Purchase a Home or Land to Build On

Affordable options from 1 to 5 acres

Live in Peace Out of Harms Way

Neighbors who share your values

Water and Electricity Available to All Buyers

Multiple sources of low cost water and power

Build a Home In a Safe Community

Friendly local residents and little or no crime

Live Where the Weather is Perfect Year Round

Cool breezes - no air conditioning or heating expense

Friday, June 1, 2018

Location Out of Harms Way Key to Survival



When we began our search for the best bug-out location for our community in Panama, our concerns were many. After realizing that being at beach altitudes was a non-starter due to the heat and humidity, we began to look at the mountainous regions. These were our main concerns:

1) What areas were comfortable, at the perfect altitude for growing food and could provide a long term sustainable source of fresh water?

2) Where could we survive and flourish for a low cost, yet still live in a clean healthy environment?

3) What parts of Panama offered the best opportunity to survive a catastrophic event should something like that occur?

4) Did the area offer several ways into and out, in case there was a road closure or other event that made passage difficult on the main thoroughfares?



Being at the dry forest altitude proved to be great for growing crops of all types, including all varieties of fruits and vegetables as well as herbs and medicinal plants. And having multiple sources of water makes this perfect for food cultivation.






The cost of living here compared to the states is extremely favorable, and even compared to other parts of Panama, very affordable. Gas, food and energy costs are especially low due to the fact we don't need air conditioning or heat at this elevation, and there are adequate breezes to keep the air fresh clean and cool.




When we compared our community to expat pueblos like Volcan and Boquete, the fact there are several roads into and out of our area was, for us, a huge advantage.

Boquete has only one road into and out of the whole town! Yet, whenever you live in an area that gets a lot of rainfall annually, there are bound to be times when the road you normally travel is closed. Having multiple options is critical to survival no matter where you are located.



This road was blocked due to 3 days of pretty hard rain. Amazingly, the road crew had the road re-opened within 2 days.



There are several roads into and out of the nearby town, as well as through and around the border with Costa Rica.



Another reason we located here is our distance from Volcanoes. We also wanted to be high enough to be out of reach of any "rising tide" scenarios.



Volcan in particular, was concerning to us. Located on an alluvial fan, this town was built on a sandy silty base, which could lead to catastrophic problems for the residents there, if the Volcan Baru erupts again, or if it rains for several days straight. In addition to that, because of the composition of their soil, it is nearly impossible to grow crops without significant cost for soil brought in from outside sources. It's a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.



Contrast that to the soil at Finca Cazador, which is plentiful and contains a whole host of microbes and beneficial organic ingredients, which makes growing food a snap, without the expense of chemical fertilizers and herbicides.

As a matter of fact, the fertile topsoil is so deep (up to ten feet) in places, it's inconceivable that you would ever run out of the ability to grow crops...and all of our soil is 100% organic.

If you are looking for true sustainability, you would be hard pressed to find a better location than our farm community.


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

How Elevation Affects Survival in the Mountains of Panama



When thinking about a location for long term survival, it helps to be aware of a few basic factors; food and water availability, air quality and climate tolerance.

The reasons we chose this area of Panama to locate our community are many, but these were three of the earliest and most important factors we considered when deciding on an elevation and area.



Air Quality

Did you know that 92% of the world's population breathes toxic, polluted air? The World Health Organization (WHO) analyzed air quality from 3,000 locations around the world, testing for sulfates, nitrates, mineral dust, and black carbon. Developing countries tested back with the highest concentrations of pollutants and particles, while wealthier countries or countries with vast wildlife/nature preserves had very few pollutants.

WHO concluded that pollution is responsible for 6 million deaths per year. Cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are all products of poor or toxic air quality.

Many people who travel regularly can feel the changes in air quality. While some enjoy the busy city, most can agree the living conditions are not healthy, and provoke stress and disease.




Living in the mountains provides some of the world's cleanest air. Oxygen rich air is very beneficial, and many can feel the effects when walking through the forest or being in the garden. Less pollutant concentration is also beneficial for the plants. Untouched forests work tirelessly to provide oxygen and filter harmful pollutants. Ground vegetation below tree canopies tends to be very lush and healthy due to its protected environment. Bananas, mangos, cocoa, guanabana, guava, and coffee grow widely in Panama, providing food and an oxygen-rich environment for humans and animals alike.

