Panama Expat Forum - El Valle de Anton and surrounding area rental help

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corinna
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10/5/2011 12:19    
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Hello,
I will be moving to Panama permanently sometime in November with my mother and 2 cats. We plan on taking our time and really investigating different areas to decide where we ultimately settle down. We have decided that El Valle and the surrounding area would be a perfect place to start. Unfortunately the online ads for rentals are very few unlike Boquete and David. I know that the best way to find property, rental and for purchase is by word of mouth and actually being there looking. I would like the peace of mind of having at least our first rental secured. Anything from a 1br/1bath to a 2br/1 or 2bath would be fine. We don't need anything fancy but it would have to be furnished and a clothes washer would be a plus. If anyone has any knowledge of rentals I would really appreciate your help.
Thanks,
Corinna
corinnafrangione@yahoo.com

mcassa
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10/5/2011 22:02    
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Hi ~ I hope you have had some luck in locating a rental in El Valle. I have had the same issue. May I inquire as to how you decided on El Valle? Have you been there before? Do you know if it has good/reliable Internet and good medical care within 30 minutes? Mary

802mark
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From: Panama
10/6/2011 00:03    
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I live in el valle, we do have a good internet hook up with cable onda, we have a small clinic here if you have small problems, if larger health problems you'll have to go to panama city.

homes to rent here are not cheap, that's because they are owned by rich people who really don't care to rent their home or not. many times you can rent their guest home.

It depends on what you want and what's your top dollar for rent per month

people come here because the weather is a lot cooler then places down the mountain. it is a very pretty place year round, never dry and dead. It is very safe place to live. You have a ring of mountains to look at, as well as all kinds of birds and butterflies.

there is a small expat family that lives here. your 30 mins from the beach.

life is slow and good here.

corinna
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10/6/2011 08:33    
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Hi Marc - Thanks for your reply. I have been following your posts for quite some time as I made preparations for our move and you have always been honest and concise. El Valle is everything we want - cooler weather, not a large expat community. We are looking for a place to decompress, read, hike, swim, etc. We are both retired nurses and if we could find an organization to volunteer in - school, orphanage, wildlife rehabilitation or such, that would be fantastic. But first we need to find a rental. We would like to stay between $600 & $800 if possible. I do hope we will be able to find something.
Best wishes,
Corinna

corinna
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10/6/2011 08:45    
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Hi Mary, We decided on making El Valle our first rental home on our journey to finding the right permanent home first because of its proximatey to Panama City. We will have to make trips to our lawyer as we get our visa and other legal issues taken care of. The other main reason is that it doesn't have the large expat community like David and Boquete. This is only from my info gathering via the internet. I have not been to Panama so this will be quite the adventure. But after 20+ years of nursing and neglecting my health, I need to focus on me for a change. I want to be able to read, walk, swim, take pictures and just do nothing or volunteer at something because I want to not because I have to to pay the bills. We have been taking spanish lessons here in NY and will continue in Panama. Immersing ourselves in our community will also help. I can't begin to describe how excited we are!
Best wishes,
Corinna

Mikepg1
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10/6/2011 09:59    
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Hi Corinna,
We're from NY too and are considering El Valle as our start point too. We were there last year and thought it just might be the right place. Where are you studing Spanish as we are looking for the "right" school too?

dizzylizzy
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10/6/2011 11:33    
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Hi Corinna and Mikepg1 I am going over to Panama in Jan and have downloaded a free great Spanish course to listen to whilst on the train etc. It is a Pod Cast and if you type 'Learn spanish with the Independent' into Google you should find it.

corinna
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10/6/2011 11:37    
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Hi Mike,
We have been taking Spanish lessons in an adult education class in conjunction with computer tutorials with voice recognition. Once we get settled in Panama we will search out classes. Most of what I read in various forums is centered arount David and Boquette for the most part. There are numerous Spanish language classes available. Hopefully we can find something close in the El Valle area.
Corinna

corinna
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10/6/2011 12:13    
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Thanks for the spanish course download. Free is a great bonus!

