Panama is a forward thinking, upwardly mobile country and it is obvious. Everywhere you look, from the Azuero Peninsula, to Panama City, to Chiriqui province, and all points in any direction the progress is palpable.
In the last few years the government has invested over $200 million to update Panamanian airports, ensuring that it is the best connected country in Latin America.
The Tocumen International Airport in Panama City and the Enrique Malek in David have undergone extensive renovations and additions, changing their designation in the “airport hierarchy.” In Rio Hato, Cocle province, the Scarlett Martinez International Airport is going to be the catalyst for a huge surge in tourism for Panama. It is situated close to resorts on the Pacific beaches so will enable Canadian and U.S. tourists to fly directly there.
Residential communities are under construction throughout the country, running the gamut from low cost tract houses to elaborate gated communities.
New and improved infrastructure, an impressive metro system in Panama City, new medical clinics and hospitals being constructed constantly are just a few of the constant improvements. Hospital Chiriqui in David has recently over doubled in size, as one example.
The province of Chiriqui alone is mind boggling in its full steam ahead progress. Look in any direction or on any street in the city of David and you will discover huge multi-floored edifices under construction from apartment/condo complexes to business/retail centres. A gargantuan mall is now in its second year of construction just outside the city on the highway to Boquete. It will not only boast four hundred stores, but will also be the home of the giant bus terminal. This project alone employs thousands of workers and in turn, when completed, will employ as many as 5000 staff.
The latest grand improvement in David is of course the monolithic state of the art baseball stadium which opened its doors on March 23, 2018 to enthusiastic fanfare. Panamanians take their baseball extremely seriously and this, the Kenny Serracin Estadio, is the proof and David’s pride and joy. It is a majestic landmark which seats between four thousand and six thousand fans and provides parking for three hundred vehicles.
Not to be outdone, Boquete is in the midst of excavating a new and sorely needed sewage system as well as waterworks improvements. A giant new Super Baru supermarket has recently opened, and it seems as though there is at least one new restaurant opening every week, ranging from the funky to the elegant.
Next on their horizon, just outside Boquete, in the area known as El Frances, a huge convention center is in the works. “It is the only center of its kind in the region, surrounded by nature, with environmentally friendly structures, a recyclable waste water plant, and a renewable energy system.” announced the Panamanian Tourism Authority administrator. “It will boost convention tourism in the province and positively affect tour operators, travel agencies, hotels, and restaurants.”
Very close to the border between Panama and Costa Rica lies the town of Puerto Armuelles, once a United Fruit Growers town, consisting mainly of banana plantation workers. When UFG pulled stakes and abandoned this port town due to labor problems, it became a sleepy little shadow of its former self.
Recently, Del Monte has pledged to raise this phoenix from the ashes. Consequently many investors’ eyes are back on Puerto Armuelles. It is estimated that more than 15,000 jobs will become available, along with a myriad of satellite opportunities. As well, there is talk of a cruise ship port being located there someday.
New roads are being built south of Puerto Armuelles for better access to the southern peninsula and its beautiful beaches
Panama is a country in perpetual motion, ever striving to be better in every way. At this point there are, as is normal, growing pains and setbacks but mostly it is full steam ahead. This little isthmus is making huge strides each and every day.
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