Rainfall


There are 4 main ecosystems in Panama; Tropical wet lowland forest, Tropical coniferous forest, dry forest, and cloud forest. These forests vary based on elevation, location, and types of plants.

 
Tropical Lowlands
 The Tropical lowlands are very dense with plants, animals, and bio-activity. Usually formed near coasts and the equator, these forests receive year round rain and have a very fast decomposition rate. The average rainfall is 100 inches of rain per year.  Common plants include mangrove, palm varieties, coconut trees, and tropical flowers like hibiscus and orchids.

Tropical Coniferous

Tropical coniferous forests are forests that have a period of no rainfall, causing some plants to die seasonally. They house tall hardwood trees such as redwood, eucalyptus, mahogany, and fruit bearing trees as well. You can find exotic fruits such as guanabana, guava, and soursop growing wildly.

Both of these forests tend to be at a low elevation of one to two thousand feet.

Dry Forest (Finca Cazador)

The dry forests are primarily located on the Pacific side of Panama, and the wetter forests and mangroves are on the Caribbean side. The dry forests cover mountain ranges and extend into the wet lowland forests, or extend higher into the cloud forests.


Cloud Forest
Cloud forests are typically at a higher elevations, and sit in dense layers of condensation. The forest mainly consists of towering trees and thick vegetation below. Rainfall can vary from 20-50 inches per year.

Bio-Diverse Land at Finca Cazador

Climate / Temperature

Finca Cazador sits at a very comfortable 3,200 feet above sea level, making it one of the most comfortable elevations and highly adaptable to year round survival.

Incidentally, mosquitos and other insects often have difficulty surviving at these higher altitudes, due to the lack of access to their natural food source.

It is important to remember that trees, and every other plant, provide clean oxygen for the entire globe, while filtering harmful pollutants. Deforestation is very detrimental not only to the forests, but the air quality. Deforestation along with commercial farming practices has killed the living soil containing beneficial decomposers and fungi in many areas.

The remediation of the soil through organic practices at Finca Cazador has allowed the land to once again support plant and animal life. Living in an environment free of pollutants is something that should our highest concern.

Sources:





Friday, March 9, 2018

Immigration and Other Statistics for Panama


How does Panama compare to the U.S., Costa Rica and Canada...statistically?


Today, I thought I would share some statistics I found interesting regarding Panama's demographics, health and economy, compared to the United States Costa Rica and Canada.

According to our source:

The Population of Panama is 3,753,142 and the number of people per square kilometer (population density) is 50.

The population of Costa Rica, our next door neighbor, is 4,930,258 and the number of people per square kilometer is 96.

The United States is home to 326,625,792 people, and the population density is 33 people per square kilometer.

Canada has 35,623,680 residents, and their population density is only 4.

Migration:

This entry includes the figure for the difference between the number of persons entering and leaving a country during the year per 1,000 persons (based on midyear population). An excess of persons entering the country is referred to as net immigration (e.g., 3.56 migrants/1,000 population); an excess of persons leaving the country as net emigration (e.g., -9.26 migrants/1,000 population). The net migration rate indicates the contribution of migration to the overall level of population change. The net migration rate does not distinguish between economic migrants, refugees, and other types of migrants nor does it distinguish between lawful migrants and undocumented migrants.

Panama is flat. In other words the number of people leaving (emigrating) is roughly equal to the number of people arriving (immigrating), so they are shown as a zero net figure.

Costa Rica is a (1) and the U.S. is a (4), so for every 1,000 people in the States, last year there were 4 new people arriving, with or without documentation.

Interestingly, Canada had a (6) person per 1,000 population increase in 2017.

Mortality:

This entry gives the average annual number of deaths during a year per 1,000 population at midyear; also known as crude death rate. The death rate, while only a rough indicator of the mortality situation in a country, accurately indicates the current mortality impact on population growth. This indicator is significantly affected by age distribution, and most countries will eventually show a rise in the overall death rate, in spite of continued decline in mortality at all ages, as declining fertility results in an aging population.