mcassa
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10/6/2011 12:26    
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Hi Corinna, I am excited for you and your Mother on your move to Panama. Please keep me posted on the quality of Internet in El Valle and the climate, but only after you take care of yourself. I hope Panama provides the rest and recovery(both physical & spiritual) you are seeking. We also have been taking Spanish lessons here in AZ, preparing for a still unknown destination. Best wishes, Mary

mcassa
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10/6/2011 12:37    
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Hi Mike, We're from AZ and are considering El Valle as our start point too. We are still deciding between Mexico, Ecuador & Panama. May I inquire as to why you chose Panama & in particular El Valle? We have concerns about its Internet and climate. How did El Valle check out on those two fronts? We are studying Spanish via Pimsleur Method, before immersion at an unknown destination. Very surprised at how effective it is. Best Wishes ~ Mary

Mikepg1
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10/6/2011 12:50    
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I didn't really choose El Valle at the time of my visit. I visited many places in Panama in additon ot El Valle, including Boquete, David, Caldera, and PC.
I liked El Valle alot. The weather was fine, not far from the Beach or PC. The community of expats seemed pretty close knit. The local folks were friendly, as they were every place I visited. There seemed to be less of a "Gringo Tax" there then in Boquete. The open air market was really terrific. Great fruits and vegatables very inexpensive. The restaurants were very good with all levels of cost. As with most of Panama, it was beautiful. I had no problem with internet connections. I kind of like the idea of being in a place where the wealthy folks go as I think I can expect better services - electric, water, etc. to be more consistent. also I think the roads were better in that area. A ver nice small town feel to the place. Slow paced.

dizzylizzy
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10/6/2011 13:43    
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Hi Mark,

Can you ponder on this.... there are 2 sides to me. One who wants the peace, view, chickens and veggie plot... the other that feels that I am too young yet and still want the buzz of a city life... How would you compare El Valle to Panama City and if you did not have young children - would you choose the City?

mcassa
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10/6/2011 17:27    
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Mark & Dizzy ~ Can you tell me what the annual rainfall in El Valle is and what are its rainy season months. TY!

802mark
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From: Panama
10/6/2011 22:10    
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Great now move here

802mark
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From: Panama
10/6/2011 22:12    
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mary if your picks are between panama and mexico then don't worry about our internet hook up, worry about if a drug dealer will kill you or not..

or internet hook up and our weather is better then in the u.s.. it never snows here.... it rains.. wow rain...

802mark
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From: Panama
10/6/2011 22:18    
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o LORD I WANT MY CAKE AND EAT IT TOO..... Take your time and stay in the city for a while.. you will like it and cuss it... then come up here..

what I do if I go nuts I go to the city a hour and a half away spend the night, and I can't wait to come bcak to el valle..

if you really think about it, you spend most of your life within a 30 mile circle..

once you mov here it takes time for you to down shift your life, once you do you won't want to leave the valle .. until that happens you will go nuts and beg for the noise..

802mark
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From: Panama
10/6/2011 22:21    
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around 5 months a year it rains here. it's not a big deal.... small price to pay for living in a garden..

its not everyday.. we have not had rain for two days... it's a rain forest right? it rains.. move to AZ.

when I first moved here I ran from it, now I walk in it, no big deal... it's rain..

SILVEREAGLE
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10/7/2011 10:07    
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A WHILE BACK I READ (IT MAY HAVE BEEN YOU MARK) THE RAIN THERE WAS KIND OF LIKE FLA.

DURRING OUR RAINY SEASON IT MOSTLY RAINS MID AFTERNOON, AND IN A HR. OR TWO THE SUN IS SHINING AND IT IS DRY AGAIN.

ONCE IN A WHILE IT WILL RAIN ALL DAY, OR TWO DAYS, BUT THAT IS RARE. LIKE YOU SAY, NO BIG DEAL.

WOUNDERING IF THIS IS CORRECT?

802mark
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From: Panama
10/7/2011 10:50    
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Thats pretty much right. Today no rain so far, clear skys and the sun is out. the other day it came down pretty hard for about a hour or two and then stopped. it's really not a big deal.

I understand when people read 5 months of rain that it could make you think, wow that could be depressing sitting inside all that time, cabin fever ect. but it's really not like that. you can plan your day pretty much and go do whatever you wish.

you might have to dodge that hour or two but then your able to enjoy your day.

another thing is if it's rainning here then go down to the beach where it won't be and enjoy your day there.

