There were and still are a lot of Indians, the women in their brightly colored dresses and the bright eyed children playing and laughing in the fincas in the hills close to the black soiled farms where everything grows so well.
We had a narrow two lane road with huge trees shadowing the travelers from the ever present sunlight. These hundred foot trees , only a few feet from the edge of the asphalt served as a deadly reminder to pay attention to the buses horses and few other cars you were likely to be sharing this narrow and well defined space with. There were few streetlights and the show that the stars put on every night was as incredible as the ones I used to watch in the mountains of Colorado before I arrived in this special land.
It was a different kind of tourist we had in those days, speculators and fortune hunters with the odd retiree newly moved from Costa Rica, fleeing the confusion of San Jose for the quiet and the beauty of the mountains of Chiriquí.
Everything in Boquete was for sale
In the Boquete Bistro, the only place where familiar food was available, the waitress, the hostess, the bartender and even the owner had a special deal on a new property that wouldn’t last til the weekend.
Not exactly lawyers prowled the streets eager to offer their services, translating and explaining the arcane laws of rights of possessions and parcels of land owned by dead men, and now for sale by widows, girlfriends and children.
This was my favorite place, where I bought some land and still own it. My house on the main street where OwnBoquete was born and I still live in one of the apartments when I can’t steal away to my beachfront sanctuary on Punta Burica, with the birds and monkees howling in the trees.
Many things in Boquete have changed but the reasons I am here are the same
The natural beauty and climate, the friends I have made and continue to make and the best way to live that I can find. The fresh air, abundant water especially now during the green season, and the organic, hydroponic vegetables that are grown right up the road,in high tech greenhouses that have brought farming into the twenty first century.
And now a new visitor comes, part tourist part inquisitive pilgrim fleeing a country they don’t understand or even recognize anymore. Looking for the place to spend the next chapter of their lives. Where they can afford to live and take care of themselves in a way that is satisfying and fulfilling and safe albeit with a Spanish influence.
This is the Panama of today
A country born of America’s ambitions yet now embarked on a journey of growth and prosperity reminiscent of the past of a free people working together to create a new healthy atmosphere that everyone sees the future as being better than the past, the possibilities unlimited in a warm and friendly tropical paradise. This is the view we see from the vantage point of our spot in Boquete, watching a changing world, safe and happy in our little mountain hidaway.