GET TO KNOW US
Howzit, warm greetings from Panama
Coming from a background of globe trotting I feel I have finally found a home here in Panama.
I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and completed most of my primary school education there. In between primary and secondary school my family moved to Canada, this was a big change and challenging for us. My brothers and I however thrived - transitioning from one school, to another. Although we weren't to settle, when I was in my early teens we moved back to S.A, where I completed my secondary education at an Agricultural College.
By this time my older brothers had relocated to the United States and I followed. This lead to more than 10 years of work experience including managing large hotels and resorts. However this was not the life for me, I missed the freedom and space of Africa. With S.A no longer being a suitable option I looked elsewhere and found myself in Panama.
I started in Bocas del Toro, working and renovating an off-the-grid home. My passion for fishing and the outdoors was fulfilled! However Bocas wasn't a forever location for me, once I met Lizzie we decided to start a new adventure together and relocated to Santa Fe. We both found this small town intriguing due to its small yet diverse Ex-Pat community, rural lifestyle and one of Panamas most beautiful national parks on our door step. With the new road officially opening up in 2020 providing access to the undeveloped Caribbean Coast of Veraguas we feel this town has a lot to offer and is defiantly an up and coming area of Panama.
We look forward to you meeting you, here in beautiful Panama!
I've lived and worked in Panama since February 2013. My first job was tour sales in Coronado, after that I moved to Panama City and lived there for over a year working in two private schools before deciding city life wasn't for me. Wanting a change I moved to Bocas del Toro and opened a coffee shop with a friend of mine. After 3+ years on the island and after meeting Martin we decided to move together to Santa Fe. We were looking for a non-touristic area, a place thats still authentic and where we can set up shop and do something different together. This is where the idea of our business Junglecat was born. We offer tours of the area on horseback as well as river kayaking, river and sea fishing and hiking.
Now with local friends and great connections we feel we are also able to offer advice to others looking to move and settle in Panama.
Moving and isn't a new concept for me either. As a family we moved to New Zealand in 2001 and lived there for 8 years while my brothers and I completed high school and University. After I completed my BA my parents decided that they missed their home in Botswana and decided to move back. They still live there today and are happy and settled. Botswana is a beautiful country and although I visit often I feel Panama has more to offer for young people. Starting a business is challenging however not impossible, learning Spanish can be frustrating at times but also a lot of fun if you are willing to laugh at your mistakes. The lifestyle is relaxed, and often reminds us of home however we both feel much safer here. I ride solo a lot in the mountains around our farm and never feel uncomfortable - quite the opposite everyone wants to stop and make friendly chit chat. Obviously where we are located is a small, rural community and we tend to find that the locals in general are more welcoming.
We would love to show you around, maybe go for a ride and take in all the beautiful views and local culture!
Welcome, see you soon!