I think for me anyway, I would put up with the rain a lot more then I could put up with cold, snow and ice for 4 months.

with the price of power and heating oil that is going up you will save a lot of money living here during the winter season.

any of you who love to garden will be very happy here, crops, or flowers grow very well here and very fast.

corinna
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10/7/2011 13:10    
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Hi Mark and everyone in the El Valle area,
We love the rain-great time to read, use the internet and best of all nap. I do have a few questions about the fauna though. In this region/altitude of Panama are there crocodiles in area rivers and lakes? We love to swim, in particular to snorkel. My mother was watch youtube videos and stumbled upon quite a few videos of "Tito" the crocodile of Isla Coiba. And while we have snorkel amongst sharks (reef) we DO NOT want to snorkel with the crocodiles. And the second question is have you or do you know of anyone who has come across a fer-de-lance viper? We also love to hike and are considering getting snake leg guards "just in case". We recently read a blog from a man who is building his home from shipping containers. He had a fer-de-lance get into his home during the night (possibly from under a door-he is unsure) and bite his cat. We are not alarmists but just want to be prepared. I just imagine with all the opportunities to garden, there mustn't be a problem or am I wrong? Any advice is always appreciated!
Best wishes,
Corinna

802mark
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From: Panama
10/7/2011 13:53    
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yes there are crocks in the waters here. We fish on lake gutan and have seen one small one there. but we have also seen many young kids that swim in that lake everyday. I have never heard of any report of anyone being eaten or attacked by one down here in my 6 years thou.

many places that you would go snorkel, your not likey to find any thou, most crocks are found in the canal itself and that's not a place your going to be in the water.

we dived off the coast of colon last year and the water there was clear and nice, only thing I saw that was harmful was a small stone fish. in el valle the rivers here are not really large enough to swim in, most are mere creeks that we dam up to make the water back up so you can swim in them. then down the mountain you have ocean, it's ok to swim in and the sand is clean, but the water is not clear due to the mud that is washed out from the mountains into it. you would have to take a boat out a ways to get into clearer water.

snakes,, yes I know the man your talking about. I have also found one in my yard as well as a coral snake. they are here, but they are not something your going to run into a lot.

my yard man has worked this place for 50 years, sticking his hands into bushes and flower beds all over my yard and has never been bitten by any type of snake. I think getting snake guards would be a bit over kill.

unless you plan on hiking into the raw jungle itself. climbing up and over trees and rocks ect. most paths here are well used by people as well as trucks.

Another thing I want to point out is that most all homes here have yardmen that take care of the place and they all know what type of snakes are bad and they kill most all they come across, hawks here will eat one fast as well.

I went a few years back for a hike down the main river here, it was awesome, I had walked down it a while and there were some green vines hanging down I had to duck under a few and when I stood up a green vine snake hung down to be eye to eye with me. He was trying to ask me something I think, all I remember saying was SHI@@@@ as my body some how moved back 10 ft without me knowing it.

I treat them all the same if I see one I kill it, I know that's not right on my part but by me not knowing the good ones from the bad and with little ones running around all over the place I can't afford to let one go.

the croc video your watching is tito she is a crock that they have been feeding for a long time and used as toursit attraction in the park. Don't think that there are many crocks in that area.

back home we had cotton mouth and rattle snakes and a few spiders that were really bad as well. so the trade off isn't that bad.

even getting hit by a fer-de- lance isn't going to kill you. a lady got hit by one a few years ago and is fine. you do need medical help but it's not a sure death thing.

corinna
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10/7/2011 16:56    
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Hi Mark,
Thanks for your reply. I knew crocs and vipers and other creepy crawlies were going to be inevitable. I was just sort of hoping not so much in the El Valle area as in others. I was in Curacao in a private rental and there was a scorpion the size of my hand that actually stalked me in the laundry room. My blood curdling scream cracked a few windows. I was afraid to go around barefoot after that and never put my feet into shoes without shaking them aggressively and any clothes left draped over furniture. I would die a little death if anything bit my cat. She is strictly indoor only and I plan on making sure all nooks and crannies are blocked from any critters coming in. We do plan to hike alot - maybe I will just let my mom walk in front of me :) We will probably be the talk of the town "2 crazy gringas in snake guards". I am not big on pain, especially the venomous type. Perhaps I can carry a kit with anti-venom, morphine and a snickers bar just in case. I don't want to be the first casualty in El Valle from snake bite nor the first from croc attack. Thanks for letting me ramble. Its exciting even talking about this just knowing that we will be there soon!
Best wishes,
Corinna

802mark
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From: Panama
10/7/2011 17:14    
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Now that's funny!! snickers new ad, got snake bit because your mom knew all along why you wanted her to walk the trail first, and stepped over the snake without pointing it out to you??? have a snickers!!!

no crocks here in el valle yeeahhh!!

but yes shake out shoes and other stuff for sure, we found a small scorpion in the bathroom last week.