Panama and Costa Rica are both (5) on the scale, the U.S. has (8) deaths per 1,000 people and Canada comes in at (9) on the scale.

While we're on the subject of life expectancy, since obesity has been proven to be a contributing factor to early mortality, here are the obesity numbers:

In Panama, 23% of the adult population is considered obese, while in Costa Rica the number is 26% and in the U.S. that number jumps to 36% according to this report. Canada's obesity rate is 29% of the population.

Obesity is defined as an adult having a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater to or equal to 30.0. BMI is calculated by taking a person's weight in kg and dividing it by the person's squared height in meters.

Life Expectancy at Birth:

This entry contains the average number of years to be lived by a group of people born in the same year, if mortality at each age remains constant in the future. Life expectancy at birth is also a measure of overall quality of life in a country and summarizes the mortality at all ages.

Panama and Costa Rica residents have an average life expectancy of 79 years, and the U.S. is only slightly higher at 80 years, despite the fact the United States spends a whopping 17% of all the money they generate (GDP) on healthcare. Panama's healthcare expenditure is only 8% of GDP, and Costa Rica spends 9% of their overall income on health care. Canada spends 10% of their GDP on their national health care system.

Economy:

While we're on the subject of GDP growth, Panama enjoys a 5% year-over-year real growth rate, while Costa Rica sits at 4%, and the U.S. is still only able to churn out 2% growth, even less than Canada's 3% rate. This despite the fact that per capita oil usage for the U.S. (61 barrels per day per 1,000 people) is more than double what Panama uses (28 barrels per 1,000 people) in a day.

 Energy:

This entry consists of total electricity generated annually plus imports and minus exports, expressed in kilowatt-hours. The discrepancy between the amount of electricity generated and/or imported and the amount consumed and/or exported is accounted for as loss in transmission and distribution.

Panama uses 8, Costa Rica uses 9 and (hold on a moment could this be right?) the U.S. uses 3,911 kilowatt-hours annually! Canada uses 517.

Technology:

For every 100 people in Panama, there are 193 mobile phone lines. I suspect that is because there are several carriers serving the country, and since the equipment is cheap and rates are low, they have more than one line. They also change services a lot and use different SIM cards, which each carry their own number. In the U.S., there are 99 cell phone lines for every 100 persons.

Every day, I find new reasons why Panama's future looks so bright...and sustainable!

We're offering organic parcels of land to people who want to live healthy, survive whatever calamities might be heading their way and enjoy the beauty of a tropical mountain paradise.

Get in touch if that sounds good to you...



Wednesday, March 7, 2018

A Plan-B Preparedness Strategy


Prepping plan B

Creating a dual-purpose preparation plan can make prepping activities more effective and cost less in the long run.


Being prepared is more than just storing enough food, water and other supplies. Having a plan for any eventuality, as best you can, is also key to being prepared and feeling secure. That includes mentally thinking through all the different scenarios that might present themselves, and devising ways you can eliminate or at least reduce the risks associated with those threats. But, what if the threats you have prepared for don't happen in your lifetime, what then? Did you prepare for nothing? Is all that time, energy and money wasted?

Ideally, since nobody really knows what the future holds and which threats are likely to play out, having a "dual-purpose" preparation strategy can reduce the overall cost of preparation and help reduce stress levels.

An example would be dual-purpose financial preparedness. Many believe that runaway inflation is just around the corner, due to an unprecedented expansion of the money supply after the 2008 housing market collapse. One way to prepare for price inflation (higher prices for goods and services) is to have a hedge against the dropping value of the dollar.

One such hedge might be buying actual (not paper) precious metals, like gold or silver. Another might be obtaining and storing some crypto-currencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum, if you believe they are here to stay and will become useful in the future, thereby retaining their value.

