These days, days Santa Fe’s international community is growing. The foreign community is diverse.
North Americans, Europeans, South Americans, and South Africans, among other nationalities, have chosen to live here.
Gardeners and wildlife lovers have begun to immigrate, and there seems to be a group of alternative health care providers; massage therapists, reiki practitioners, and osteopaths (yes plural).
People get together for regular hikes, a swim in the river, dinner parties, and an annual American Thanksgiving feast. If you are looking to include the rotary club, bridge club, or a theater group in your migratory life, you will not find that here.
Though there are not many local residents who speak English, there are plenty of expats getting by on very basic Spanish. They generally have an English-speaking attorney but can use google translate for basic tasks.
It is worth mentioning that the expat community is spread out, as many people live quite isolated outside of Sant Fe Center. People stay happily busy working on their homes, in their gardens, and caring for animals.
Some foreigners have integrated into the local community, and, in general, most expats have a support system which includes local neighbors and/or trusted employees.
Culture shock goes both ways in Santa Fe, Panama. You may be taken aback by the usual Panamanian experience; mañana mentality, paperwork upon paperwork for paying US$1 at the public health clinic, but don’t be surprised if a little indigenous lady in a traditional dress is shocked by your very presence.