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An Expat Talks about Living in Coronado, Panama


A retiree to Coronado, Panama enjoys the relaxed lifestyle and friendly locals. The biggest challenge to retiring there has been the difficulty having his service dog accepted in the same way it would be accepted everywhere in the United States. Most locals view dogs as guard dogs and there are no special accommodations for service dogs.

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Coronado

How long have you lived there?

3 months now

What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?

Meeting people is no problem. Locals and tourists are both always friendly.

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Expats in Panama may get a free expat health insurance quote from our partner Allianz Care, a leader in international insurance for expatriates. Allianz's plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Their flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget..

In terms of religious, racial, economic and cultural diversity, are the people of this city or town diverse? Are they accepting of differences? Describe.

Yes, the people are great. But, they are behind the times in one particular area - see the last box.

What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?

Tourism.

In general, what are peoples' priorities in this city? For example, do lives revolve around work, family, socializing, sports, etc.?

Coronado is a relaxing tourist and retirement city.

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If a friend of yours was thinking of moving to this city or town from far away, what other advice would you give them.

Panama is NOT a good place for people with a "Service Dog" or a "Guide Dog". In general, many people are scared of all dogs because most dogs in Panama are GUARD DOGS for their property.

Panama is behind the times in its thinking about "Service Dogs". In Canada (and the USA) all Service and Guide dogs are accepted everywhere.

People who have such a "partner" really need that dog in their life. He is their "lifeline".

They are highly trained and do not bother other people. Their main interest is the care of their owner! They DO NOT have "accidents" and they do not bother other people. 99% of the time they are very friendly with all people they meet.

In Canada & USA the Service Dogs are fully accepted and allowed to go everywhere their owner wants to go. That includes all stores, clinics, businesses and restaurants.

This is a fact of the 20th Century. Panama needs to catch up! These dogs are highly trained and get to need their owner as much as the owner needs them.

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Comments about this Report

guest
Jan 5, 2015 08:45

Obviously he has no common sense bringing a service dog to a third world country. Why should they " catch up" to acommadate him? He should return his ass to the United States or Canada (since service dogs are accepted there) before the locals kick his ass. You can't be in someone else country and think they should be like your country.

cheryl4209
Jan 5, 2015 11:46

Thank-you, so much! I travel with a small emotional support animal, and had been unable to locate the Panamanian laws and custom regarding such. We will adapt, with time. In the meantime, I will continue to research laws and regulations around the world for ESA's and Service Dogs. Again, my heartfelt appreciation for your post.

guest
Jan 10, 2015 20:49

In response to the childish first comment, it's called being a considerate and gracious host to your guests who have special needs. A host country should always accommodate its guests in a civilized manner otherwise it is not good enough place to move to. Stick to welcoming places and you will enjoy your life there.

guest
Jan 13, 2015 06:38

cheryl4209: Are you saying there are NO people born in Panama who could not benefit from having a Service Dog? That would suggest there are no "blind" people in Panama. A Service Dog is the same as a Guide Dog. They both help people who need them, live a somewhat normal life. There is not a country in the world without Service Dogs or Guide Dogs! Including Panama! Panama just needs to support these people and their needs.

DeeJayBel
Jun 23, 2015 10:18

I wrote what you read above 6-7 months ago. It is no better now! For example, I met with the Manager of El Machetazo in Cornonado and I asked her if I bought a stroller for my dog would I be allowed in the store? She said "YES" (in front of other people too). Guess what I did? I bought a stroller for my 25lb Service Dog. When I arrived at the store to shop - she said "NO", my dog cannot enter even in a Stroller I bought for him. The owner of El Machetazo, who lives in Panama City - a woman who rescues and cares for homeless dogs (according to her workers) told the Manager "no dogs in their store". Is that a real 'dog lover'? Does she not respect people who need a Service Dog as a "LIFELINE" so the owner to live a normal life? Seems like El Machetazo is talking out of both sides of their mouth. Or, the Manager came up with that excuse on her own. Maybe she never even told the owner!

Myshadow
Dec 25, 2015 10:57

I was wondering about how dogs are treated there. I guess you answered my question. I have an EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMAL. LOOKS AS THOUGH IM NOT MOVING TO PANAMA. GREAT ARTICLE!

NeilC
Feb 26, 2021 14:47

Great Report...So sad about the service dog issues. We are interested in the Coronado/Gorgona area and would like to hear more. Have heard that Coronado may have a lot of loud and disturbing night life, but this report says "relaxing". Is that because of Covid restrictions?

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