Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Inauguration Day Demonstration on January 20, 2017 at 10a.m.

Following ACS Message was just sent out.

U.S. Embassy in Panama

Security Message for U.S. Citizens

January 20, 2017

The U.S. Embassy in Panama City informs U.S. citizens that it has received a report of at least one planned demonstration on January 20, 2017 in Panama City related to the Inauguration.  One demonstration is scheduled to begin 10:00a.m. in Parque Belisario Porras.  All U.S. citizens are reminded to remain diligent in your personal security.


U.S. Citizens should plan their travel accordingly and avoid all confrontations.  Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.  You should avoid areas of demonstrations, and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.  Review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates.  Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security.


For further information about security in Panama:


  • See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Panama Country Specific Information.



  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in Panama, located at Building 783, Demetrio Basilio Lakas Avenue Clayton, Panama, at +507-317-5030, 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Friday. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +507-317-5000.


  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

I’m stuck somewhere between playing my cards right & not playing with a full deck.

[My high school team tryouts]
Coach: You really knocked that one out of the park.
Me: Thanks Coach!
Coach: This is tennis.

Straw That Broke the Camel’s Back

Yesterday, I decided to cancel my MAPFRE heath insurance. When I checked my VISA bill I noticed it has jumped another $90/month over last years costs. $930/month is just more than I am willing to pay.

I have researched other health plans over the last year and really haven’t liked any that I have looked at.

However, not wanting to be entirely without any coverage, I decided to check out Hospital Cooperativo’s plan that I had seen being promoted by ACC in Boquete. From looking at the presentation I was sent, one would have thought that ACC developed this plan.

Today, Lilliam and I went by Hospital Coorpativo to find out more. Now I have used Hospital Coorperativo on occasion since 2005 when Lilliam introduced it to me. She has used it over 20 years.

I had never heard of this hospital having a participation plan before, but learned today that the plan is about 1 1/2 years old.

I have met Dr. Wong, the director of the hospital, many times when he was on duty in the emergency area. Lilliam has great confidence in him and used him caring for her three daughters. Continue reading Straw That Broke the Camel’s Back

Nothing makes me more suspicious than an unsolicited compliment.

Clarification on length of time US Citizens may be in Panama as tourists

Following is the US Embassy’s clarification on the length of time US Citizens may be in Panama.

Based on multiple inquiries from U.S. citizens in Panama regarding Decree No.590 dated December 28, 2016, the Consular Section contacted the Panamanian Servicio Nacional de Migracion (SNM or Panamanian Immigration Office) for further clarification on the length of time U.S. Citizens are able to stay in Panama as tourists.  The SNM confirmed that U.S. citizens (as well as citizens of the UK, Canada, and Australia) are still allowed to enter Panama without a Panamanian visa and they can stay for up to 180 days as tourists. 


For more information regarding this matter, please visit the SNM’s Twitter account, which is available at the following link:

Metro Optica Guest Review

I had mentioned in the past that Dra. Ines Chang had been recruiting ophthalmologists to office in Metro Optica. I just received a review from a Chiriqui Chatter reader who has recently visited one who is moving his practice to David.

Following is a guest post of the reader’s experience.

We now have an eye specialist full time in David. Dr. Andres Osigian moved to David from Panama City officially in December and set up his office with Dra. Ines Chang at Metro Optics.

I have developed glaucoma and now have cataracts. Dr. Osigian was very thorough, answers questions and is very careful in making sure you understand the medication. I now am using four kinds of drops, all must be applied at different times and spaced out over the day. He made sure I understood how to make this all work. He also showed me the most efficient way to get the drops in my eyes and not down my face, an excellent way to save on refilling prescriptions.

The doctor is still settling in and must move his equipment from Panama City and make arrangements to use hospital facilities. My next appointment is in May when we will make arrangements for surgery for the cataracts. I will report in to Don Ray after that to relate that experience.

I know Ines has worked very hard to get a specialist to David and she is very pleased to have Dr. Osigian with her. He speaks excellent English, as does the rest of the staff there. Having any kind of health problem is unsettling. Being able to go for help where you feel comfortable and confident makes it easier to deal with. Not having to travel to Panama City makes it even better.

Metro Optica is across the street from Super Star Computer in the following map.