I have two cats as well, and they have never been harmed by anything here.

I would put you being killed while hiking in the mountains being hit by lighting far above being killed by a snake. that has happen here.

corinna
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10/7/2011 17:44    
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Hey Mark,
I probably wouldn't have to hike so much if I didn't eat so many snickers! So, if I do get bit by a snake it would be inadvertantly due to the damn snickers. I could sue. Actually, I would probably be bit by a snake and hit by lightening. Murphy's Law was written after me.
I just bought a great camera that I don't know how to use but have just started lessons in an adult ed. class. I hope to be taking a gazillion pictures so I can send them back home to all the people who think we are crazy for moving to Panama.
Cheers,
Corinna

eelydnew1
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10/8/2011 07:57    
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Oh Corinna, our friends also think we have early stages of Dementia for deciding to move to Panama - they simply cannot fathom why anyone would ever even consider this. Like most others who make the move it is instigated by big government and financial. And whereas our friends find the prospect daunting and dibilitating we are excitedlty looking forward to change and adventure.

kfmellis
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10/8/2011 08:14    
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Triple ditto.

Kathy

corinna
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10/8/2011 10:49    
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This move has been over a year in the making. Reading and pouring over any and all information in any source we could find. I wanted to go in with eyes wide open knowing all the good and bad and inbetween. I know there will be obstacles but also many opportunities. I am looking forward to reclaiming my health and happiness which I've sadly neglected. If others can't be happy for us and wish us well, then that is okay. I know I am doing what is best for me and am so happy and excited that it will soon be a reality.
Maybe we can all get together for a "Hah! Look at us now!" party ;)
Best wishes,
Corinna

802mark
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From: Panama
10/8/2011 11:21    
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The shoe you wear fits your foot perfect, but if I tried it on I might not be able to get my big foot inside it. It works out great for you for me not so good. It's the same in life, your doing something bold and outside the box that they call their comfort zone. to them your crazy to do it, but I for one am glad you have a desire to see and do something other then the norm.

when I first when to colombia my friends got together and we had a party, they all told me I would be killed there and not to go. some even sat down and tried to talk me out of going, and when they knew I was going no matter what, one said well can I have your bass boat?

when I did return with the love of my life on my arm, we had another party and those same old good ole boy's all took me aside and wanted to know when I was going back and could they go with me.

most people have their heads down, they work and they try to make it each day. they live for the weekend and it's gone far to fast. Time fly's by and they become deeper and deeper inside that rut.

most people will spend a large percentage of their lives within a 35 mile circle.

don't live with a regret, do whatever your heart tells you to do. it might turn out it was the wrong thing, but then again it might be the best thing you ever did with your life. at least by trying you will know one way or the other.

I stand and yell GOOD FOR YOU GUYS. two crazy american ladies wearing snake stopper boots, with a case of candy bars and armed with a fly swatter, chopping a path just to see whats on the other side..

corinna
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10/8/2011 11:42    
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Mark - I can't tell you how much your rousing endorsement means to us. You, out of all our friends and family, are the one and only who has said "good for you - I hope you are happy". Thank you for that.
Sincerely,
Corinna
Your soon to be El Valle compatriot. I will lead our hikes - never fear!

llollichops
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10/8/2011 12:47    
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Hi Corrina!!

I also say "Good for you!!" I too am in a similar postion and have been planning a move to Panama for some time now. I've gotten mixed responses to say the least. People think I'm crazy to give up my good job, good life etc. All I know is I never feel as happy as I do when I'm there so I know I'm on the right path. I've travelled around the country a bit and one place is nicer than the other. The people are wonderful and in a short time I have made some really deep connections w/ expats and locals alike. Everything just feels right and I can't wait to make it all happen next year!! Forget what people say and follow your heart. It will never lead you astray. Btw, I'm also in NY if you ever want to "compare notes". I could talk about Panama for hours!! Lol!!

Cheers!!

