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 .


TOURS
:  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.


TRANSLATOR
:  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 ,

Ed

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As always, i you have any questions for Ed don’t contact me,
contact Ed at Río Chiriquí <riochiriqui@gmail.com>;
Later,
j

 

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 <riochiriqui@gmail.com>

 

 

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.

Later,

j

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.

https://findingmyselfinpanama.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/su-carne-the-place-to-buy-rib-eye-steak-in-david/

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!

Later,

j

Our Cost of Living in David, Panama – September 2013

Hi- Kris usually posts our cost of living on her blog and since she is quite busy with all her interests she asked if I would put up a post. “Sure”, I said, and now here it is.

The accounting for September is as follows:

TOTAL $2316.39

Basics:

Rent– $385 Fixed, includes trash and water.

Cable/internet was $59.06

Electricity-$31.59   This is probably the last low bill, I bought a split LG air conditioner  and had it installed in our bedroom. I remembered the house being pretty intolerable (95 INSIDE!) last summer (December15-April 15) and bit the bullet and bought one on sale for $635 installed. It’s not being used much but will be soon. I also painted our metal roof with white silicone paint (Lanco brand) and that dropped the temperature from 127 to 104.

Food- $288   This is in line with what we paid previously. We make nearly all our meals and only eat out once or twice a month.

Car fuel– $34.35  The Hyundai Atos gets about 35-40mpg and we don’t use it much.

Car yearly inspection/tag- $22 Somehow less than the other car

Miscellaneous food– Beer, alcohol, chips,bacon, etc at PriceSmart- $91

Household– $1441 – Some big ticket items ran this up: $635 for an Air Conditioner, $278 for a gas weed eater, $140 for roof paint,  a power washer for $171- and then there were things like wall paint ($65), plastic dresser, paste wax, caulking gun and caulking, etc. It all adds up!

We could have spent less than $1000-Rent, food, electric bill, cable/internet, car gas/tags, liquor/chips/snacks came to $892– I really didn’t HAVE to buy all that other stuff but chose to for comfort, convenience, or because we just wanted to. We find the cost of living to be FAR cheaper than we were paying in Sarasota, Florida where we last lived. We feel like we are eating healthier with all the affordable fresh food that is available.

If you were curious about our cost of living now you know.

Later,

j

Re-visiting the Cost of Living in David, Panama

My wife Kris tells me that she gets inquiries concerning the prices and cost of living here in David every day from her blog, The Panama Adventure. I sometimes read on other blogs that someone says that it is as expensive in Panama as in the U.S.  That may be so for where they lived, but compared to Sarasota, Florida we are paying SO much less for food and housing. Granted, our house in Sarasota was bigger, nicer and had whole house a/c but I sure paid much more for it. The mortgage was $1100 @ month, PITI, electricity ran about $150, water $100, cable/internet $115, total of somewhere around $1500+-.023

Our rental house here is smaller, no A/C and not quite as nice, but quite acceptable for us. $385 pays the rent. Landlord pays the water (8 bucks a month). Electric runs $45+-, cable/internet is $54, gas $5. The total is somewhere around $450+-.

Sooooo, for starters it’s Sarasota $1500 vs Panama $450 for housing/basics. I think you can see why we feel like Panama is cheaper than Sarasota. And I haven’t even included car insurance, cell phone, or food.

In Sarasota we spent about $600-800 for food, car insurance was $125, cell phone $150. In David food is around $400+-, car insurance is $xx, cell phones and Skype about $20.  I’m not going to get specific, it’s broken down in more detail here Cost of Living.

Sarasota living was costing us about $100 a day, or $3000 a month.

David living costs us $38 a day, or $1100 a month.  Much more affordable!

I like that my monthly Social Security check pretty much covers the bills. Savings and investments provide a safety net. Kris will be eligible for Social Security next year.

Both Kris and I have been fortunate to have been brought up by parents who experienced the Great Depression and taught us the value of thriftiness and self sufficiency. But for us the great kicker is that we are eating so well, with  fresh fruit and veggies available YEAR ROUND, all while paying FAR less than we did in Sarasota or in Santa Rosa, California. The veggies were great as was the rest of the food but MUCH more expensive.

I don’t know what food costs are where you live, but if you are in the USA and are wondering if you can stretch your housing and food dollar here in Panama, you may just be right!

Later,

j

PS Kris and I say Hi to the folks from Denham Springs LA who will come to our area in August to see for themselves what it’s like here. Don’t take my word or anyone else’s, come here and see for yourself.