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Keep The Dream of Retiring in Panama Alive

covid virusLast week, Panama closed their borders to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus. The only people who can come in to Panama are Panamanians or foreigners who have a permanent residency Visa. And those who do come in must be in self-isolation for 14 days.

We’re not on total lockdown but everyone has been advised to stay home and practice self-isolation.  That means you don’t invite friends or neighbors over or go walking around town.  You can still go to the grocery store if necessary.  There is a nationwide curfew from 9pm to 5am.

As of March 18th, Panama has 86 cases and 1 death due to the Covid-19 virus.

Movie theaters, bars, malls, gyms, museums, etc were ordered to close. There can be no social gathering so the Friday Panama Relocation Tours Alumni Happy Hours have been cancelled. Even beaches are closed to the public. All schools are closed.

Grocery stores are still open but only 50 people are allowed inside at any one time. No one is hoarding. There is still plenty of food and even toilet paper. Senior citizens get to go to the front of the line if there is one.

Pharmacies are still open too. Hardware stores are still open. Many workers are wearing masks and gloves and some shoppers are too. Masks are still for sale in pharmacies and hardware stores.

Restaurants that are still open can only offer take-out or home deliver service. No dine in service is allowed. Some restaurants have closed temporarily.

Yesterday, they put a ban on alcohol sales throughout Panama. People seem to be more upset over that than the virus. You cannot buy alcohol anywhere in Panama. I have one bottle of vinto tinto (red wine) which I’m saving for the day they announce the “all clear”!

We had to cancel Panama Relocation Tours through April 17. We hope it is resolved by then so we can resume tours.  Most of those who had a tour cancelled switched to a tour later in the year before those dates are completely sold out!  We’re still taking new reservations for 2020 and 2021 every day.

It all sounds drastic. And it is. We’re fighting an invisible enemy.

But it’s Panama’s way of stopping the virus in its tracks! I’m proud that Panama has been very proactive at trying to stop the spread of the virus. The Health Ministry (MINSA) and President are keeping us all informed with daily communications.

Panama is a great place to ride out a pandemic. The skies are blue. The weather is perfect. There is plenty of fresh vegetables and fresh fruits like pineapple and papaya readily available. And we have fresh fish from the Ocean.

You can still go outside and walk around but it’s advised to stay away from other people. Life is what it is right now, but it’s also what you make of it. My daughter is here with me and we’re starting a new gardening project and have started growing micro greens which are super high in nutrients to keep our immune systems strong.

Where ever you are in the world, we hope you’re safe and have enough food and toilet paper and wine/beer to ride out the storm too.

Panama is the IDEAL place to retire!

three lessons on retirementIn fact, when this is all over, retiring in Panama may be more important than ever because this pandemic could affect the economy in every country and the bank account of every person.  Your retirement income will go much further in Panama.

Panama is a much more affordable place to live than other countries. Little Panama, with only four million people, will bounce back faster and easier than North America or Europe.

With all the recommendations for social distancing, staying inside, businesses shut down, and no tours to keep me busy, it’s easy to lose that sense of a real-world community. You’re probably feeling a bit isolated too.


To keep you informed about what it’s like to live in Panama, I’ll be offering a FREE special Panama Expat Interview Call every Saturday during this Covid-19 pandemic. You’ll be able to connect with someone who already lives in Panama and learn what their life is like.

This Saturday, March 21 at 5pm CENTRAL (6pm Eastern, 4pm Mountain, 3pm Pacific) I’ll be interviewing an expat who lives in Panama for 45 minutes then we’ll open the call up for questions for my guest for 15 minutes.

CALL:  1-712-770-4160
ACCESS CODE:  120440#

Every week, we’ll interview a Panama expat who will share what it’s like to live in Panama, talk about where they live and why they picked that area, learn what they don’t like about Panama too, plus much more.

During this time of self-isolation, this will give you something to look forward to every week.

Even though you can’t jump on a plane to fly to Panama to go on a Panama Relocation Tour right now, you can still stay informed about how you can live better for less in Panama with our weekly Panama Expat Interviews.

During our special Panama Expat Interview Call, you’ll be able to connect with someone who already lives in Panama. You can learn why they moved to Panama, what their life is like in Panama and much more.  On Facebook, I’ll even post photos of where they live and their views so you can see what it’s like to live in beautiful Panama.

Please join us this Saturday, March 21st to connect with a Panama Expat during our one-hour Conference Call which starts at 5pm Central.

The current Covid-19 situation will be over soon.  Don’t let it get you down.

Even though borders are closing all over the world, we can still stay connected in our virtual community through our FACEBOOK page, by email, and during our weekly Panama Expat Interview Calls.

Keep your dream of retiring in Panama alive.

