……………….15.00 per hour .

PARALEGAL : Having a wife who is an Attorney you learn a lot through the years, we can do just about any legal services and consulting , (Corporations , Immigration , Law suits , Title process, etc , etc )

Any more info please let me know ,

Thanks so much ,


As always, i you have any questions for Ed don’t contact me,
contact Ed at Río Chiriquí <>;


Home For Sale, 20 Minutes from David

My friend and the guy who has houses for sale and for rent (Eduardo Horna) asked me to post info on a house he has the listing on.

Hey Joe ,

You wont not believe the property I just got in my hands to sell …:

Beautiful 2 brm house built by Canadians in a 2.5 acre only 20 min from David.

Asking Price is 159,000. Fully furnished, paved road and every thing .

Check it out , if you don’t mind put it up in your blog, maybe ?

This is a deal , here is the link ,House for sale

Ed Horna


Joel here-I don’t know anything about it except what Ed said in the email and what I see in the photos and it does look nice. Contact Ed NOT me for more info. His email address is:  Río Chiriquí <>



How should I go about finding the right place for me in Panama?

I get some “what/how/where” type of questions and Kris get MANY on her blog. I’ve explained before but rather than repeating I think I’ve got a way that folks can get more suggestions in one place.

Oh, and you will never see a scene like below here in Panama 🙂

001Chris is a blogger friend in Panama City and wrote a good post that is pretty helpful for folks who are wondering where the best place for them. Also included is a list of Panama bloggers and many describe how they approached the decision making process. Here is the link to Chris Power’s Blog.



Great steaks in David-Su Carne re-visited

Dropped by Su Carne which I mentioned in an earlier post and got some stew beef and 2 rib eyes. The rib eyes had increased from $4.25 lb to $4.50 lb due to the new wage law but the quality of the steak was worth the small extra charge. I don’t know if what type of cow the earlier steaks came from but I was told that these new steaks were Angus. The owner also told me that the meat was aged for 15 days in his locker. They looked good and I was looking forward to tasting one. I took them home and put them in the freezer

A few days later I decided to take one rib eye out and see how I liked it. I knew that a wood fire would give me the best flavor so I went into the forest across from the house and brought back enough wood to do the job. I took the steak out of the freezer  to let it get to room temperature since I read that it cooked up better that way. I also put a coat of olive oil on all the surfaces and flavored it with some garlic salt and Nature’s Seasoning. The fire had burned down to coals so I got the steak and proceeded with the grilling.I cooked it for about 6 minutes  before flipping and only a few minutes later removed it from the heat.

At the table the first cut showed me that I had a steak that was more tender than the one I had cooked months earlier. The flavor was excellent and while not quite as tender as some of the steaks I’ve had in the states it was still VERY good and a pleasure to eat. Kris was having fish that night but  agreed that the pieces I gave her were quite good indeed.

I have a link to my earlier post in case the location of Su Carne is of interest.

The owner speaks some English but  called up his brother who speaks great English to let me talk to him and make sure I was getting what I wanted. I handed the phone back to the owner and got what I wanted with no problem.

Oh, by the way, his brother was in the states at the time of the call! Calling the US to get an order straight? Darn good service, I’d say!



List of views from 80+ countries that have visitors to my blog

I thought I’d cut and paste the list of countries and views that is in my summary page. It always is interesting to see what country a blog visitor is from. I’m not surprised at the US and Canadian number of views but I do scratch my head at some of the total view of some of the other countries. Love the different flags!

I thank the viewers wherever they may be from and hope they enjoyed the blog.



Country Views
United States FlagUnited States 7,560
Panama FlagPanama 2,946
Canada FlagCanada 1,942
United Kingdom FlagUnited Kingdom 168
Spain FlagSpain 94
Germany FlagGermany 74
Costa Rica FlagCosta Rica 64
Ecuador FlagEcuador 63
Virgin Islands, U.S. FlagVirgin Islands 60
Mexico FlagMexico 45
Brazil FlagBrazil 41
Australia FlagAustralia 41
Switzerland FlagSwitzerland 36
Belgium FlagBelgium 31
Bahamas FlagBahamas 26
Italy FlagItaly 24
Netherlands FlagNetherlands 24
India FlagIndia 23
Austria FlagAustria 19
Thailand FlagThailand 19
Philippines FlagPhilippines 19
Poland FlagPoland 18
Romania FlagRomania 16
Colombia FlagColombia 16
Barbados FlagBarbados 14
France FlagFrance 13
Guadeloupe FlagGuadeloupe 12
Sweden FlagSweden 10
Pakistan FlagPakistan 9
Nicaragua FlagNicaragua 9
Trinidad and Tobago FlagTrinidad and Tobago 9
Greece FlagGreece 8
South Africa FlagSouth Africa 8
Turkey FlagTurkey 8
Ireland FlagIreland 8
Belize FlagBelize 7
United Arab Emirates FlagUnited Arab Emirates 7
Jamaica FlagJamaica 6
Mauritius FlagMauritius 5
Saudi Arabia FlagSaudi Arabia 5
Russian Federation FlagRussian Federation 4
Haiti FlagHaiti 4
Cambodia FlagCambodia 4
Dominican Republic FlagDominican Republic 4
Hungary FlagHungary 4
Puerto Rico FlagPuerto Rico 3
Venezuela FlagVenezuela 3
Japan FlagJapan 3
Hong Kong FlagHong Kong 3
Bulgaria FlagBulgaria 3
Chile FlagChile 3
Finland FlagFinland 3
Israel FlagIsrael 2
Indonesia FlagIndonesia 2
Kuwait FlagKuwait 2
Saint Lucia FlagSaint Lucia 2
Lebanon FlagLebanon 2
Kenya FlagKenya 2
Sri Lanka FlagSri Lanka 2
Morocco FlagMorocco 2
Czech Republic FlagCzech Republic 2
Argentina FlagArgentina 1
Guyana FlagGuyana 1
Denmark FlagDenmark 1
Croatia FlagCroatia 1
Luxembourg FlagLuxembourg 1
Nigeria FlagNigeria 1
Egypt FlagEgypt 1
Mozambique FlagMozambique 1
Cayman Islands FlagCayman Islands 1
Slovenia FlagSlovenia 1
Fiji FlagFiji 1
Moldova, Republic of FlagMoldova 1
Guatemala FlagGuatemala 1
Ethiopia FlagEthiopia 1
Bermuda FlagBermuda 1
Portugal FlagPortugal 1
Taiwan, Province of China FlagTaiwan 1
Korea, Republic of FlagRepublic of Korea 1
Jordan FlagJordan 1
Peru FlagPeru 1
New Zealand FlagNew Zeala