The standard of living in Coronado is different from where I am from in Canada. If you live in Coronado, your internet is not going to be as good as it is in Canada or the States but you can have the option to pay for a better quality internet, which we do. The Internet connection that we have is called Three Up / Three Down Internet. It is very expensive, at $160 a month. If you need good Internet then that is what you are going to be forced to pay. The other kind of Internet, which is quite slow, is around $30 a month.
The other thing that you would look at is water quality or if you have water. Water in the dry season is a big concern because it doesn’t rain for about 5 months, so many houses in Coronado actually run out of water for a few hours every day or your water will just be a trickle at some points of the day. People usually install water tanks, which is important to have. You can also have your own well in Coronado. If I were buying a house or if I would be renting, I would always make sure that they have their own well. If they don’t have their own well, you need to make sure that you have tanks where you could store water at all times.
There is one condo in Coronado called The Golf that went four days without water. So you could just imagine living up on the 30th floor of the building and you have no water for four days! They had to go and get buckets from the pool to flush their toilets. This is not a common occurrence but it does happen and it did happen. The problem was that the developer of that building did not put wells for the building and it is the only building in Coronado that does not have wells. However, they are now going to be putting wells so they will have their own water supply so it shouldn’t be a concern anymore. That is something that would never happen in Canada.
We were lucky that we never had that problem but when we built our house here and when we built the bed and breakfast we had water issues in the first year and did not know how important it was to have your own well. Now we do have our own well so there is no problem.
Overall, if you are moving to Coronado and you are purchasing a property, you really need to be aware of the situation. If you are buying a condo, ask if there is a well and ask how the water is. If you are buying a house, also check if there is a well. If you are making an awesome house, you are probably going to dig your own well and so you have to factor in the cost for that. The cost for building a well is not that expensive. It is only $32 a foot to go down so the total cost would depend on how many feet you have to go. If you are on the beach, you are probably looking at around 50 feet.
The other worst thing about living in Coronado is that when they planned the community, they forgot to designate any land for commercial development on the ocean such as restaurants, coffee shops, and other commercial and retail locations. In Coronado, the oceanfront is filled with houses and condo buildings. There is no commercial development at all. If you want to go to a restaurant, you’re going to be on the road, as opposed to on the beach. The beach is filled just with houses.
The roads in Coronado are awful, so bumpy that they are some of the worst roads in Panama, in my opinion. You have a $16 million mansion and the road is un-passable with a small Toyota Yaris or some other small car. It would be really hard to get on the road with small cars. There is a bit of an argument that the people of Coronado do not want to pay to have the roads fixed. They think the state should do it. On the other hand, the government says that it is a gated community so the community is responsible for fixing those roads.
The best thing about living in Coronado is the people who live here. We have a really great expat community. There are people who are educated and successful, who just act like average people.
I find that some of the expat communities that I have seen in Costa Rica, Mexico, and other places that sometimes the people are escaping from something back home. For me, that is a little bit sketchy. Those communities have a lot of partying and Coronado is not like that at all. Coronado is a suburb of Panama City. It has people who are still working, it has families with kids that are still going to school, it has a retired community, and they are all great people.
it is fairly easy to make friends in Coronado. You will be going to barbecues and pool parties and having fun with a group of friends. It is also an active community. You can go to zumba classes, yoga classes, or jiu-jitsu classes right in the community. So you are going to meet people and they are going to be nice, good people. There are people of all ages and families moving into Coronado; people who are in their 30s all the way up to their 70s who are living here and enjoying life in Coronado.
The other best thing about living in Coronado is that if you need to go and see a doctor, it’s here. If you are a young family, there are three international schools here so you can have a choice of what school you want your child to attend.