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Panama: +507-6614-0214This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.About River Ranch F...
Kjersten Van Horn of River Ranch Farms Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Avocados growing in Boquete – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingI enjoy gardening in my greenhouse and around my property, but I have too  big of a property to maintain myself.
 
Gardeners are a big help and I have a really good one that has been with my family for a long time and is like family. 
 
The going rate in Panama for a gardener is $20/day.  Some people pay $15/day but I think that is too low and some people pay over $20/day and that is too high.  The right rate for a good gardener is $20/day. 
 
Remember also in Panama whether your gardener works part time or full time you must pay vacation pay and "decimo" (which is the 13th month paid quarterly).
 
Pineapples, bananas and platanos growing in Boquete – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingIf you are planning to move here and hire domestic help PLEASE check with an accountant on what the workers should be paid on top of the daily, weekly, bi weekly or monthly salary.
 
Photos, from top:
 
Avocados in my garden
Pineapples, bananas and platanos in my garden
US 972-496-4500
Jackie Lange of Panama Relocation Tours – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
UPDATE on my gardener costs and situation. 
 
One day a few months ago, while I went to the grocery store to get a few things, the tenants next door witnessed my gardener carrying four large stalks of bananas up my driveway and then selling them to someone in a truck. The gardener knows he is not to take anything off my property without my permission.  When I confronted him about it, of course he denied it.  But I had witnesses with photos of the theft.  
 
I should have let him go then but I gave him one more chance. 

Then about a month later, he just disappeared for a whole month.  He did not call to tell me he was leaving.  So, I assumed he was not coming back.

I hired a Panamanian garden service who sends two Panamanian guys to work on my yard two days a week.  They work from 8 am to 5 pm with a 30 minute lunch break.  The cost is $30 a day.  But I am hiring a Panamanian company instead of a Ngobe worker.  I don't have to fix lunch.  Their boss drops them off at the property in the morning and then picks them up in the afternoon after inspecting their work to make sure they did a good job.  They give me a written receipt for payment each time.

Yes, it costs more money, but it is MUCH better quality work, too!  They get more done in one day than my previous gardener got done in a whole month!
 
When the Ngobe gardener finally showed up after being gone a month, I told him that I hired someone else to do the yard work because I could not just let the yard go for a whole month in the rainy season. 
 
A week later, the Ngobe worker served me notice to appear before the Labor Board demanding $4,900 severance pay.  He lied and told them he had worked for me for 6 years and worked only for me 5-6 days a week. 
 
Because I documented when he worked for me (Thursday and Saturday) and what I paid him and had him sign off on the pay each time, I did not have to pay anything.  

No matter who you hire, document everything!  It is better to have your worker sign for any money you give them.
 
Ngobe will often ask for loans.  To them a loan is just free money.  They have no plans to pay it back.  It is better to never lend money because if you do it one time, they will ask for it again and again.
US 972-496-4500
Jackie Lange of Panama Relocation Tours – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
House and garden, Boquete, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingI pay my gardener $20 a day plus lunch. He has worked for me two days a week for 4 years.  I also give him extra money for school clothes for his 7 children and doctor visits when needed.
 
At least once a year I buy him new boots, socks and a hat.  His takes care of a large property (and coffee) and does a great job without much instruction.  Over the years he has helped me learn more Spanish and I have helped him learn more English. 
 
(House and garden, Boquete, Panama, pictured.)
Valerie Bennett – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Macano, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingConsidering that we live in the country and have close to 2 hectares (over 6 acres), we employ a gardener four days/week. We pay him $20/day but that is on the high side - I believe that $15/day as stated in other responses is closer to the average.
 
By Panamanian law, if you employ someone more than 3 days/week (met with our attorney yesterday and confirmed this is still the law), you are required to pay into what is equivalent of the Social Security system. It also includes health care which we are happy to do for his family of three children.
 
(Parade carts made of palm thatch, Macano, Panama, pictured.)
Nica Dean – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
If you really need a gardener, maybe your health is not sufficient to live here, or your place is too large. Most retirees enjoy having some type of activity and gardening is high on the list for most healthy seniors. Do you really need someone to clean your house? This is another indication of poor health.  Do something physical in your golden years, or consider assisted living....
Georgina Chanapi  of Lucero Homes, Golf & Country Club – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
nice house with well-manicured landscape Lucero Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingIn Boquete, if you want to have a gardener or people who will clean your yards, the cost to get one is around US $15 a day. Here in Lucero, the cost to get a gardener is around $10 per day and they work from 8 AM to 5 PM.
 
