Carnaval In Las Tablas, Chitre, And Panama City, Panama

Holding Down The Fort While All Panama Parties


March 3, 2014, Panama City, Panama: The week of Los Carnavales is the biggest party in Panama, with the biggest crowds in Las Tablas, Chitre, and Penonome.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

We're at half-strength today in our Panama City office...and tomorrow our doors will be closed. (Don't worry...we're preparing tomorrow's dispatch in advance.)

Tomorrow is Carnaval. Today is the day before Carnaval. Saturday and Sunday were the weekend before Carnaval. Friday was the day before the weekend before Carnaval. You get the idea.

Bottom line, most of Panama has been shut down since last Thursday and won't be back at it until Thursday this week or Monday next week.

Carnaval celebrations in Panama may be humbler than their counterparts in Rio, but they're no less important to the local population. Panamanians save all year to be able to escape to the beach or the "interior" (as all Panama beyond Panama City is referred to) for a few days over Carnaval.

"Carnaval in the city is not Carnaval," explained Candice in our office. "For Carnaval you have to travel. My favorite place for Carnaval," Candice continued, "is Las Tablas because of the fancy queens and the floats, but Las Tablas gets very, very crowded, especially on Sunday and Monday.

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Construction Plans For The Los Islotes Founder’s Lodge...

What Have We Gotten Ourselves Into?

March 2, 2014, Panama City, Panama: Building a house in a foreign country is a challenge; here’s advice for building a house on the west coast of Panama’s Azuero Peninsula.

Dear Overseas Opportunity Letter Reader,

"We're very happy with the house, but, yes, boy, we did learn a thing or two in the process," Jerry explained, shaking his head.

I had asked a friend about his recent experience building a house on the coast of Veraguas, the west coast of Panama's Azuero Peninsula, where Lief and I are about to build a house of our own. I was looking for some boots-on-the-ground insights.

"Most important, you have to be really clear about what's included in the contract with your builder," Jerry explained. "A number of things that we believed were included in the quote our builder gave us weren't, so some things we wanted just didn't get done in the end."

"Right," our Project Manager Gary offered, "you want to be sure to stipulate that the plans supersede the contract."

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Property Investment Opportunity For The Small Investor In Brazil

Earn 15% In One Year With Currency Diversification And Low Risk In One Of My Favorite Markets For 2014

Feb. 28, 2014, Natal, Brazil: Minha Casa, Minha Vida program creates a property investment opportunity for the small investor in Brazil.


Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

The number of interesting global property investment opportunities coming across my desk has increased dramatically lately, and 2014 is going to be a very good year for us global property investors.

Most new opportunities coming on to my radar are agricultural, but one new development I've reviewed recently is residential. Not pre-construction residential for tourists or retirees. This is for a different market than I typically report on, but one that I've begun to pay attention to in several locations. 

I'm speaking of local housing. In this case, the developer is targeting the housing shortage for working-class people in Brazil, tapping into a program offered by the Brazilian government that helps to put people into decent homes. 

The government program is called Minha Casa, Minha Vida, which is Portuguese for "My House, My Life." The total current housing deficit in this part of the market (low- to middle-income) is 8 million homes. The developer I'm in contact with is intending to build 40,000 such units over the next five years as part of the Minha Casa, Minha Vida program.

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El Retiro, Colombia, Is A Cozy Colonial Mountain Town...

Cozy Colonial Charm, Pleasant Living, Bargain Price

Feb. 27, 2014, El Retiro, Colombia: El Retiro, a cozy colonial town outside Medellín, Colombia, offers a pleasant lifestyle option and a bargain property market.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

"I imagine this would be a nice place to settle in to for retirement," Lief mused as we meandered closer toward the main square.

There, in front of the beautiful old white church, much of the town had gathered for Sunday mass. Church-goers overflowed into the street.

We watched a while and then returned to our meanderings. Not everyone was attending the service. Beyond the church and the square, the small town was pleasantly active, restaurants and shops open, a barber clipping away just inside his open door...

The sun shone bright, but, wandering up and down the narrow streets, we were cool. It's never too warm at this elevation.

All around, the mountains looked down on us, giving the town a safe, cozy feel. Our guide Nelson explained that the narrow lanes of Spanish-colonial structures we were admiring extend for five or six blocks in each direction from the square. And, in this zone, he continued, you can find everything you'd need for a pleasant, comfortable life.

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Retire To Sabaneta, Colombia

The Best Of Small-Town Life In Lovely, Friendly, Affordable Sabaneta

Feb. 26, 2014, Sabaneta, Colombia: Sabaneta, a neighborhood just outside Medellín, Colombia, offers an ideal village lifestyle supported by the modern infrastructure of central Medellín.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

We jumped off the bus and headed for the church steeple overlooking the town square a block away. We were technically still in the Medellín metropolitan area, but it felt as though we'd left the modern, cosmopolitan world and returned to old-time Latin America.

The Sabaneta town square is a bustling social center where you see young people enjoying the sidewalk cafés while sun-worn old-timers in cowboy hats sit nearby on benches solving the world's problems. 

Sabaneta is a medium-sized town, but its friendliness and closeness convey the feeling of a village. 

Read more...

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Kathleen Peddicord

Kathleen Peddicord is the founder of the Live and Invest Overseas publishing group. With more than 25 years experience covering this beat, Kathleen reports daily on current opportunities for living, retiring, and investing overseas in her free e-letter.

Her book, How To Retire Overseas—Everything You Need To Know To Live Well Abroad For Less, was recently released by Penguin Books.

Read more here.

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