Expat Exchange
Free MembershipSign In
Allianz Care International Health Insurance
Allianz Care International Health Insurance

Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Boquete, Panama

Submitted by Inpanama


Boquete, Panama

An American who moved to Boquete, Panama encourages newcomers to arrive with the attitude that you are willing to make adjustments to your expectations and keep in mind that things will be different than you expect, you'll thrive here!

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

Boquete

Did you receive any cross-cultural training for your move abroad? If yes, was it before or after the move?

The only cross-cultural training I received was from reading about the local culture, norms and attitudes.

Get a free international health insurance quote from our partner, Allianz Care, whose plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Allianz's flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget.
Allianz Care International Health InsuranceInternational Health Insurance in Panama

Get a free international health insurance quote from our partner, Allianz Care, whose plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Allianz's flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget.
Get a Quote

If they speak another language in your new country, do you speak the language? If yes, did you learn the language before you moved or while abroad? If no, are you planning to learn the language?

I spoke very little Spanish when we arrived; I have been taking lessons for the past few months and find it easier to communicate now, since not everyone here speaks English.

Were you worried or concerned about culture shock before you moved abroad?

Not really - we have traveled extensively, so expected at least some of the differences.

Moving to Panama Soon?

AGS Worldwide Movers can move you to and from anywhere in the world. Presently the AGS Group has over 141 locations in more than 95 countries and has one of the largest networks in the international removals industry. We relocate 85,000 families every year. Free moving quote!

Moving to Panama Soon?

AGS Worldwide Movers can move you to and from anywhere in the world. Presently the AGS Group has over 141 locations in more than 95 countries and has one of the largest networks in the international removals industry. We relocate 85,000 families every year. Free moving quote!

How significant was the culture shock you experienced when you moved abroad?

If you arrive here with the attitude that you are willing to make adjustments to your expectations and keep in mind that things will be different than you expect, you'll thrive here! Please don't expect the local population to adjust to your expectations - arrive with an open mind, be willing to embrace the differences, and be adventurous!

Expats often talk about going through the "stages of culture shock." Examples include the honeymoon phase, the irritation-to-anger stage, the rejection of the culture stage, and the cultural adjustment phase. Do you feel like you went through these or any other stages as you settled into the new culture?

Absolutely - initially, we found the differences charming and delightful. As time goes on and you have needs you want met, it becomes a bit more frustrating to understand the "manana" attitude here, but you have to be willing to accept those differences and adjust to them. Do we get frustrated? Of course! But if you understand that Panamanians find it very difficult to say "no", you can adjust how you ask for things and make sure you understand that time and commitment have a different meaning here.

What, if any, were some of the changes you noticed in yourself that might have been caused by culture shock? These might include things such as anger, depression, anxiety, increased eating or drinking, frustration, homesickness, etc.

Culture shock can affect people differently. Personally, I haven't found culture shock to be much of an issue, but friends have been very frustrated by both the attitudes here and the language difference. Panamanians have different priorities, and if you can adjust to that you'll do well. Family, faith and fiestas are the Panamanian way!

What are some things you appreciate most about the new culture?

I appreciate the dedication to family - it's refreshing to see entire extended families spending time together and enjoying life!

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

The difference in attitude regarding such things as appointment times - even if you agree to meet at a specific day and time, if a Panamanian has a family event, another appointment or just decides not to come, they may show up an hour or two late or the next day. You need to be prepared to schedule and re-schedule without getting too frustrated!

Allianz Care International Health InsuranceInternational Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote

Allianz Care International Health InsuranceInternational Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote

Expats BoqueteBoquete Guide

Expats, digital nomads & retirees talk about what it's like living in Boquete.

Panama Index Boquete Index
An index of all of our site's Boquete information.

Digital Nomad Life Boquete Living in Boquete

More about what it's like living in Boquete.

11-Expats-Talk-about-Living-in-Boquete11 Expats Talk about Living in Boquete

11 expats.talk about what it's like to live in the beautiful mountain town of Boquete, Panama. From the Tuesday Market at the BCP to group hikes and drinks at Mike's Global Grill, expats.love living in Boquete.

Panama Forum Panama Forum
Talk with other digital nomads and expats in Panama on our Panama forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

Contribute to Panama Network Contribute
Help others in Panama by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Panama.

Expat Healthcare Advice in PanamaHealthcare & Health Insurance in Panama

Expats in Panama offer advice about healthcare, hospital visits, emergency rooms visits, finding a doctor and buying health insurance in Panama.

Best Places to Live in Panama Best Places to Live in Panama

Panama is a great place to live or retire with easy residency laws, warm people and lots of expats. Whether you want to live by the beach in Bocas del Toro or need to live in Panama City for work and schools, there are many places to explore.

Real Estate in PanamaReal Estate in Panama

Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in Panama.

International-Schools-in-PanamaInternational Schools in Panama

Expats with children who explore the possibility of moving to Panama first and foremost want to know what educational options are available there. Here is a great start on exploring the options in Panama City... and beyond.

Allianz Care International Health InsuranceInternational Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote

Allianz Care International Health InsuranceInternational Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote

Expats BoqueteBoquete Guide

Expats, digital nomads & retirees talk about what it's like living in Boquete.

Panama Index Boquete Index
An index of all of our site's Boquete information.

Digital Nomad Life Boquete Living in Boquete

More about what it's like living in Boquete.

11-Expats-Talk-about-Living-in-Boquete11 Expats Talk about Living in Boquete

11 expats.talk about what it's like to live in the beautiful mountain town of Boquete, Panama. From the Tuesday Market at the BCP to group hikes and drinks at Mike's Global Grill, expats.love living in Boquete.

Panama Forum Panama Forum
Talk with other digital nomads and expats in Panama on our Panama forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

Contribute to Panama Network Contribute
Help others in Panama by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Panama.

Expat Healthcare Advice in PanamaHealthcare & Health Insurance in Panama

Expats in Panama offer advice about healthcare, hospital visits, emergency rooms visits, finding a doctor and buying health insurance in Panama.

Best Places to Live in Panama Best Places to Live in Panama

Panama is a great place to live or retire with easy residency laws, warm people and lots of expats. Whether you want to live by the beach in Bocas del Toro or need to live in Panama City for work and schools, there are many places to explore.

Real Estate in PanamaReal Estate in Panama

Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in Panama.

International-Schools-in-PanamaInternational Schools in Panama

Expats with children who explore the possibility of moving to Panama first and foremost want to know what educational options are available there. Here is a great start on exploring the options in Panama City... and beyond.

Copyright 1997-2022 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal