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Chitre Expats

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tbambler
1/17/2013 14:10 EST

So, is there much of an Expat community in or near Chitre?

panamabob
1/18/2013 11:06 EST

Let me start off by saying everyone has different needs and wants. What's great for me might not be good for you. Some people need hustle and bustle, some a hot nightlife, some need solitude, some like the beach, others the mountains, others the city. Some like cool weather, others like it hot, some like to live around hundreds or even thousands of other American (or whatever country) expats, You can easily find all of the above in Panama, To me, living in a gated community full of other Americans is not why I moved to Panama. If that's what you want move to Boquete, or Coronado or Panama City. Here in Chitre there are about 40k people...at the most there are about 4 dozen Americans and Canadians...other than the golf course I can go around town all day and not see another expat. We have a nice mall here, very nice housing, just the right size city, very little crime and you can walk just about anywhere in complete safety, we have Mcd's, dominos, and KFC, plus a few other good panamanian restaurants, a first run movie theater and a good baseball team with a really nice US style stadium, a modern hospital and a couple of emergency clinics. There a a few very nice beaches just 25 minutes from downtown, and beautiful mountain areas about 90 minutes away. If you don't have a car, buses run anywhere you want to go for about 50 cents. There are plenty of parades and festivals all year long. (Panamanians don't need much of an excuse to drink and party). As far as I know there is not an organized expat group here in Chitre.. There are no knitting clubs, coffee klatches, poker games, movie nights, choir practice, theater groups, etc. If you want that you won't be happy here. If you want all of your neighbors to be expats like you, calm, quiet at night non party people, then you won't be happy here. Panamanians can be noisy, they party outside and make lots of noise...they love firecrackers and shoot them off pretty much 24/7. They play Panamanian music (if you like really, really, really, really, really loud accordian polka music you will absolutely love it here) pretty much 24/7. If you are not a tolerant, adventuresome person...you will not like it here. Other words of advice.....LEARN SPANISH...here in Chitre most people do not speak english. Mcd's, KFC, etc. the mall stores or any stores in town, gov't offices, utility offices, etc.most hosp. staff...do NOT speak english. They might know a word or two, but to find a Panamanian who speaks fluent English is not all that common. However, with a few Spanish words, hand gestures and pointing you will learn to get along just fine, just like the rest of us did. The best thing you can do in whatever location you decide to settle is to find other expats (not hard....you found one already) and they for the most part will be more than willing to help you get your feet wet. I know the areas of Chitre, Las Tablas and Pedasi, pretty well and since I live in Chitre and used to live in Las Tablas I can help you with more info if you like. But there is only so much info you can get over the net or email....you have to do like most of us have done and come down for a visit, check out the country, pick a base place, rent for a while and check out the rest of the country until you find the place that fits what you want and need. Most people will advise you to rent first...so will I. If you don't like where you are, pack your suitcase and move to somewhere else, it's that easy. Despues.

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tbambler
1/18/2013 12:00 EST

Wow, Bob Thanks for the extensive reply. Just what I was looking for. Don't need a gated Norte Americano community; but a few contacts would be nice - sounds like I'd find all I need at the golf course. Moving to Panama will be an adventure, so I'm not looking to duplicate what I have here down there. Firecrackers - nice. I may well be in touch as we get closer. Thanks again.

lmbarros
1/18/2013 12:21 EST

Well said, Mary an I are arriving in Panama first of May. We will spend a few days in the city, then off to Gorgona for while. I believe we will spend some time in Chitre. I am retired an thinking of making Panama my home, just not sure which part. Would like to rent a 2 or 3 bedroom Panamanian style house, rent a car, an see the countryside. Thanks again for the post, Leon.

robinskelton
1/18/2013 14:46 EST

Leon,

Thanks for the private message, but whenever I try to respond to one it does not go through. try me at

lmbarros
1/18/2013 15:59 EST

Hi Robin,
I tried that email but it would not go thru for me. You can try me at :

Hopefully this works,if not, an you have a favorite restaurant in Gorgona, I will see you there in May, Leon.

allianz international health insurance

For expats in Panama, choosing an expat health insurance provider is an important decision. Get a quote from our partner, Allianz Care. Their plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Allianz Care's flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget.

Get a Quote

panamajames
1/20/2013 01:39 EST

So.........I guess that's your answer.....


