Panama/Job opportunities

Advertisement


Question
Hello,

I am 26, have a Masters Degree in School psychology, and it is my dream to relocate to Central America with my husband and 4 year old daughter. We currently live in Canada but have spent many months in Central America over the past 6 years and are both pretty fluent in Spanish. Panama is of particular interest to us but we have not decided on anywhere as of yet.

Just wondering if you have any tips about finding work relevant to my degree (or if this is even possible). I am also wondering about the availability of good schools for my daughter (though we are considering home schooling).

Ideally, we could set ourselves up for a life here but if paying work is impossible to find, we may just come for a year and have to return to live when we retire.

Thanks so much!

Answer
Hello--

Working in Panama in a professional capacity is a bit complicated, but not impossible. With your degree, I would imagine that the bilingual international schools (predominantly English) would be a good place to check. You can find them listed for Panama City. Here in Boquete, there is the Acadamia Bilingual Internacional. If you were to be hired by a school, then they would assist you to obtain a work permit. The new immigration visa allows for people to come in and work or start businesses...so perhaps you could consider offering your services to schools on a contract basis. Panama is openly encouraging professionals to come. Go to the immigration website to get the latest rules and regulations. A good attorney, here, is a must for navigating the various options and applications.

Re: your daughter, there are good private schools. It would just depend on where you located.

Your best option would be to come for an exploratory year, travel around to see what areas appeal to you, talk with people, make connections and see what unfolds. In Panama, it is ALL about connections and relationship. It is very unlikely that you could arrange something online, from Canada.

Best of luck to you,
Elizabeth Worley
<a href="http://comingoutincoffeeland.com">

Panama

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Elizabeth Worley

Expertise

I can answer most general questions about: 1. Vacation planning in Chiriqui and Boquete, including references for hotels, restaurants, guides, tour operators, etc. 2. Questions pertaining to alternative and traditional health care. 3. Cost of living and retirement related issues 4. How-to questions about purchasing real estate, getting a driver's license, where to buy things, what to do (and NOT do) in construction.

Experience

I have lived in the Chiriqui highlands of Panama, just outside Boquete, for 8 years. I can answer most questions about residency requirements, immigrations, purchasing real estate in an ethical and safe manner, health care availability (traditional and alternative), planning a vacation, tours and sightseeing, references for hotels, restaurants, service providers, etc. I grow organic coffee, so I can definitely answer questions about coffee!

Publications
Atlanta Journal/Constitution Sunday supplement Reader's Digest Southern Living Panama Living Noticias Bajareque Times Panama 180

Education/Credentials
Master's degree in Psychology. In addition to having a private counseling practice and working for many years in the non-profit sector, I am a nationally and internationally published author.

Awards and Honors

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.