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Marela Camarena of Alto Boquete Condominios – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Native Indian girls, Boquete, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe town's name is derived from its history. Boquete is a valley hidden behind a mountain. A hole was created through the mountain to access the valley. “Boquete” in English means “a hole” or “an opening".  The town was named after the "boquete" made through the mountain.
 
The first settlers of Boquete were Indians. Later on, other locals from Panama came to live in Boquete. Life was very simple and the land was for agriculture. Local markets were small and the produce was only what was needed during those times, like milk and vegetables. There were no schools. 
 
There were no roads to Boquete then and you could get to the town by horseback. Years later, a "ferrocarrill" (railway) enabled people from the town of David to go to Boquete. After the railway and trains, roads were then built.
 
These pieces of information are from a history book entitled "Boquete" written by a local female author. This book has important historical facts, old pictures, and interviews of locals.
 
Panama has always been a center of business and investment and so foreigners have come here to do business. The first foreigners who came to Panama were the Germans and the Swiss. The Americans came later. Many last names in Boquete are recognizable as German and Swiss last names.
 
(Native Indian girls, Boquete, Panama, pictured.)
Georgina Chanapi  of Lucero Homes, Golf & Country Club – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Roasting coffee at Finca Dos Jefes in Boquete, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingI don’t know a lot about the history of Boquete because I am not from here but I know that it was a poor agricultural area where not many people wanted to live. Then, people from other countries saw some potential in Boquete. They knew that Boquete could be more than what it was and that they could help the residents and the community.
 
Boquete is a very productive area so many expats decided to build their companies here. These expats loved the climate of Boquete, they found out about the coffee, and they found Boquete to be a good place for business. Boquete is still a coffee-growing area but now we have many other businesses that are thriving here.
 
The expats started coming around the 1990s. The first expats who moved here were not Americans or Canadians; they were mostly Europeans. Later on, Boquete became a well-known and popular expat destination for North Americans. Now, around 15% of the population of Boquete is composed of expats.
 
Many Panamanians have also decided to move to Boquete because of the jobs that the expats created. Panamanians who live in Boquete are used to conversing with expats every day. They know how to speak English. English is very important here in Boquete. If you don’t know how to speak English, you wouldn’t find a job. Or you might find a job but not a high-paying one. Most businesses need their staff to speak English because their clientele are mostly expats who live here in Boquete. We have a lot of restaurants here in Boquete and most expats like going to restaurants so the restaurant staff should be able to speak English.
 
(Roasting coffee at Finca Dos Jefes in Boquete, Panama, pictured.)
Paul McBride – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Boquete Municipal Market, Historical – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe municipality of Boquete celebrated its 100th birthday in 2011.  Boquete has a unique history in Panama and has been a refuge for a variety of people and cultures over the years.  At the turn of the 20th century an influx of pioneers from Panama as well as from northern and central Europe arrived in Boquete to take advantage of its cool mountain climate and lush, fertile soils.  Most of the immigrants were farmers by trade and they started the agricultural industry that now thrives in the area.  Names like Jensen and Peterson are common, reflecting the European heritage of Boquete.
 
Today, agriculture is still the biggest business in Boquete and coffee has become the most Bridge to Boquete, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Livingimportant export crop.  Some of the more exotic varietals of coffees grown in Boquete are recognized as the finest (and the most expensive) coffees in the world.
 
Although Boquete has always been a mixture of a number of cultures and peoples it wasn’t until the early 2000’s that any real number of foreigner residents began arriving to make this area home.  With the development of a residential project called Valle Escondido, Boquete was put on the map as a world-class destination for retirees and the number of expats grew dramatically.  Today there are about 2,000 newly arrived foreigners in the area that now call this area of Panama home.
Linda Jensen – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
 
Boquete, Panama 2013 – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living
 
The town of Boquete Panama was officially founded April 11, 1911. Even before it was founded it was a popular area for gold miners seeking an easy route to the Pacific areas.  However it was probably settled by Europeans and their descendants who found the rich volcanic mountain soils grew excellent coffee trees.
 
The scenic village of currently over 20,000 people is an active hub for agriculture, tourism and commerce.
 
In the past the dirt and gravel roads to Boquete from the lowlands were difficult to traverse. Still people came. Coffee farms dotted the region. Logging and building were ongoing. One resident of the past brought pine trees, and now they are found throughout the mountains, so the story goes.
 
As locals and foreigners discovered the wonderful temperate climate, the fresh air and abundant clean water the location became a magnet for tourists.  The area has been listed in the top five to ten places to retire for many years now. As the tourists purchase land and homes, prices in the area have also risen. It is still cheaper than most American small towns but has a much higher cost of living than other communities in Panama.
 
Boquete hosts events such as the annual flower festival, annual fair, as well as the very popular jazz festival.
 
The town's name is often explained as meaning "bouquet of flowers"; not so, the real meaning is that of bowl. It is located in a river valley perhaps in the crater of an extinct volcano.
 
The historical significance of Boquete is the beauty of the mountain setting, the comfortable climate, clean water, agriculture, commerce, and eclectic mix of indigenous peoples and foreign born.
 
You will find more information on this site;The road into Boquete downthe mountain closer to the village. – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living click tabs and see pictures, get stories about the community of Boquete, Panama also on Facebook.
 
 

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