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Nervous but excited about Panajachel

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Guinness
4/21/2014 11:35 EST

My wife and I are considering relocating to Panajachel but are understandably nervous as neither of us have lived and worked outside the United States. My wife has been to Lake Atitlan several times, loves the region and speaks fluent Spanish, but it will be my first time in Guatamala. I've only been to Central American once - on vacation in eastern Costa Rica, and it ranked below the times I've spent in Buenos Aires or European destinations. But I want to expand my experiences and comfort zone.

My professional work is mostly in online communications, so reliable internet is essential, with enough bandwidth to Skype with colleagues back in the U.S. I am also curious about the weather. I understand it is very moderate (60-75F) most of the year, which is nice since I don't do well in hot climates or in direct sunlight. (I'm Irish by ancestry, with the accompanying pale skin.)

Am I being overly worried or would this be a difficult transition? The town sounds welcoming and I'm reassured with there apparently being a large expat community, but as noted, this would be a extraordinary experience for us, especially me. Moving is generally a tiresome endeavor, and this would be to a new country.

bajasur
4/21/2014 12:12 EST

I live in Antigua and go to Pana maybe every other month for a weeks vacation. I have used Skype in Pana as well as youtube with little or no problems. Yes, a large expat community in Pana. Weather is very nice, basically Spring all year around. I have found on whole that prices are a bit cheaper there than here in Antigua. If you're open to learning a new culture, language, etc. you'll do fine.

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FrancescaW
4/21/2014 15:10 EST

Dear Guiness
Pana is a wonderful place to live, as is the Lake as a whole. I've lived her permanently now for nearly 6 years and about 15 years ago I was here for a year and a half.
The Lake is, and i don't think I'd be wrong in saying, probably the safest place in Guatemala.
the climate is perfect, do read up about the country on line, but Spring is right, 6 months dry season, never too humid even in the rainy season, another 6 months which is about to start (Apr/May - Oct). BUT temp is pretty much the same throughout the year because we are at altitude of 5,000 feet more or less.
There is a HUGE foreign community living all around the lake.
Each village is different so there is something for everyone!
But for good internet that Pana is probably your best bet and trying to find somewhere with a landline so that you can get higher speed internet.
Coming and renting first is probably your best bet and get to know the whole area and what it has to offer, plus learning the language i believe is important and there are lots of teachers and schools around!
I'm happy to help you with finding somewhere to stay and any more questions you might have about this spectacular country.
Yes, any move is hard, and yes pretty much the way everything functions here will be different. So long as you are patient and open minded and ready to expect the unexpected you will love it here!! Just send me a private message
Best, Francesca

armandatitlan
4/21/2014 16:32 EST

Hi there,
Panajachel is the entry of Lake Atitlan. Where there is the biggest concentration of expats.. so I'm sure you will morph easily in the expat community. Regarding internet now there are various providers around the lake offering WIFI connection.. and I use one of them which allow me to do streaming and skype call.. but the best connection is for sure to have a land line on which you can have a dsl service.. I have helped numerous person to relocate and for all of them so far it has been a great experience.. for my self 25 years here gave me the experience to help the new comers to have a smooth transition.. Send me a private message if you want to discuss further .. and welcome to the Most Beautiful lake in the world..

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