We moved to Panama a little over 4 years ago, and when we made that decision to move, we tried to make it a family decision. We were lucky in that our kids wanted to move to Panama to be closer to their abuela (grandmother), abuelo (grandfather), and their primas (their cousins).
Not every kid being whisked away to Panama (or to any overseas location) has relatives already living there. And not every kid gets to be part of the decision making process. I’ve received numerous emails from people stating that they were on their way to Panama because the husband or the wife was hired by either a Panamanian company or an American company with a Panama branch.
The kids at Parque Omar in San Francisco, Panama City
It’s not only people from the U.S. facing this situation. When I first moved to Panama, I met several of the dads from my kids’ school and we were all in the same boat. My friend from Finland was here because his Panamanian wife wanted to be close to her family. They had two kids. One of the other dads was from Costa Rica and his wife was an American here managing a call center. They had a young son. My Mexican friend is a pilot on contract here and has a wife, two daughters, and a son who’ve all been relocated to Panama. It’s happening and it’s happening a lot.
Estefania (11), Victoria (8), Matteo (5), and Nicolas (5) have all gone through this. None of them spoke Spanish when we moved to Panama. The girls understood it a little bit from hearing my wife speak Spanish from time to time and hearing their grandmother only speak Spanish when she’d come to visit, but they definitely weren’t fluent.
Raspados at Parque Omar
They’ve been through many of the trials and tribulations. They’ve tried three schools here, they’ve taken ballet classes, they’ve swam in the many rivers, played in the many parks, shopped in the many malls, and forced themselves to make it through the countless hours of ridiculous homework. They’ve done it all and they want your kids to know that if they can do it, your kids can too. They’ll show your kids the fun stuff to do in town and give your kids some tips and pointers from time to time.
In this new video series, Panama For Real presents Kidpats, they’ll be showing your kids what it’s like to live here as an expat kid…or what we’re calling Kidpats.
Here's the link to the new Kidpats vidoe at www.PanamaForReal.com. Check it out and let me know what you think. It's also on Youtube at our Youtube channel: