Expat Advice: Living in Bocas del Toro, Panama
What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
Bocas del Toro
How long have you lived there?
What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?
Besides the bars and restaurants, there are fitness classes, Spanish classes, dive lessons, Catamaran tours, Live music venues, the beaches, volunteer opportunities and just meeting people walking down the street.
In terms of religious, racial, economic and cultural diversity, are the people of this city or town diverse? Are they accepting of differences? Describe.
Besides the multicultural Panamanians there are people from all over the world here and seven different Indian tribes. For the most part everyone gets along great. There are occasional clashes in any community and this is a tight knit one where people help their neighbors. Panama welcomes people from many countries with great expat laws and easy residency
What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?
The main industry is tourism and there are more hotels, B&B's, hostels, bars and restaurants popping up all the time. There is a growing service industry as Expat move here and create demand for services. If you get a work visa you can be hired legally but many people work with out them. it is also relatively easy to start your own business. It helps to live here for a while to learn the ropes.
If a friend of yours was thinking of moving to this city or town from far away, what other advice would you give them.
I would echo what the person who did the review on Boquete. Embrace the local culture and ways of doing things. Don't come here wanting to change the way folks have done things for a long time or try to make it like the US. At the same time you can teach the locals what you know in a nice way as you make friends with them.
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