In the event the value of the dollar dropped rapidly (hyperinflation) or collapsed entirely where nobody wanted to hold dollars, you could potentially use either the precious metals or the crypto-currency to trade for your necessities. Of course, the places you would be trading with would have to also value and accept those alternative currencies, in order for them to be useful as a hedge against inflation. At the moment, crypto-currencies like Bitcoin do not enjoy wide acceptance, and regulators are still trying to decide how they want to classify them and tax them.

So a dual-purpose strategy would be one where we invest in things that are useful or valued in a SHTF scenario, but also are likely to be valuable if the stuff doesn't hit the fan. An example of a financial hedge, would be to invest in a mix of stocks that target high tech companies, perhaps in an ETF or maybe even in an emerging market. The high tech investment would increase in value (potentially) as high-tech products came to market, and we would benefit financially from that appreciation. That could help offset some of the cost of purchasing supplies, for example.

Incidentally, silver is believed to be in short supply and is likely to be in high demand as the world moves toward solar power. Silver is also used in many electronic components, and so it might be an ideal dual-purpose hedge on it's own, if you don't mind storing it. Again, invest only in the actual physical metal itself, as the paper investments are rumored to be over-sold.

A dual-use preparation strategy is essentially adopting a mindset that if this (insert calamity here) happens, we are prepared, but if it doesn't happen, this hedge can still be useful even in a non-SHTF scenario. Or at the very least, we have a "balancing" hedge against the original hedge, as in the ETF investment above.

Another scenario that keeps some people up at night are fears about how fast technology is moving and the direction it is taking us. For example, some people see micro-chipping humans as a way to streamline and improve efficiencies for healthcare, while others believe that having a chip inserted into their bodies under their skin would be invasive and troublesome from a privacy standpoint.

Weather we like it or not, the tech world is relentlessly marching forward, and the fear of being left behind and not being able to function in a society that increasingly revolves around high tech gadgetry, is a very real one. One way to hedge against that scenario might be to move from a city environment to a more rural area, or even a different country, where technology is less pervasive. Making that location a beautiful vacation spot or a location that would be increasingly valuable if things were to normalize, is how this could be a dual-purpose prepping strategy.

Man-made or natural disasters also weigh heavy on our minds, and can result in less than ideal feelings of stress and anxiety. Things like nuclear war, EMP blasts taking out the electrical grid, runaway climate change resulting in devastating droughts and flooding, and other end-of-the-world (TEOTWAWKI) scenarios that may or may not happen weigh heavy on most people's minds.

If you think about it, there are any number of hedges out there that can be used in just about any scenario, if you have a dual-purpose investing mindset.

Our community is all about dual purpose hedging. For us, living in mountain paradise not only provides us and our families a safe retreat where we can grow our own food should any one of many nightmare scenarios play out, it also gives us a wonderful place to go to enjoy life and relax in the meantime. And, on top of that, prices for organic land with water, electricity and internet are very likely to go dramatically higher in the future.

Get in touch if you'd like more information about our community and goals.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Fresh Food in the Cool Tropical Mountains of Panama



This time of year I am reminded of how lucky I am to live in an agricultural area, as opposed to a big city.

Not only is it much cooler up here in the mountains, and the air is much cleaner, the food is fantastic!

Although Chiriqui province is considered to be the "breadbasket" of Panama (most of the food in Panama comes from this area), there's nothing quite like living in the heart of Chiriqui, near where all that fresh food is grown.




Some of the things I enjoy most are the fresh grass fed cheeses, straight from a local dairy and sold for $4 a pound or less.

Avocados, high in fiber and vitamins, are also plentiful in this area. Some of them are so large that the pit is nearly the size of a typical red apple! You can easily make guacamole from the fruit then use the oversized outer shell as a dish for it.




The meat here is also extremely fresh. It is not uncommon to run into the local farmer that raised the animal at one of the many markets, delivering freshly cut chicken, pork or beef.

There are also several restaurants in the area, and more are popping up every day. Most of them source their ingredients locally, so you know the food you are eating is as fresh as possible.




Compared to living where fast food restaurants litter the landscape, and most of the produce is irradiated and shipped in weeks before they are ripened, this place encourages good health and vitality...naturally.








