All the latest views from the Lighthouse Law Club
Since the turn of the century Panama has significantly outpaced its latin American neighbors in economic growth and has become a veritable international center for business, finance, tourism and expat relocation. The natural beauty and bio-diversity of the beaches, islands, mountains and 'the interior' are complemented by one of the most modern and beautiful progressive cities in the world.
The warm tropical climate and year around growing season means there are always local fruits and vegetables 'in season'. The proximity to two oceans make seafood plentiful. And the popularity with northerners and Europeans means that there is almost somebody nearby who 'speaks your language'! The national language is Spanish of course but English is quickly becoming the second language in the business community and among educated Panamanians.
There is a culture shock for newcomers and the level of service and general attitude of the 'locals' leaves plenty to be desired. It will test your ability to control your blood pressure. For this reason Panama may not be a permanent solution for relocation. However, the way things are going in the world, it's only a 3.5 hour flight from Houston, Atlanta or Miami and is easy to get to. It currently uses the US dollar so there are no currency exchange considerations at the moment for Americans.
I would recommend Panama as a quick, temporary 'Bug-Out' landing pad for a year or two. From here you have a launching pad and have direct flights to Europe and South America where you can explore other opportunities for an expat life in the long term, or merely a quick bug-out option, should you desire and the need ever arise.
Here is an excerpt from an article discussing how Panama is growing stronger economically in the midst of global economic chaos.
"The slump in raw materials prices that has hurt Brazil, Chile, Peru and Colombia is leaving Central America unscathed.
The region (Central America) is bucking a trend of sluggish growth in the rest of Latin America as cheaper crude prices cut its fuel bills and faster growth
in the U.S. boosts remittances and tourist spending. The region will grow by 4.2 percent this year, led by Panama’s 6.3 percent expansion,
according to forecasts from the International Monetary Fund. That compares to an 0.8 percent growth forecast for Latin America as a whole."