Cynthia*

corinna
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10/8/2011 16:45    
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Hi Cynthia,
We are from Suffolk County Long Island NY. Thank you too for the support. I will be giving in my notice at work next month and am counting down the days. We will be taking one suitcase to check in and one cat carrier as our carry-on. The rest we will have shipped once we find a place to rent. Basically we are selling everything except for about 15 boxes worth - mainly clothes, personal items, snorkeling equipment. My mother wants to bring her bright pink wet suit. Mark will probably get a chuckle out of that. She hopes the garish color will deter any salt water crocs. I love my computer and plan on shipping it. I guess the smart thing for us as we will be renting furnished and perhaps buy furnished sometime in the future after getting a feel for all areas is to just leave everything behind and just buy as we need it. But some things have strong sentimental value and I would hate to leave them behind. So hence the 15 boxes. We are having a huge yard sale next week. It will be a colossal pain in my booty and I would really like to donate everything to a local charity but maybe if we make a few bucks I can put it towards the cats plane tickets. I will definitely keep in touch. Maybe during the rainy days I will try my hand at a blog. I'm hoping to get really proficient with my new camera so I will be able to post my pictures there. I will probably pee my pants the first time I see a sloth. I secretly want to save and raise an orphan after seeing a woman in Costa Rica rehabilitating them. Adorable just doesn't do them justice. And they poop once a week, unlike my beloved cat Bella who clears a room with her twice daily BMs. Well, I love to ramble but should stop.
Take care.........Corinna

802mark
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From: Panama
10/8/2011 17:03    
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I have a wild sloth that stays pretty much in my yard in a tree by the creek. be advised you can't keep one as a pet.

locals call them the devil's child and I have seen a few dead ones that have tried to cross roads. I have even stopped a few times and moved them out of the road.

mcassa
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10/8/2011 17:48    
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REGARDING WEATHER:

DOES ANYONE KNOW OF A SITE WHERE I CAN GATHER THE CURRENT WEATHER CONDITIONS OF EL VALLE? ALSO, WHAT IS THE ELEVATION OF EL VALLE? I HAVE FOUND SEVERAL GENERAL SITES WITH THIS INFO, BUT NOT SPECIFICALLY FOR EL VALLE.

corinna
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10/8/2011 18:27    
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Hi Mark,
I can't wait to get pictures - you may see me lurking in your yard trying to get a few shots. Yes, I wouldn't think of keeping one as a pet. But it doesn't stop me from wanting to hold a baby after watching the orphan rehab video. It's my inner Dr. DooLittle thing. (excluding vipers and crocs of course!) The sun sets and rises around my cat and believe me I know how crazy that may seem and my mother cringes when I start to show off her baby pictures. What can I say, I don't have any kids - she's it. I will stop now because of the wierd vibes I might be sending out!
Off to work...Have a good night.
Corinna

llollichops
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10/8/2011 18:44    
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Hi Corrina!! (and Mark too :)

I'm so excited for you. I can't wait till the day comes that I give my notice at work. That will be a very happy day!! Love the pink wet suit!! Your mom sounds like a pip!! Panamanians are very colorful people so they should get a kick out of her. Just smile and say buenos!! My boyfrind and I definitely stick out being NYC musician, artist types. One trip someone called out that my BF looked like Micheal Jackson. Lol!! We both looked at each other like-what?? First of all we're both white and he bears no resemblence aside from the fact that he was wearing black and has longish hair. We both got a chuckle.

Regarding the cat... did you get all the paperwork in order so that you won't have any issues when you arrive at the airport? They make you jump through a lot of hoops and the last thing I would want is for you to have any problems. If you need the info involved I can gladly write to you offline or call you to go over all the details. I'm a huge animal lover and will be bringing 9 with me, a bird and an iguana. That's going to be fun!! So I've researched the topic quite a bit. When I finally move to Panama I want to start an animal sancuary of sorts which will probably happen quite naturally as I could never turn away a little one in need. Some of you may have heard this but I often joke w/ my boyfriend that he shouldn't be suprised if I come home with a sloth one day!! "Well what was I supposed to do? He fell out of a tree and I couldn't just leave him there!!" I also too think they are the most adorable creatures.

I'm glad you're taking your time about finding a place that's right for you. Sounds like you have a good plan. El Valle is wonderful. Stayed there for about a week the first time we travelled to the country. Unfortunately it's a bit too expensive for us but we loved the vibe there. We chose Dolega which is on the other side of the country btween Boquete and David. I didn't think I would like Boquete bc of all the expats but found it to be a very pleasant area overall. And for business purposes am glad it will be close by.