Jackie Lange

Jackie Lange is the founder of Panama Relocation Tours and lives in the highlands of Boquete Panama. She has helped thousands of people relocate to Panama.

Reader Interactions


  1. Jean says

    My husband and I are still looking forward to coming over in July ! Hopefully we will see you soon!

    • Jackie Lange says

      HI Jean

      I’m sure the virus will be over LONG before July. I really look forward to meeting you and showing you how amazing life is in Panama.

      • Domenico Pitassi says

        Hope you are right! I’m interested for next tour. I live in Bradford,Ontario and semyretired.I am a architectural designer with 40 years of experience in cabinetry for kitchens. Hope can find a position in Panama in the future. Please send me informations . Thanks

        • Jackie Lange says

          HI Domenico

          There are many custom cabinets companies in Panama. I’m sure they would be interested in someone with your experience. We sincerely look forward to meeting you during a Panama Relocation Tour.

  2. Tony Griffin says

    i still have a few years left till retirement.

    • Jackie Lange says

      Hey Tony

      It’s a good idea to start checking out retirement destinations a year or two before retirement.

  3. Tony Griffin says

    i agree

  4. Gary McIlroy says

    Our Panama dream is the only rainbow in the sky right now.

    • Jackie Lange says

      Gary, We’re keeping a light on for you. This will pass soon. Panama rainbows are amazing — I can’t wait to show them to you!!

  5. Tony Sanseverino says

    Hi Jackie,

    Even though I am about 2 years from being Officially Retired (Unofficially Retired since March 2016), I have been diligently researching overseas for the past several months. And, dabbling in the research since late 2016.

    Initially, I researched at least 40 different countries; many dropped off within 10 minutes of researching it.

    Even though there are still 15 countries on it, and despite a few being cheaper than Panama, NONE of them have all the Pros that Panama offers.

    Right now, my greatest dislike about Panama, is the Communiques from MINSA not being in multiple languages. ;-) But, at least, and even though a bit of a pain, it can be translated.

    So much looking forward to the Tour that is scheduled for the end of July. And, a lot of hoping, and praying, that I won’t have to reschedule because of COVID19. :-(

  6. Brenda M, Mabra says

    This was very up lifting to receive this email showing that things are still alive and good but just on hold for a short time..I am so excited and still looking forward to coming to beautiful Panama. Thank you so much Jackie for the updates and excited to hear from the expats.!!!

  7. Jayne says

    Hi Jackie, Can’t wait to come on the tour the end of Nov. Love the contact that you are keeping w/all of us. Koodos to you and your team !!

  8. Chuck says

    Oh Jackie, thank you so much for everything you do. You always find a way to stay connected with people interested in relocating and now a unique idea giving us a chance to hear from an ex pat from afar. Such a great way to learn even more from someone who has “been there done that” ! We look forward to listening in and learning even more. We send our best wishes to you & your staff to stay safe & stay healthy!

  9. Jean says

    I am excited! We are fairly sure already that we want to make the move.

  10. Charles Hoots says

    Hello Jackie, I am signed up for the Relocation Tour on June19–June 26. Hopefully we can depart on time. Are there any backup plans if the Tour has to be canceled?


    • Dustin Lange says

      Hi Chuck, The backup plan would be for you to either move to one of our other tour dates or receive a full refund. We’ll keep you updated as soon as we have more information about your tour.

  11. Peg says

    Thank you Jackie! We greatly appreciate the updates that you continue to give. Your compassion is quite evident.
    We are very much looking forward to our tour in June and having the pleasure to meet you. So hoping the virus is under control by then. We are ready to make the final determination on making Panama our new home.
    See you soon.
    Stay safe & healthy.

  12. Shirley says

    Unfortunately, our March relocation tour was cancelled because of COVID-19.
    I would like to thank Dustin and the Panama Relocation team for quickly and professionally assisting us with rebooking a tour in the fall.
    I am impressed with how quickly they respond to questions and concerns. Definitely feel I am in good hands.

    • Jackie Lange says

      Thanks Shirley

      These are difficult times for everyone. We always aim to be professional and prompt –even now. I really look forward to meeting you in the fall when you go on your Panama Relocation Tour.

  13. Jean says

    Still hopeful for July!!

  14. Nonie says

    I’ll be listening tonight. Going in March 2021. Can’t wait. Thanks Jackie!

  15. Bill says

    Thank you for the update. My wife and I are excited and looking forward to our tour in December. Hoping to join you tonight.

  16. Michael Allen says

    Hi Jackie…My wife Nancy and I will be touring with you in July! Looking forward to meeting with you.

    Mike and Nancy Allen
    Colorado Springs, CO

    • Jackie Lange says

      Hi Michael

      I really look forward to meeting you and Nancy in July!!

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