This platano tree fell down, so we will use these fruits for barter or to feed the toucans in the area. Not to worry, there are hundreds of trees just like this one still standing on the farm. And when one falls down, a baby one sprouts up immediately to take it's place.

And then, of course there's the organic coffee....





If you'd like to break away from the hectic lifestyle predominant in the big cities, come take a tour of our farm. You might just like it enough to stay!







Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Top Ten Reasons to Make the Move to Panama



So, maybe you're still considering several places to move to, and Panama is one of the countries on your 'short' list.

As we have pointed out before, Panama is home to some of the happiest people on earth. And why not?

Here are some of the reasons we chose Panama, and this particular spot, to call home:

Reason #1

Low cost of living

The cost for most things people buy regularly (gas, food, housing, energy, etc) are generally lower in many parts of Panama than in the states or in the Eurozone. Of course, the cost of housing and restaurant food in the big cities like Panama City and David are about the same as in the states, but if you can tolerate a little inconvenience and live a little more remotely, the costs can be dramatically lower. Just stay away from the well-known expat areas (Coronado, El Valle, Boquete and Volcan), as prices there tend to be higher than in the rural agricultural areas.

Reason #2

Weather

Yes, you read that correctly. Contrary to many people's beliefs there are some very comfortable places to live in Panama, despite the fact that this is a tropical region that gets a lot more rainfall than many places in the States or Europe. The temperature and humidity are very different at higher altitudes than down by the ocean. In the area we located our farms, the weather stays a comfortable 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit nearly all year, day and night. And, there's just enough rainfall to keep the plants happy without irrigating.

Reason #3

Location out of harms way

Nobody knows what is really going on behind the scenes, but it does seem to be getting a little 'sketchy' in and around the big cities in the US and Europe these days. Violence, drug abuse and social problems are rampant and acts of violence against innocent people are on the rise. Natural weather related events also seem to be occurring more often, such as drought, flooding and fires all over the US, and all are on the rise in recent years. Why this is happening is debatable, but it is clear that things are changing and not for the better. Being remote and surrounded by fewer people who are not dependent as much on others may be a safer bet than near a big city, if things continue to accelerate.

Reason #4

The economy is vibrant

The Panamanian economy has been in a boon since the early 2000's, and is expected to continue along that course for the foreseeable future. The Panama Canal recent expansion, which is now able to accommodate larger ships and charge higher fees has helped fuel this increase in revenue. And, the leaders of the country seem to be putting that money to good use, expanding the infrastructure, enhancing and improving water distribution and encouraging self reliance by promoting agriculture.

Reason #5

They use the dollar

For Americans living in Panama, conducting business is much like doing it at home for the simple reason there is no need to convert the currency. Although they use the dollar, as a backup they also have their own currency (the Balboa), which is pegged to the dollar and circulates alongside the dollar. If there ever were to be a rapid drop in the value or acceptance of the dollar, one could simply spend Balboas instead.

Reason #6

Neutral stable government

The government of Panama doesn't seem to be eager or willing to become entangled in the politics or social affairs of other countries. And, they seem to be willing to trade with other countries, even going as far as visiting them to set up trade Agreements, like the recent one between Panama and the United States. They are also high on the scale for peace.

Reason #7

Panama is on the 'way up', rather than on the way down

Panama is still several decades behind the US and European countries socially, economically and business wise. That means there is a lot of opportunity to grow in these areas, learning from the mistakes of the more developed nations.

Reason #8

Low and fair tax system

Unlike some other countries, Panama does not tax residents on the income they receive from countries outside Panama. And, if you are a dual resident and citizen of the US, the US gives you a break on your US taxes for income that is generated in Panama, up to a point. Property taxes are also quite low, and as of this writing, only collected when a property is sold.

Reason #9

Close proximity to everywhere

Whether you live in the US, the Eurozone, South America or Asia, Panama is centrally located and a hub of travel to anywhere in the world. Several new airports have been built and the main airport in Panama City (Tocumen) is undergoing a large scale redevelopment, and is sure to be Central America's main travel destination for residents from all over the world.

