Meeting With Panama President Varela On The Azuero Sunset Coast
Nov. 28, 2014, Azuero Sunset Coast, Panama
Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,
Living overseas you never know who you might run into. Over the years, Kathleen has met the presidents of two countries—the president of Ireland when we were living there and President Bolanos of Nicaragua when we were managing a real estate development project in that country while he was in office.
This week, we both met recently elected President Varela here in Panama. While we live in the same building as the president in Panama City, it took an official presidential visit to the district of Mariato on the Azuero Sunset Coast where our Los Islotes development community is located for us to manage to meet the man.
The Panama government, under Varela, has taken an interest in the western coast of the Azuero Peninsula. Historically, all attention has been paid to Azuero's eastern coast. As far as we know, this week's state visit to Mariato was the first-ever to that part of this country.
We've been working away in the background on our Los Islotes project for six years, minding our own business, following the rules, and doing our best. Now, it seems, we, and this region, are attracting attention.
Specifically, the Panamanian government is talking about implementing a road project that was commissioned and approved years ago. The previous president didn't pull the trigger for some reason. This new road, though, would be an enormous boom to the region and to Los Islotes in particular. At the moment, to get from the surf breaks at Los Islotes to the world-renowned, Billabong-endorsed surf breaks at Playa Venao, you have to drive back up to the Panamerican Highway, over to the other (eastern) side of the peninsula, and then back down. That drive takes about five hours. Connecting the two sides by road at the bottom of the peninsula would create a ring allowing tourists, surfers, and locals to make a continuous trip around the peninsula. It'd also mean that Los Islotes would be less than an hour from Venao, a nice advantage.