Saturday, November 7, 2009

Rehab in Panama


Finding good, qualified workers here in Cerro Azul can be difficult, apparently. It is some distance from Panama City. The workmanship doesn't compare with U.S. standards and neither does the work ethic. Don't try encouragement with money, I've been told; it doesn't work. With information from other residents I went in search of a couple who just went through a major construction project and who who might have some good contacts for workmen.

At the end of a long downhill drive on the edge of the Chagras National Park there is a formidable stone wall and iron gate. Answering the intercom was Conchita Mueller. She and her husband, Bernd, have transformed an existing home and lots into an animal rehab center...and soon to be birders' retreat. Bernd gave me a tour of both.

They were not encouraging about local workman. Even when something is agreed upon, something else will be the ultimate reality. One should be onsite continually to supervise the work. It can't be done remotely to achieve your expected results. But the Muellers, in only a year, have transformed their property into a warm, welcoming place. This gives us encouragement to make a few small changes to our Casa Naranja.


Working with ANAM (Panama National Environmental Authority) they have taken in and cared for animals that have been abused or abandoned. We saw a young tamarin, coatis, night monkeys, and a spider monkey named Suzie Q.


Along with this helpful work, the Muellers are building a birders' retreat bordering the park and a flowing stream.

The two beautiful houses looking onto the park which promise to be a favored spot for birds and birders. When the grounds are open for rental we will post another notice.

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