The Possible Downsides

Some ex pats that move to Panama find out too late that living abroad in Panama is not for them. Those people might not have done enough research before moving or possibly moved for wrong reasons. Most people, you would think, before moving to another country would make sure that it is the place for them on many different levels but that just simply is not the case. Below is a list of possible downsides to living in Panama:

  • It is very hot in some parts of the country.
  • There lacks variety in Worldly Restaurant Cuisines (though this is gradually getting better in the city) and you are limited to local typical cuisines once you leave the city.
  • The Panamanian culture moves at a different pace than what you might be used to.
  • Productivity Slows down to zero during Holidays making it impossible to get anything done.
  • Robbery and Crime against foreigners has increased in more remote areas where some high end homes are occupied by foreigners. Make sure that you conduct yourself in a modest manner and never show off your money because that will make you a target.
  • The city produces a lot of dirt and pollution because of construction.
  • The city is very noisy during the work week.
  • Sometimes in apartment buildings or neighborhoods, especially on the weekends and during holidays you have noisy neighbors partying (Panamanians enjoy listening to their music much louder than you may be used to).
  • There is also very heavy traffic during the work week throughout the city.
  • If you are not fluent in Spanish you are not fully able to communicate with most people and not able to express concerns or questions you may have.
  • Many of the sidewalks are damaged and quite dangerous to walk on because of holes (especially in the neighborhood of Casco Viejo).
  • For the most part, Panama has not trained its service staff on levels that N. Americans and Europeans are used to and many people get frustrated with the level of professionalism you deal with when conducting business.