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Hi to all!
I'm approaching the big 50 and am looking seriously at living in a coastal town in Ecuador or Panama. The two spots that seem to feel right are Canoa Ecuador and Pedasi Panama. I'd truly appreciate any advice and local knowledge before I start my "in country" research. Any info or direction would be welcome. I realize the best knowledge is local and first hand so I'm reaching out for your input so I can best use my time for the 4 weeks I have in April to be ther in person.
Many Thanks in advance!
Cheers.
:canada:
 

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Hi,
I have lived in Ecuador and Panama but in mountainous regions. I think you are OK in Ecuador if you are on the coast but the natives inland are not friendly. Panamanians are friendlier but as I said the coastal Ecuadorans are friendlier and I can't really say because I didn't live there specifically. I think there is a more hospitable feeling in Panama though Ecuador is very clean the parks in each town center are lovely and I did meet some hospitable people in the mountains outside of Ambato who told me I was always welcome there if I ever chose to move back. People say Panamanian doctors trained in the U.S. are the best but really ecuador is so cheap and I found their doctors to be better than those in the States much better more educated and great diagnosticians and they seem to care more and care less about money. I can say the doctors are better in Ecuador. That said if you are looking for a coastal retreat Las Esmeraldas in Ecuador is BEAUTIFUL and whales pass by every june also there is a place called the poor man's Galapagos called Isla de La Plata that has all of the wildlife galapagos has. I envy your ability to withstand hot weather because I need a temperate mountain climate. If I were you now that I think of it, I would definitely choose Ecuador hands down because Las Esmeraldas are exquisite and Dolfins and whales visit and it is much less expensive than Panama. Panama is expensive on the coast and it is loaded with annoying americans most of whom did NOT want to live in Latin America and came to retire at 70 grumpy and disgruntled. Trust me I live here, I know. And I much prefer the panamanians to the crazy texans who moved here. Enjoy Las Esmeraldas. You've got me thinking...
 

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It can be tough to find safe housing on the coast right now due to the earthquake. I love Canoa, Ecuador, but at the moment about 90% of the buildings are uninhabitable. The good news is that you know the buildings that survived are well built. I lived in Canoa up until 2 months before the earthquake and returned for an aid mission the week after. The problem on the coast, is there was very little code enforcement and the locals liked to use beach sand for cement. Small wooden houses survived, and anything build with good cement and engineered for an earthquake zone rode it out ok, but most of the big new apartments and condos came down or were damaged beyond repair.

A few videos of Canoa and Pedernales after the quake.
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