Hola besinos, it seems like we’re just starting to get enough people that maybe it would be worth sending out a regular update on things that are happening in the area. Entonces (therefore), welcome to the very first issue of The Ocean Ridge Report. Once a month or so, we’ll send out stuff that we think you might find interesting regarding the project, things happening in Mariato and/or Santiago, etc. This could be huge – eventually I might send this out to all the gringos in the area, and charge big bucks, but don’t worry – you lucky people will always get this valuable information for free. I know, I’m a hell of a guy.
In this first issue I have four items that you might find interesting:
- I’m writing this email from Rancho Paraiso (yes, we’ve named our place), using our new service, which is called Claro. Claro is a relatively new provider in Panama, with new technology. We have a 3.5G connection up here; so far it’s fast, reliable and pretty cheap at $38/month. It’s much better than anything that was available previously, so we should be in great shape by the time any of you move down here.
- We’ve recently been notified that after two years of pounding away, the government has granted official approval to put asphalt on the hills bordering the project. This will only be on the main road for now – the side road will get a layer of tosca (high quality gravel), and the MOP (same thing as the Department of Transportation in the states) will maintain it. Apparently getting government approval is by far the most difficult step; it may take awhile, but now it will definitely happen.
- President Martinelli has recently put a new program into place, called Seguro al Turista (insurance for tourists). When you get off the plane at Tocumen, they hand you a card that gives all tourists complete health insurance coverage for 30 days. It’s actually quite good – any sickness or injury that occurs while you’re in Panama is covered 100%, up to $7000. If you break a tooth, dental coverage kicks in, up to $500. There are lots of other provisions, which are explained in the brochure that is attached to the card. Patricia called the number, and it’s completely legit, which I think is a great thing. Unfortunately, if you get hurt while drunk you’re not covered – let’s face it, that could be a problem for this group!
- Last but not least – I know that probably none of you are as nuts about wildlife as I am, but that’s too bad. You’ll just have to share my excitement at our first agouti sighting. The agouti is a very shy elusive critter that is sort of a cross between a rabbit and a pig. They mostly reside in the deeper rain forests of Panama, but we have one that likes to run through our back yard. He’s been too quick to get a photo, but he looks just like this:
Panamanians like to eat them, but since that’s not allowed on the project I have high hopes that they’ll thrive and become Part of the community. You have to admit, they’re pretty cute.
That’s it for the first issue. what do y’all think? (That y’all was just for Claudia)
Jay and Patricia
To learn more about Ocean Ridge Estates in Panama: