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4.1 out of 5 stars
Living in Panama
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70 of 71 people found the following review helpful
We have lived in Panama for almost three years and bought the first edition before moving here from Costa Rica. That edition had 100 fewer pages and covered only Panama City since, at the time it was first published in 2002, not many Norte Americanos lived out in the Volcan or Bocas del Toro areas. Still, it was invaluable for us and we referred to it often.

We love the insights about the people, places and where to go in order to get acclimated into the community. Getting involved makes life so much more enjoyable here and you meet many new people from all over the world.

Perhaps the single most important benefit of this book is that it is written by someone who actually lives here. The other books we bought were written by people who live elsewhere but claim to be experts. That's less than helpful and they simply cannot know the backstories and other aspects of life in Panama.

Starting from how to get things done like finding the resources you need to what to consider when looking for a place to live, Sandra Snyder has done the homework for almost anyone moving to Panama. It will be particularly valuable for people trying to figure out why things are done here the way they are. It is the subtle nature of getting what you want done that can cause all sorts of headaches for people not clued in. This book is extremely helpful in that regard. Even if you are fluent in Spanish, it will be a good guide, though it really helps those with less than perfect (read little to no Spanish) language skills.

With information about visas, banks, weather, shopping, paperwork, and almost every aspect of actually living in Panama, it sets a new standard for others to surpass. Period.

Bottom line: When researching places to live overseas, look for information written by people actually living in your country of interest and do not believe the hype on the Internet. This book breaks through that clutter and gives you the realities of living in Panama.
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2007
I have read a number of "Living In ..." books over the past few years and this is probably the most informative I have seen. It clearly identified what it would be like to live in Panama -- both Panama City and the outlying areas. The information on the culture was outstanding. For instance, such things as why the attire is more formal (i.e., not shorts and sandals except at the beach) than one might expect, and why everyone is expected to have a maid and not to wash your own car!!! It explains how no one except tourists wear tennis shoes, but to expect that your leather shoes will need extra care to avoid rotting in the humidity. These are just some of the practical things that make this book a must read for anyone thinking about living in Panama.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
I found this book to be a very inclusive guide for anyone currrently living in Panama or planning to relocate there. The author seems to have anticipated all the questions that might come to mind and answered them in-depth.

This book is a must if a person wants to avoid the pitfalls that one might anticipate in settling in a country with a different culture and language. The writing style makes for easy reading.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2007
I'm a Panamenian, who has just returned to Panama after living in the U.S. for 9 years. Reading this book made me realize so many things about my country. The author is right on the mark with her description on the way things are in Panama and why. Understanding a culture is the only way to be able to live in it and enjoy it. It was hard for me to adapt again to the way of life in Panama, after living in my 20's in the U.S.but this book made it a lot easier. So if you are an Planning on moving to Panama wherever you are from, do yourself a favor and check out this book, as a Panamenian I can tell you is a must. Panama has a lot to offer, good luck.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 2007
Sandra Snyder's deep and sensitive knowledge and understanding of Panama, its peoples and customs, offer an invaluable gift to all traveling to Panama or who have set up home in the country.
Although I have been a resident of Panama for ten years and have many Panamanian friends, I have still found a wealth of new information.
To fully benefit from being in this unique and wonderful country, you need more than a list of what to see. This book will take you behind the scenes and thereby enrich your experience. Malcolm Henderson. Laguana Tierra Oscura, Bocas del Toro, Panama
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2008
My wife and I want to consider retirement in Panama. To that end, I have read virtually all the books on living in Panama currently in print, plus a couple on cruising the Panamanian coast, and two other Panama travel guides. This particular book is thorough-going, smoothly written and covers all the questions that a prospective expatriot wants to ask. Where might I live? How much will it cost? What will my life be like there? Importantly, this information is dated 2007, so it is relevant. I suggest that, given a market, the author and publisher continue to update the book regularly to maintain its relevance and appeal. I purchased extra copies to give my friends.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 18, 2008
My husband and I moved to Panama rather suddenly, due to a job offer. This book helped us SO much with all of the issues that arise in moving to a foreign country. There is all kinds of random information for travelers and tourists on the internet, but this book has accurate, specific information regarding Panama only. And the author currently lives there, you can tell she knows the country really well. It really helped with all of the mundane things, and tricky things like cultural differences. I would definitely recommend this book if you're considering moving to Panama, for whatever reason.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2009
I like the author's down to earth, common-sense but light style in this description of what it is like to live in Panama. Things you never thought of as well as confirmation of facts you discovered for yourself appear, giving more confidence to would-be retirees to Panama like us,to follow our dreams. Pleasantly illustrated, the book sheds detailed illumination upon many of the challenges of moving to live in a different country. So many useful tips, lists and facts, advice and pointers for a rewarding retirement to Panama. It includes descriptions of real events, of problems solved, of difficulties overcome, managed with patience and a good sense of humour. A lovely book, to be returned to again and again.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Sandra T. Snyder gets a little more detailed in her description of Oanama. We started with "Choose Panama", then followed with this book. Each provides great info, and "Living in Panama" fills in a lot of details. After reading these two tomes, we're planning an exploratory trip in the spring of '09. Snyder's book moved us to "get on with it"!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 2007
of the 3 books i purchased on living in panama, this one held the most applicable information, though i still had plenty of questions after reading it. consider it a 'beginner's guide' to living in panama.....
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