"So, is there much of an Expat community in or near Chitre?"

grasshopper51
8/27/2018 15:56 EST

I know this is an old post but I'm interested in moving to either Chitre, Los Tablas or Pedasi. More so Pedasi but willing to look at other areas. Will be flying into David on 10/15 and will have to find my way to those areas. Would love to meet with you and get any info you can provide.

grasshopper51
8/28/2018 03:30 EST

Saw your post but it is 5 years old. Coming in October wanting to look at Chitre, Las Tablas and Pedasi. with a serious interest in Pedasi. If you're still available would like to pick your brain for info.

dogbone
8/28/2018 09:52 EST

Hi, I live in the Chitre area out on a quiet beach about 15 minutes from the city of Las Tablas and about 25 minutes from the city of Chitre. We love this beach location because it is one of the few really quiet beaches with NO bars, totally residential. We are so close to all the shopping and services we could possibly want. Yet, we live practically out in the country. The property prices here are still relatively cheap. I believe Chitre is the 3rd largest city in Panama behind Panama City and David. We have lived in Panama for almost 14 years. We started in Boquete, but were driven out by the very high rate of crime, especially home invasion. David in Chiriqui province is a hotbed of crime, so we avoid that area.

I don't know how much you know about Pedasi, but I would be wary because (I think) the Real Estate is massively overpriced and Pedasi is not close to any hospitals, good shopping or general services. However, it is growing, but not fast enough to suit me. My advice is to come and check out the many beaches along the Azuero coast where you can find really cool hideaways at a fraction of the cost of a place like Pedasi. Rent first because property in Panama is extremely easy to BUY, but extremely difficult, if not impossible to SELL, if you are not happy with your first purchase. Believe me, it can take many years to sell something you find you don't like. So get it right the first time.

grasshopper51
8/28/2018 16:08 EST

Thanks for the info. Where exactly do you live? I would like to visit while I'm there. Will I need a car? Appreciate the feedback.

tmamato2001
8/28/2018 17:08 EST

Chitre is the 12 largest city in Panama. About 55k people. Coronado would not even make the list and although it has many expats, most of the residents are Panamanian. Just not that crowded since most it is a weekend getaway place for the wealthy Panamanians. The supermarkets are crowded by people coming from surrounding cities, towns and villages as far away as Chitre. If you want quiet,safe and private come to Coronado!

tmamato2001
8/28/2018 17:08 EST

Chitre is the 12 largest city in Panama. About 55k people. Coronado would not even make the list and although it has many expats, most of the residents are Panamanian. Just not that crowded since most it is a weekend getaway place for the wealthy Panamanians. The supermarkets are crowded by people coming from surrounding cities, towns and villages as far away as Chitre. If you want quiet,safe and private come to Coronado!

ptyexpat
8/28/2018 23:34 EST

Chitre hasn’t changed much since the first time I saw it 30+ years ago. I was new to Panama and on a military assignment in Chitre and we stayed in the Rex Hotel right across the street from the town square where the large church would sound the bells every afternoon. I was just a young man then and one day I was sitting on one of the park benches watching all the sexy young women Chitre is known for walk by and managed to catch the attention of one sweet teen aged girl when all of a sudden the church bells went off.

Not knowing any Spanish at the time I pointed at the church and smiled at this beautify young gal and said something in English of which she couldn’t understand but what I didn’t realize at the time was that she thought that I was asking her if she wanted to go to the church and get married.

She appeared to become both confused and surprised then offered up a loud scream of joy and ran off to her home.

The next day I saw her again at the park accompanied by several of her friends one of which spoke a tiny bit of English and said to me that she (the girl I met the day before) wanted me to follow them back to her house to meet her parents. So off we went to visit her home and once I got there her mom was waiting for me on the porch with homemade chicken soup and lemonade made from fresh lemons growing in their back yard.

Seemed like the daughter misunderstood me when I was pointing at the church and thought that I was proposing to her, by then it appeared like half the town had gathered around their home to celebrate what they believed was the next wedding.

Yes Panamanian women make excellent wives and will always be loyal and take good care of you. Chitre is a good place to find the perfect wife.

I broke this little girls heart when she finely came to understand that I wasn’t offering her marriage rather I was just trying to ask her why the church bells were ringing and although I have a fantastic wife from Chiriquí I know that this sweet little darling from Chitre who was still in high school at the time would have made a wonderful wife.

I eventually found another wonderful young Panamanian lady that I married and we’ve been together now for 34 years.

jonoyakker
8/28/2018 23:38 EST

Great story-thanks

dogbone
8/29/2018 11:52 EST

Chitre has grown and changed massively since we came to this area 11 years ago.

Chicab80
8/30/2018 15:39 EST

Hi...I'll be moving with my family next year to Panama and I was wondering if there are any schools for expat kids there?

jonoyakker
8/30/2018 16:30 EST

The Azuero and Chitre get quite hot.

dogbone
8/30/2018 18:16 EST

There are several bilingual schools in the Chitre area.

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