Most of the expats that I’ve met here in Boquete have their houses cleaned twice a week and they pay $15 each time they have someone come to clean.
 
For me, for example, I pay $20 to $25 because the people who come to clean my yard use the machines and they cut the trees, too. The price to pay for a gardener will depend on what jobs you want done. If the gardeners are just going to pick up dried leaves, then it will cost you less – around $10, but if you need them to cut trees, then it will be around $20.
Penny Barrett of Fundacion Bid 4 Bouquete – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account

My gardener comes in three days a month and I pay him US $21 per day. He comes on Sundays and works for about five or six hours to take care of my property. Others have their gardeners come in three times a week.

Philip McGuigan of Chiriqui United, an Association of the leading humanitarian organizations in the Chiriqui Province of Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
I employ a man named Ramon here in Boquete. Under our contract Ramon works two days a week for me, two days a week for my next door neighbor, and one day a week for my other next door neighbor.  He works slightly longer hours Monday through Friday so that he is free all weekend. He will often work on Saturday for one of his former clients.
 
Ramon not only takes care of our gardening needs but, most important, he is a highly skilled construction worker. Ramon works with plumbing, electricity, gas, tile, concrete, etc. He maintains our water filtration systems, keeps our roof gutters clean, and he just fixed my garage door which saved me from having to pay for a service call by the company that installed it. To date, we have not found anything that Ramon cannot do well. We pay him accordingly.
 
It costs us US $40 a day, all in, for Ramon.
 
We pay Ramon his salary, a month vacation, a thirteenth month bonus, and the entire cost of his social security coverage. 
 
Paying Ramon’s social security is key because if anything happens to him or his family they are covered. Otherwise they would have to go to a different government clinic that is not considered as good.
 
While Ramon owns his own house, he doesn’t own a car. I know that we pay about him what other expats pay their workers who they are happy with.  We gave Ramon a raise this year and we will continue giving him raises. We look at the increase in the cost of living and add a bit more to recognize his excellent performance.
 
When my friends and I agreed to timeshare Ramon we agreed to provide transportation to and from the bus that he takes, and we agreed to feed him a good lunch. On the days that Ramon works with me we go out to one of our favorite tipica restaurants and it has proved an enjoyable way to develop a good relationship.
Albert Obbens – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The cost of a gardener in Boquete is between $10 and $20 a day, depending if he lives on the property or comes once a week or month. It is logical that if he has to travel to his work and work for 8 hours he could be on the move for 10 hours, a higher income is then reasonable. Also because they bring often their own tools. Many with larger gardens employ indigenous people, sometimes a family, who help out in the gardens, sometimes the house, animals, the garbage etc. Then the reward could be a mixture of cash, food and other types of payment. The better you treat your gardener or help, the longer they will stay with you and you be loyal to you, functioning as a guard as well.
 
David Hatton  of Panama Connection Real Estate – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The cost for a gardener in Boquete Panama really depends on who you know and how willing you are to reach out to locals to find quality gardeners. The average is anywhere between $12 -$15 per day and some choose to feed the gardener as well. I have heard some people pay as much as $20 - $22 per day. But to be honest there is no reason to pay that much. The key to finding someone good is getting involved with the local community and speaking to other expats for their referral.
 
Ken E. Harper of Bella Vista Del Mundo – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Gardeners in and around Boquete run View of the Pacific ocean from Bella Vista Del Mundo, East of Bouqete – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Livingabout $15 a day. The price can vary depending on where you are. At the new resort community Bella Vista del Mundo 20 miles east of Boquete, gardeners will cost $12 a day.   
Frank Stegmeier of Rio Encantado – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The cost of a gardener in the BoqueteRio Encantado , photo of pool and rancho, Boquete , Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living area  depends on the area.  Local villages in the province have a lower cost per hour and by the day, whereas in Boquete proper, the cost of living is higher , so the pay also is more.  The pay by type of work is  also  governed by law, which is a minimum of $12 a day.
 
For example, the picture to the right is of my garden area and I pay $15 a day for each gardener.
Paul McBride – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
A good gardener in Boquete will cost between $15 and $20 per day depending on the size of the property and the number of days you use them per month.  Many people with small gardens or properties have their gardener come by twice a month.  Some folks with larger properties employ staff full time to maintain their grounds.  
 
The best way to find a good gardener (or a housekeeper) is to ask around and find out from friends or neighbors who they use or who they recommend.  

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