Reason #10

It's a great place to retire

Panama gives more than just lip service to retirees, both local and expats. As a "pensioner" you are treated to special discounts on food, hotels, entertainment and airline tickets. Discounts range from 20 to 40% or more in some cases. Citizens also get a monthly stipend, so there is very little homelessness, which is a welcome change from what one sees in the states nowadays.

Buying land or a home in another country and starting over can be a little scary and intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. The world is changing rapidly, and some places will fare better than others when those changes take place. Rural Panama is like the US was back in the 80's or maybe even the 70's, and the pace of life is much slower and people are more down to earth. Sure, they still have smart phones, internet services and TV's but they don't seem to be as caught up in the latest technology as everyone in the US seems to be.

If simpler, safer and slower is what you are looking for, take a look at what we are doing here at Finca Cazador. For a limited time, we are offering (1-5 acre) plots of organic bio-diverse land in our community to like minded individuals and families who want to live a clean, self sufficient (but not alone) lifestyle.

If this sounds interesting to you, contact us by email using the form at the top of the page, or email us at info@fincacazador.com


Sunday, January 14, 2018

State Dept Travel Advisory Updated for Panama



As if you needed another good reason to consider moving to Panama to enjoy the great weather, lush vegetation and low cost of living (at least here in the Chiriqui province)...Panama is one of the safest destinations for travel according to the most recent update to the State Department information website.

The US State Department updated their travel advisory program, and Panama is listed as one of the countries with the least amount of worry for travelers abroad.

The site also contains links to other helpful resources such as maps showing how safe different regions of the world are, a travelers checklist to assist in planning before you go and how to enroll in the step program offered to travelers to help ensure their safety while traveling abroad.

The new levels of travel advisories are:

  • Level 1 - Exercise Normal Precautions: This is the lowest advisory level for safety and security risk. There is some risk in any international travel. Conditions in other countries may differ from those in the United States and may change at any time.
  • Level 2 - Exercise Increased Caution: Be aware of heightened risks to safety and security. The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory. Conditions in any country may change at any time.
  • Level 3 - Reconsider Travel: Avoid travel due to serious risks to safety and security. The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory. Conditions in any country may change at any time.
  • Level 4 - Do Not Travel: This is the highest advisory level due to greater likelihood of life-threatening risks. During an emergency, the U.S. government may have very limited ability to provide assistance. The Department of State advises that U.S. citizens not travel to the country or leave as soon as it is safe to do so. The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory. Conditions in any country may change at any time.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Living the Good Life in Panama - Construction Update

Construction is now complete on the first home at Finca Cazador. The process was very simple, and went like clockwork.


The house is situated on a hill, about 150 feet above the road into Finca Cazador. The views are fantastic from here, and the breezes are fresh and frequent. Pretty much ideal conditions weather-wise.



On this land we grow, coffee, cacao (cocoa), platanos, avocados and soon we will be growing guanabana and citrus as well.


The project was a labor of love. The efforts of the homeowner himself, his trusty mentor and previous owner of the land, one main Panamanian general contractor, and an amazing crew of young Panamanian workers, made this project such a success.


Despite weather delays, which were few, and the holiday festivities that take place in October and November, the crew was able to complete this project in just about one year, start to finish.


The end result?

A very comfortable retreat located on a bio-diverse piece of organic mountain farmland, sustainable into the future with water, electricity and an endless supply of healthy organic food, incredible views and fresh clean air.

Who could ask for anything more?


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

First Home Progress Report

The first home in our off grid organic farm community has moved to the final stages, and will be completely finished within the next few months.



What's amazing about this area is even though we are out in the boondocks, so to speak, you can still obtain the things you need for day to day life, as well as any and all materials needed for grand projects like the one our first resident has undertaken.

If you remember previous posts, the home is situated on an organic farm just over 1.6 acres in size, on terrain that is heavily wooded and gently sloped. On this farm, there are coffee, cacao, platano, avocado and citrus trees, as well as a large number of old growth and newly planted trees of many varieties.

The home was built tambo style (or tumbo if you're a gringo), meaning it is off the ground, rather than excavated into the hill. This was done for several reasons:

1) it allows for air movement
2) it does not interfere as much with the local vegetation, and
3) it does not require retaining walls in order to keep water from intruding into the home.

