Everything Changes, However Slow it Might Be
Welcome to Boquete. This charming town has changed a little and a lot in the last four years. We have watched as the economy has improved for the community. A great deal is based on tourism and the influx of expats. There has also been a worldwide increase in the higher-end coffees that grow in the mountains that tower over the towns of both Boquete and Volcan. Many small businesses have come and gone in the last four years. Growth is evident as the high school is currently being built onto and updated in the existing portions. A new public hospital is being completed in Alto Boquete.
Doctor Chen's clinic has been remodeled and enlarged. The Mandarin Grocery store is going to expand and remodel, A new Baru Grocery store is under construction. The popular cafes are still around along with many new ones. Sugar and Spice enlarged last year. The clearing of land for the new shopping center at the Highway and Volcancito Road is under way. More and more conveniences have come to Boquete. The department store downtown has opened a larger appliance and furniture store a street behind the department store location.
You see buildings updated all over town. New condos, new apartments, new small businesses. Right now there is a huge project to repair the water lines and at the same time the streets. This is a big investment and a massive inconvenience to the local businesses. Change comes slowly to this small town, but it does come. Everyone welcomes change with different levels of enthusiasm, some of us embrace it, others curse it for a while, anyway.
Boquete is located at the end of the highway. The road loops, back, into Boquete only to return to David or another place further down the mountains. This little town bustles with people, vendors, cars and trucks all day, every day. (Parking is desperately needed, so you will find patience is a necessity.) However, it is easy to walk the entire downtown area without much effort. Sidewalks are in disrepair but the friendly people and the scenery are worth a nice slow walk around town.
The changes we have seen happening in Boquete are mirrored all over this small nation. In our travels, we often comment on the construction projects, being that next to beautiful and modern new buildings there are still the tiny, dark, somehow antique looking buildings with all the charm of a by-gone era. This is found in all the cities and communities we have visited. Like Boquete, changes are happening everywhere one goes these days. As we say to most people we meet: come for a visit, stay for a lifestyle.