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Should I want to go to Panama?

 
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Cristina J.



Joined: 01 Feb 2013
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:40 pm    Post subject: Should I want to go to Panama? Reply with quote

Hi all,

This is my first time to post here, even though I have been reading everyone else's posts for years!Smile

Right now I teach English in the United States. I am debating on whether or not to accept a job teaching English in Panama City, Panama. I have never been to Panama. I searched the forum and found a few posts about Panama. From what I read, the only information I really got was that it is hot, not too many teachers there, not too many tourists, and it is pretty much impossible to get a work visa without marrying someone or a family member. Aside from the heat and the work visa, is it an overall nice place to live? Would I get bored?

I have been to Guatemala and Costa Rica. I liked both of those places. I just can't seem to get a good idea about Panama though. Even from all of the google searches I have done. It seems most compare it to Miami. Well, I have never been to Miami either. Shocked

Thank you anyone who can give me some information about Panama.
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reddevil79



Joined: 19 Jul 2004
Posts: 199
Location: Up in them Mixteca Mountains

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iím sure a lot of people who have been to reading your message and who have been to Panama will be very envious; I think itís a great place and thoroughly enjoyed traveling through there a couple of years ago.

You have to think of Panama City as two cities in one really. You have the old, colonial Casco Viejo which has seen millions of dollars spent on restoration projects the past decade and it is very attractive with buildings beautifully restored and dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries. Not the safest part of town, but things have improved a lot according to locals. Then further along the seafront you have the modern, more Miami-style area with its shops, cinemas, swish bars and restaurants which has its own attractions. Itís not a massive place Panama City, and yes it is hot, but it didnít seem so bothersome when I was there. Working in that weather might be a different matter mind you, but most places seemed air conditioned.

The other great thing about Panama is that itís not too big and you can travel across it in a few hours. The roads are generally good from what I saw and the buses are fairly comfortable on the major routes. There are loads of places to visit on the coast, and up in the hills to get away from the heat. The coffee is fantastic as well, and I much preferred it to what I had in Costa Rica. I didnít find prices too high and the people were generally friendly. Panama City is a major transport hub too, so there are loads of flights to surrounding countries in Central and South America if you wanted to do a bit of travelling.

Well, I could ramble on all day about Panama, and I highly recommend it to be honest. Maybe try the thorn tree travel forum for information.
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Cristina J.



Joined: 01 Feb 2013
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, thank you for this information! I really appreciate it and it makes me feel better. Very Happy
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misteradventure



Joined: 18 Aug 2003
Posts: 243

PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you can get a legit offer from an Internatonal School for more than $2K/month, you may wish to consider it. Whle you will pay income taxes locally, the visa and other support is worth it. Local hires do NOT get those things and are paid LESS, so make sure they hire you in the USA/Canada/UK wherever, before you come.

Obtaining legal working papers after you get here, without a contract, is a nightmare and most will try to weasel out of it. (This includes major international universities, too!) Seen it. Nothing new here.

There is a new program which costs about $10K for a 10-yr visa. Generally not worth it unless you are a major player in finance or something and NEED to have a long-term visa someplace.

Having said that, there are plenty of people working illegally on tourist visas. Enforcement of the laws can be sudden and swift, especially if a propina (gratuity) may be obtained by the arresting official for losing interest in you.

Settled by pirates in the 16th century. Nobody left. Nothing really changes.[/b]
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