Well I'm starting to ramble, like I mentioned I can talk about Panama for hours.

llollichops
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10/8/2011 18:45    
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Hi Corrina!! (and Mark too :)

I'm so excited for you. I can't wait till the day comes that I give my notice at work. That will be a very happy day!! Love the pink wet suit!! Your mom sounds like a pip!! Panamanians are very colorful people so they should get a kick out of her. Just smile and say buenos!! My boyfrind and I definitely stick out being NYC musician, artist types. One trip someone called out that my BF looked like Micheal Jackson. Lol!! We both looked at each other like-what?? First of all we're both white and he bears no resemblence aside from the fact that he was wearing black and has longish hair. We both got a chuckle.

Regarding the cat... did you get all the paperwork in order so that you won't have any issues when you arrive at the airport? They make you jump through a lot of hoops and the last thing I would want is for you to have any problems. If you need the info involved I can gladly write to you offline or call you to go over all the details. I'm a huge animal lover and will be bringing 9 with me, a bird and an iguana. That's going to be fun!! So I've researched the topic quite a bit. When I finally move to Panama I want to start an animal sancuary of sorts which will probably happen quite naturally as I could never turn away a little one in need. Some of you may have heard this but I often joke w/ my boyfriend that he shouldn't be suprised if I come home with a sloth one day!! "Well what was I supposed to do? He fell out of a tree and I couldn't just leave him there!!" I also too think they are the most adorable creatures.

I'm glad you're taking your time about finding a place that's right for you. Sounds like you have a good plan. El Valle is wonderful. Stayed there for about a week the first time we travelled to the country. Unfortunately it's a bit too expensive for us but we loved the vibe there. We chose Dolega which is on the other side of the country btween Boquete and David. I didn't think I would like Boquete bc of all the expats but found it to be a very pleasant area overall. And for business purposes am glad it will be close by.

Well I'm starting to ramble, like I mentioned I can talk about Panama for hours.

802mark
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From: Panama
10/9/2011 00:59    
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This country is really small but the weather can change in a 20 mile spread so your not really going to find a weather report on el valle alone.. http://www.wunderground.com/global/stations/78806.html best web site for it thou.

we are sitting around 2200 ft above sea level.. that's a guess

susanellen40
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10/9/2011 12:39    
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Hi Corinna,

Figured I would join in to the discussion as well, sine we have a lot in common! I am also a (native) NY'er (NYC and Rockland County), but have lived all over the US, most recently in TN.

My husband Tom will be arriving in Panama in mid-Jan, 2012, with plans to make El Vallle our "base of operations" while we explore Panama, parts of CA and SA (Ecuador. Peru, Bolivia and an Amazon cruise from Iquitos to Belem, Brazil will be our first journey).

We aren't really retiring (not able to financially or mentally!), but we are making a very deliberate life change to a much-less consumptive existence. So, we hope that we can relax, travel and enjoy each other and friends we meet along the way until the money runs out or we figure out a way to make a living and stay down there.

Much of our move is motivated by our disappointment in the US gov't, how our tax money is spent, the high cost of "living", and our disgust with the way our social security money has been squandered --for a start!

But, we also are motivated to see CA and SA...we've never been, and we have a huge "bucket list" of things to do and see.

We are looking forward to meeting you and your mom when we arrive in El Valle! I hope we can gt together for some hikes, beach outings, wine drinking (or whatever your pleasure)! Tom and I are meeting up with Dizzy Lizzy in PTY, buying a car, and we are all headed out to El Valle at the end of January. You should be settled in by then, so look for us in town!

BTW -the sloth rescue in CR looks amazing...we wrote to them to find out if we could just come for 1 week as volunteers (they want you to come for 2 weeks and it's somewhat pricey), but I never heard back! But, there is a wildlife rescue in Panama too, and they have all sorts of animals...including baby anteaters! I also long to cuddle a sloth, so you're not alone.

Best,

Susan

susanellen40
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10/9/2011 12:44    
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LOL --forgot to mention how excited we are to be giving notices at work...I get to to it twice, since I have a main job, and a part time job at SteinMart to earn extra dough for our adventure! My husband plans to burn his work clothes, probably with some ritualistic rum ceremony involved!

mcassa
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10/9/2011 18:38    
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802Mark ~

TY for the weather/elevation input. When I entered El Valle, Panama in the site you recommended it was not recognized. Is there another location other than El Valle that the site recognizes & is nearer to El Valle than Panama City?

