Friday, July 30, 2010


Mostly hand labor with a few power tools

Projects - it seems that everyone in Panama has them. I'm referring to construction projects. No matter where you walk, ride or drive, you see evidence of projects.
On-going project...for weeks
Bags of cement, stacks of concrete blocks, piles of rocks and gravel, mounds of sand, boxes of tiles, bundles of rebar, pallets of bricks - materials are stacked in the yards of such a high percentage of houses and condos that you'd think nobody has a finished residence to live in. Trucks filled with sand and dirt, trucks with cement mixers mixing as they roar down the highway, flatbeds full of lumber and steel and roofing materials - they're delivering in every neighborhood of the city and in the countryside. The number of vendors of construction materials is staggering. We see everything from small specialized stores selling only paint or hardware, to large warehouse-type stores that have everything you might need to build and outfit the house, from when you first stick a shovel in the ground to when you are ready to cook your first meal and serve it on a perfectly set table.

Just a small project

Maybe it's the low cost of manual labor. Maybe it's the tropical climate (heat, humidity, bugs, frequent torrential rainstorms, mold & mildew) taking a toll - when you finish one project, you discover another one that needs to be done.

Many want a view

Whatever the reasons for other projects, the reasons for ours include expanding our living space with a covered terrace along two more sides of the house, and a carport (known as a garage in this part of the world.)

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