The Pedasí Love boutique market was launched three years ago in the town of Pedasí, on Panama’s Azuero Peninsula, to showcase locally produced clothing and household decorations. Within a few months, the site began hosting the Fresh Friday food market, further boosting its appeal.
Asparagus soup with tarragon and goat’s cheese…roast turkey with oyster stuffing…delicate little pearl onions in cheddar cream. It’s a Mid-Atlantic-style Thanksgiving feast. And it’s being served up in Panama—a place where expats and locals enjoy coming together for this tradition from up north.
Even if you haven't been to Belize, you've probably read articles or blogs that mention the "Belize Experience." This is a common way of describing how life in Belize, or a vacation there, has a unique vibe. There are a number of reasons for this—and it is a real thing.
When Dianne Heidke was working in the unforgiving world of corporate law in New York, painting was her escape. After her long, grueling work days, she would come home from the office and throw herself into her art. It was not only a release, but a way of supplementing her income.
Americans often confuse Ecuadorians with our unusual habits and customs. During a leisurely lunch with my long-suffering Spanish teacher, Lucia, we contemplated the influence of expats and tourism, and how our foreign ways don't make sense to many locals—we're all learning about each other.
From the glittering lights of downtown Panama City, it’s an hour’s drive to the little beach hub of Coronado. In a matter of minutes, there’s a drastic change of view. Zip past the gleaming skyscrapers that line the half-moon of Panama Bay and over the historic Bridge of the Americas, and suddenly, you’re in the country.
One of my annual to-do's Stateside was to have my teeth cleaned with my long-held dentist. I've done that for the last five years. After all, he had all my records and was inexpensive by North American standards. I also—thankfully—have not had any dental emergencies that required me to seek out a Costa Rican dentist.
I am riding along the streets of the quaint and cozy northern Ecuadorian town of Cotacachi. With me, real estate maven Jim Keyser cracks a joke that focuses on one of the key elements of appeal that draws expats seeking a comfortable place to settle into a new life. “You know what we call a person who makes a ridiculously low offer on a home here?” Jim asks. “Property owner.”
Coming from Tampa Bay, Florida, my husband, Scott, and I have always been warm weather people. Back in the U.S., we worked taxing jobs—Scott as a firefighter and emergency medical technician, and me as an emergency trauma nurse. Knowing all too well how short life can be, we longed for adventure in a tropical climate.
On one of my early visits to Belize, I asked the taxi driver, "What's new with Belize?" He was a big man, filled the entire driver's seat, and we talked the whole way. He shared lots of information on that ride into town, but one comment stayed with me.