mcassa

corinna
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10/9/2011 19:46    
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Hi Susan,
Our bucket list is more realistically a teacup list in relation to our financial situation. I would love to visit the Cook Islands or cruise to small ports around the world to experience different cultures but I haven't been so lucky winning the lottery yet. But with that being said I know my teacup will runneth over with the experiences and relationships I will be able to cultivate in Panama. There is another Panama forum that I also used to read religiously but as of late the comments are extremely negative & anti-Panama which is disturbing. There is good and bad throughout the world in every place, but if they so vehemently hate it, why stay? I skim over most of the caustic rant and try to glean as much important information as possible. I am the captain of my own ship and responsible for making my own happiness and man o' man I plan on being HAPPY! I would love to meet up with anyone and everyone. Still looking for a place to rent though. I've gotten quite a few leads. There is so much to accomplish as the date draws closer. I need a snickers....purely medicinal of course :)

corinna
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10/9/2011 20:06    
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llollichops - You are a brave (or crazy) soul for bringing 9 cats plus a bird and iguana. We plan on having one each in the cabin with us. And yes the hoops to jump through are daunting to say the least. The 10 day time frame to get all the paper work signed by personal vet, USDA vet and Panamanian Consulate in NY has me a bit stressed. I have a pretty good grasp on everything that is entailed. My personal choice not to ship them with a pet relocation company stems from my obsessive need to have my Bella in hands reach at all times.
El Valle will be our starting point. No telling how long we will stay there until we try out the next area. I like the idea of living in a temperate climate with the ability to drive to the beach. We will also be going to Volcan and other areas in the Chiriqui provence. We will rent in various places until we find the right fit and then hopefully buy a forever home. I want to be in the midst of monkeys, sloths, birds, butterflies, etc.
I would like to be active in a spay and neuter program. And volunteer in a school, orphanage or hospital. I need to fill my depleted soul. Man I am so melodramatic!
I really do hope to meet up with you in the future.
Best wishes,
Corinna

corinna
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10/9/2011 20:19    
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Susan- So you will be buying a car in Panama City? Do you have any idea what kind? I will be looking at small 4x4's. Probably a 2dr Suzuki Jimmy. Something as inexpensive as possible but that is an automatic, has A/C, high ground clearance and will be reliable because I know nothing mechanical and I doubt Triple AAA will come to my rescue. I am afraid to buy used and inherit someone else's issues so feel safer with new. We plan on arriving in PTY and staying there for 2 to 3 weeks and with my lawyer and her team's help get as much accomplished as possible ie visa applications, bank accounts, car purchase and driver's licenses. I want to arrive in El Valle with most of that complete, only having to make a few trips back to attend to any outstanding legal issues.
Cheers,
Corinna

802mark
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From: Panama
10/9/2011 20:45    
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Not that I know of, this one has radar showing the rain coming and what parts of the country it's hitting... it's so hard here to nail it down thou, I have seen it rain buckets here in el valle and then three miles away be high and dry.

802mark
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From: Panama
10/9/2011 20:56    
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let me say this, a four door small pickup or a two door small pickup will come in handy more times then a suv that you can't fit that new sofa into.

2nd point you can't get a driver's lic. here until you get your approved full time visa.. and you won't get that in two to three weeks. more like 5 months or so.
even opening a bank account will take you a few weeks, if they open it then for you. they asked me for TWO letters from two banks I used in the u.s. that stated I was in good standing's and they had to be stamped.

also as someone else pointed out, once you file for your visa. and you plan on going back to the u.s. for whatever, you MUST get a muti visa pass to come and go while you wait for your visa paperwork to be approved, you go back and not have that it's a 2k fine.

about your pets,, you had better hire a pet relocation service to help you,, that doesn't mean your pets will be out of your hands, if you don't it will mean they will be.. a pet relocation service takes your paperwork, and clears the pets on this end,, they set up a vet to be at the airport to check the pets and then he stamps off on the paperwork, if not then your pets have to be locked up for 30 days to make sure they are healthy and not going crazy. so you might need to rethink that idea.

