The word expatriate by definition is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person’s upbringing. For us, that means leaving our own countries and escaping to Panama. The 8 of us have chosen to make this bold move in search for opportunity and growth. After just over a week of being here I can definitely say that I have made the right decision in choosing Kalu Yala and Panama.
In the first days here I can sum up my thoughts with an anxious excited feeling. Anxious to get started on our projects and become settled in this new location and excited to explore this strange city. Over the past decade our portion of the city, bella vista, has been torn down by contractors and built up rapidly in this booming time of opportunity. Mixed in with sky scrapers are many restaurants and bars mimicking those of many back home and other countries which was an unexpected discovery. We are lucky to have this beautiful, authentic apartment that still remains among the skyscrapers and construction in the heart of the city.
Our house, Hispania, is a 5 story pink house in which Kalu Yala and Casa Yala reside on the top floor. We have a great view of Parque Urraca followed by the Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately, we can’t swim in it due to pollution which causes the city to empty out on the weekends in search of clean beaches an hour outside the city center. To top it all off we have a great views from our large roof!
After several days in Panama City we traveled to San Miguel and the valley. I was blown away by the beauty of the valley and the amount of potential that lies there. My project this semester will be to plant a medicinal garden in the valley. I can’t wait to get started and see what the rest of the semester has to bring!