Pedasi is in the Los Santos Province, Azuero peninsula, of Panama. It is the Southern-most part of the country in the what is known as the “Arco Seco” (dry arc). We chose this region as the location for our annual working abroad program. We close the office in the states and move everyone to the chosen destination once a year. Work continues however, but in fresh location. This is our third stay in Panama, but always in a different region. There was no rain for the month we were there, which is the case for 6 months of the year. Like clockwork, the rains returned the day we left.
We like Panama because of the weather, consistent 850 to 950, the currency-the US$, the cost of living-about 20% cheaper than the US, the beaches-some of the best in the World, the people-they actually like Americans, the beauty of the terrain, and I could go on and on.
We spent a few days in Panama City coming and going. To the surprise of many, Panama City is a thriving metropolis with beautiful sky-scrapers.
The house we rented was about 20 minutes south of Pedasi on Playa Los Destiladeros, a beach that was 3 miles long and totally deserted most of the time. We walked the partially black sanded-beach early in the morning, worked 5 to 6 hours each day, then returned in the evening to watch spectacular sunsets. There really wasn’t much else to do, which was fine with us. Occasionally, we would drive into town for groceries or to eat in one of the local restaurants. I think we eventually had at least one meal in all of them by the end of our stay.
We arrived in time for Carnival, a festival that the Panamanians take very seriously. It started 4 days before Ash Wednesday and was celebrated with the same revelry and abandon as New Orleans or Rio de Janeiro. Businesses close, people take to the streets, beer flows non-stop. In the little town of Pedasi, the people spend all year preparing for carnival as well as a fortune relative to their meager coffers. Two queens are selected representing the East and West sides of town (Pop. ~4,000). The people vote on the winner. This year the West side queen won and received a modeling contract.
The day we returned to the states, we wanted to go back. We look forward to next year’s sojourn. We are changing it up a bit and going to San Pablo del Lago, Northern Andes, Ecuador.