I used one and of course the vet didn't show up, but they talked to the people in charge and got me approved to take my cats home... without her they would have kept them..

all the things you want to be in the midst off you will find here in el valle, monkeys maybe not. but everything else you want and your list of vol. work you will find here.

corinna
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10/9/2011 22:50    
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Thanks Mark,
I will rethink using the services of a pet relocation company to facilitate our entry.
We are open to the idea of a small pick-up but I don't foresee us moving many items that we can't fit into the trunk. I'm not into the heavy lifting lifestyle. All the patients I've lifted in the past 20yrs have ruined me for that. If lifting needs to be done for anything I will need to hire someone to help.
I will most likely drive for the 1st 90 days on my tourist visa. It might necessitate a trip to Costa Rica to reset it for driving purposes. My mom will be getting a pensionada visa and if a miracle occurs and she gets it within 90 days, I won't have to take a mini-vacation to CR. Our lawyer has been able to work miracles for others so we are keeping our fingers crossed. My visa will take much longer but I will have nothing but time.
As far as the banks, I have 2 bank ref. letters and 2 personal/professional letters all set up. I am just waiting for a closing date before I ask for them to be written in case something causes us to take longer than 90 days and they expire.
I have no immediate plans on leaving Panama but do know about needing a Multi-Visa or facing a $2000 fine. I would have to find the equivalent of St. Francis to take care of my cats before I did more than an overnight trip so one of us will always stay home.
So there are no monkeys in the El Valle area? I was looking forward to the Howlers howling.
Corinna

llollichops
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10/10/2011 00:01    
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Lake Gatune for Howler Monkeys. I know the perfect place!! Google Jungleland Explorers. The overnite is a bit expensive but worth every penny. You'll be in the middle of a remote area on a floating lodge. Nothing like it in the world!! The sound of howlers echoing in the distance like a pack of dogs lulling you to sleep or in the early morning. Ahhh wish I was there now!!

yesdon
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10/10/2011 03:08    
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Hi, Mark, and others,

I am looking to take an exploratory trip in the next
2 months or sooner. I am a single male with my own small business in USA. I am going to be looking for a place to stay for about a month or so. I also want to travel around to look at the country. Any ideas of places to stay for short term rental? Also, any info would be appreciated from anyone in the USA who has traveled to Panama.

Don
yesdon7@yahoo.com

802mark
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From: Panama
10/10/2011 11:21    
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That's great sounds like your on your game. howler monkey's are fun to hear them ONCE... after that they are a pain in the bu@@ they will scream and keep you up all hours of the night, they are worse then a pack on barking dogs. what will be new and fun at first will turn into a nightmare over time.

If you want a monkey as a pet there are people here that can get you one. My friend ty has one he is trying to train its the small white faced one. you have to get their main two teeth pulled out, or they can give you a bad bite.

802mark
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From: Panama
10/10/2011 11:38    
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hey don, I tried twice to email you at that address, both times it came back.. I even took the space out of your name and it still came back write me at ricobreeze@aol.com

llollichops
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10/10/2011 22:08    
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Hi Mark,

Where I come from the sound of howler monkeys is music to my ears!! Keep in mind that I'm an urban bird from NYC that hears the sounds of noise and traffic pretty much all hours of the night. Howlers are a much welcomed change. I don't think I could ever get sick of that....I would never purchase a monkey btw. I would of course take in a rescue w/ the hopes of rehibilitating them to later release back into the wild if they were able, if not I would gladly look after them to keep them out of harm's way. Yup I'm one of those!! :))

802mark
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From: Panama
10/10/2011 22:38    
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yes I can understand the giving up of the noise in new york and thinking that it's peaceful and to hear a howler would be nice.. the problem is for me anyway that tends to dry up pretty fast and then it becomes a pain.

When I moved into a home I bought in colombia there was this bird that flew into the trees in the back yard, and would make a call that sounded like a firetruck or police siren, it was cool at first until a few of his friends started to show up as well and they drove me nuts.

anyway if you love it that's all that matters.

"I never said it was going to be easy I just said it would be worth it." love that saying!!!

Rueann
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9/21/2014 13:35    
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Wow! I am in Southern California and am also looking at El Valle de Anton. I would like 2 bedrms, 1 ba., and around $600 to $800. At least partly furnished. I have noticed Boquete also. Will be traveling to Panama in early October to look around. If anyone out there knows anything, please share. Also, would there not be areas close to these towns where rentals would be less?
Ruth

jonoyakker
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9/21/2014 22:56    
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Everyone and their brother has been looking for a place here-and this is the slow season...although most have been looking for small places so you might have luck. I would join here and post: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/El_Valle/info

jonoyakker
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9/21/2014 22:59    
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Sure-El Valle is surrounded by tiny communities but there are very few expats that live in them with the exception of Altos de Maria. Check that out. They also have a Yahoo group. Do a search here as well.

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