Our first post showed the road being created to access the property, and the beginning phases of construction.

In our second post, the walls were up, windows were installed and the floor and roof were completely done. Actually, as you can see in the photo above, the roof went up first in order to provide shelter from the rains that always come during the months of September and October.


Another benefit of building tambo style, is you get to utilize the space below the floor, which in this case was considerable.


This homeowner decided to fully utilize the entire front-facing 8 foot wide section that runs the full length of the patio. He plans to use it for storage and a shop. The space also was large enough to locate a water tank which will be used to store gray water from the kitchen and bathroom sinks and the shower, for use later on ornamental plants.


Also added was a rain water tank to store potentially potable water that is gathered from the roof and transported via standard, but large, roof gutters.

The rain water tank fills up pretty quick so the overflow goes into the gray water tank to help keep it clean by circulating the water. The valve controls the water flow to the tank, and allows an opportunity to have unclean (first rain) water bypass the tank.


Footers were poured by hand which will support short retaining walls to tie in the wrought iron security that will be installed later. These retaining walls also provide additional protection in the event of earth movement.


A larger wall was built to fully contain what would eventually be a spacious workshop and storage area.


An area was excavated to make room for a laundry and enclosed storage facility, also underneath the main level floor.


This photo shows the location of the laundry/storage room in relation to the rest of the house and the patio above.


Security screens were constructed and fitted into the openings created by the floor, posts and retaining walls. They are designed to fully open from the bottom for easy access to the shop area, and to achieve a more wide open feeling.


Finally, a floor was poured to tie it all together and make it a single unit.


Meanwhile, above on the main level, tile was being installed length-wise on top of the 3" concrete floor. The tiles were purchased in David, about an hour and a half away by car, and were made in Spain. They feature a weathered wood look and are gray in color.



The septic system was installed and the leach line was dug and filled in with a few feet of gravel.


Since all this construction was being done during the rainy season, a decision was made to construct a concrete stairway leading from the parking area below to the house. That way, workers could more easily climb up the hill to work, and the owner could get to the parking area below without sliding down on his arse, which did happen a time or two.


Later, a hand rail was added to provide some additional safety for the climb (which is sometimes a bit wet), and a gate was built to add to the beauty of the front entry.



A concrete path was built to take visitors from the front gate to the house easily, even if it is wet out. It was hand poured, of course, and the rocks were sourced in the local area by hand, and transported to the site in the owner's pick up truck.



I don't agree with what many people say about the Panamanian work ethic. These guys worked tirelessly on the project, often under adverse conditions. And of course everything was done without the help of any heavy equipment or machinery of any kind. These Panamanians rock!!


Not wanting to have electrical poles spoil the view, the homeowner decided to have a trench hand dug to bring up the electrical service from the road underground. The trench is 18" deep and the 1 1/4" plastic pipe the wires are encased in was covered in a few inches of concrete. It was a short run...only 375 feet! The hardest part was filling the trench back in after the rains had come and left the ground somewhat unruly.


What's that you say? That's the bottom of the homeowner's shoe as he was trying to shovel the muddy clay-like dirt back into the trench. The shovel and his shoes kept getting caked with mud, so the job took a little longer than anticipated. Of course, attempting this when the soil had just received a good soaking was probably not the best choice of tasks to be taken on that day.



Back to the house construction...to save water and energy, the homeowner opted for a on demand water heater, which was located in the now-finished laundry room. A manifold was built and boarded so the homeowner could change out the propane tanks and use both available vendors for supply.


A patio roof was added to the front door and the stoop was extended. Security was also beefed up with the addition of a wrought iron decorative exterior door and roll-down security shutters for when the homeowner travels.






All the construction was accomplished under the watchful eyes of the two varieties of toucans prevalent in all of Finca Cazador.



The biodiversity brings birds of all kinds, and the many fruit trees planted by the homeowner (in his spare time), will only increase their numbers in the future.


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And, if you want to secure your own little piece of paradise in the mountains of western Panama, where the air and water are both really really clean and fresh, take a moment to reach out and get some of our information.