When you decide to venture out of the comfort zone that your hometown gives you and travel to other countries around the world, you can expect to find different cultures and traditions in your new destination. Some can make for a very pleasant experience, but others may not. This fact is more evident with those who decide to go a step further and want to permanently relocate to a new location. This creates an even bigger clash that accentuates the Cultural Shock between our own ‘normal” and what we find in our new home country.
One of the most evident Cultural Differences you will find in Panama is the diversity in the people and how varied everyone looks in such a small city and country. Panama is a Melting Pot of culture, just like in big cities like New York, Chicago, Toronto, London, among others. With the particularity that in Panama people from different cultures live side by side and mix freely with each other. Even though we have many different cultures in a rather small place we are not segregated, but on the contrary, we are all mixed and mingled. This creates an integration that allows us to live beside one another without conflict and allows us to learn and share customs from other cultures.
That is something pretty unique that happens in Panama and that may not be seen in other metropolitan cities around the world. Usually in big cities you will find that etnic groups will concentrate in a certain area of the city and may not be noticed or seen living outside those areas; much less learning and sharing cultural traditions like festivities, cuisine, attire, language, among other things.
This is a big reason why everyone who comes to Panama feels welcome and considers Panamanians to be very warm and friendly people. Even though Panamanians have a very nice way of tolerating, accepting, and embracing other people’s differences there is something that melting pot culture still needs to develop more which is Customer Service.
Panamanian people are very friendly but generally speaking Customer Service is lacking. This issue is pretty common so it may be experienced very often around the city. It really doesn’t matter if you are in a high, middle or low area because the Customer Service you get mainly depends on the mood of the person who is attending you. And this is something that happens almost everywhere i.e.: going to restaurants, getting professional services, visiting government and private offices, running errands, etc.
Being completely open, it is worth mentioning that those issues are more common in the city than in rural, countryside areas. It’s noticeable how the farther away you get from the city, the better the Customer Service you will receive. A reason for this may be that the hectic and fast paced lifestyle of the city has people on edge all the time and doesn’t allow them to have much patience or pay close attention to what they are doing. Meanwhile, the peaceful lifestyle in the countryside makes it easier to be more patient and focus on attending to customers or people in general.
So when you come to Panama you can expect the friendly, melting pot and mix of cultures, but be prepared for the “different” level of customer service.
When deciding which area of Panama to call home, you should travel to various regions and experience the culture and pace of life in that area.
No matter what area you are visiting or moving to, RE/MAX has agents and contacts close by and we can help you to make that transition as smooth as possible.