Relocation Success
Plan to Dress!
Pleasant Surprise
Logistics for Expatriates


      The headline in a recent article in Panama’s Visitor described Panama as “The Land of the 1001 events”.  It went on to say “with a series of events ranging from lively tropical music concerts to modern dance spectacles and ballet performances, boredom is simply out of the question”.  How true when speaking of Panama.

No matter what your interest, Panama offers something wonderful for everyone.  In addition to dance and music, we have several live theaters in both Spanish and English.  There must be 100 art galleries to browse and several wonderful locations to enjoy the native art.  The various Indians of Panama make incredible baskets, tagua nut carvings and Molas.  Molas are multi-layers of fabric with intricate designs sewn and embroidered and just one shopping trip to view Molas will explain where the expression Mola Madness originates.  While molas have long been a part of the native Kuna Indian dress, they are also seen incorporated into designer clothes for both men and women. 

Of course, there are rain forest, beaches, zoo, bird sanctuaries and all the wonderful tropical nature.  There are over 1000 varieties of orchids and many, many kinds of hummingbirds.  All that and Panama is a real city!  When you come to Panama, plan to DRESS.  Business dress for men is suit and tie and comparably appropriate dress for the ladies.  Regular daytime wear for the ladies is what we call the Panama Lady Dress.  It is a two-piece suit, short sleeved and like a suit but worn without an additional blouse.  The Panama Lady Dress will take you to lunch, tea, even out in the evening depending on the style and fabric.  There are many events during the year for Black Tie, cocktail dresses and long gowns.  Panama ahs many good restaurants of all types and you can have afternoon high tea in at least three different places.  There are social clubs of every description.  Since Panama is very international, you will find a group and a club for the Spanish, Peruvian, American, British, Jewish, Panamanian, Japanese, Chinese and French just to name a few. 

Everyone gets away from the City for the weekend, however, and there are great places to escape to.  Of course, the beaches are a draw for many.  There are also the golf resorts and country places.  This is a great place to own a boat.  You can get in some great fresh-water fishing on the lake or deep-sea fishing in the ocean.  Or you can just enjoy a sail out to the ship anchorage or one of the many islands on either of Panama’s coasts.  If you don’t have a boat, you can take the ferry to Taboga Island for the day, the weekend or longer. 

While Panama has the usual sporting pass times including football/soccer, and baseball, it also has some unique ones.  Cricket can be enjoyed on a Sunday afternoon.  Or, once a year, there is the famous Cayuco regatta, the world’s only ocean-to-ocean boat competition.  This event dates to 1954.  The unique Cayuco (long, thin wooden boat) has a crew that varies depending on size of the boat.  The race begins at the Cristobal Yacht Club on the Atlantic Side with approximately 35 boats in various categories and ends the second day on the Pacific side.  If you are not up to paddling a boat, this is a fun event for the whole family to watch along the banks of the Canal. 

With all there is to see and do in Panama, it will be difficult for you to work.  And, there is no opportunity for you to get bored and lots of opportunities to dress up!

Article appeared in Corporate Relocation News, June, 2001 by Sandra T. Snyder, Relocation Specialist, Panama Relocation Services.

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