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John Gilbert of PanamaKeys – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The Gilbert family enjoying the windy season near Bouquete, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingBoquete enjoys a thriving community of expats from the United States, Canada, Europe, Russia, China, and other countries here in Central and South America, and of course, Panamanians. The Panamanians have embraced that whole idea of foreigners coming in to Boquete and living amongst them. 
 
Both sides of the equation have learned a lot from each other. Panamanians are learning a lot from the Americans as far as work ethics is concerned, like the different ways of building, just as we as Americans are learning different things from Panamanians like in construction. An example to this is a gorgeous spiral staircase that I’ve never seen in the United States. 
 
The woodworking in Panama is several levels superior to that in the United States. Sole proprietors working with their hands build quality things out of wood that you just can’t see duplicated any more in the United States. It’s a true saying here that people work to live instead of live to work, and I’ve seen the good things about that kind of philosophy. 
 
The Panamanians work as a means to an end so that they can enjoy their life, and they understand how to enjoy their life. Panamanians embrace family. They embrace the quiet time walking down the street with their husband or their wife, in a way that I think Americans have lost.
 
(The Gilbert family enjoying the windy season near Boquete, Panama, pictured.)
Paul McBride – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Arial view of Boquete, with steam and mountains – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe latest census conducted by the government of Panama showed that there were 22,435 people living in the Boquete district.  I would estimate that less than 2,000 are foreigners or expats.
 
Boquete has been an agricultural center for decades and many people living here are involved in farming.   There is a large indigenous population that live in or around Boquete and many work for coffee plantations or other farm related businesses.
 
The expat population consists primarily of North Americans (from Canada and the US) but there is a wide range of nationalities represented in the area including Europeans, residents from other areas in Latin American and countries in Asia and South Africa.   The majority of the expat or foreigners living in Boquete are in their retirement years but a growing number of young people with families are migrating to the area.
 
Panamanians are by far the largest group living in Boquete but there are a significant number of people from many different countries and all walks of living here today.
Anayansi Menendez of El Oasis Hotel & Restaurant – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Boquete has about 21,000 people.   At the beginning people came to Boquete from places that were relatively close in search of better soil for agriculture.  Also some foreigners came after the construction of the Panama Canal.  Both groups who discovered Boquete loved it and started to live in the area.
 
So the culture of Boquete is a combination of local and foreign influences.  In the past 10 years Boquete has become a popular  place to retire, and we now have a community of retirees who share their experiences and give back to the community.
Neil Stein of Panama Paraiso – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
 
Coffee shop with expats in Boquete Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingDuring the last ten years, Boquete has become a Mecca for people searching for Shangri-la!  There are many good reasons for this:  the perfect weather, the natural beauty, the endless outdoor activities and certainly the people!
 
Many of the expatriates who moved here are from Europe, especially Germany, Switzerland and Yugoslavia.  But now, there many American and Canadians pouring in as well.    
 
In addition to these foreigners, Boquete is the home to many indigenous people.  In particular are the Ngobe-Bugle' Indians more commonly known as the Guaymies.  They live in the hills surrounding Boquete and provide low-cost labor for the local coffee farms and plantations.Ngobe-Bugle Indian woman and child in Boquete Panama  – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living
They are often shy, keep to themselves, but when approached are very friendly.
 
All in all, there are about 15,000 residents in Boquete.  You will find most to be very nice and happy to be here.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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