I believe the maintenance fee is about $30 per year. In El Ciruelo, collection occurs on Friday mornings around 7am. Around holidays this gets pushed back to the weekend.
The electricity in this area is supplied by Gasnatural Fenosa. You can check your statement and account balance online.
How to Pay
- Banco Nacional (Pedasi) – Print out your statement and bring to the teller.
- Western Union (Las Tablas/Chitre/Panama City) – Tell them your account number and they will let you know exactly how much you owe.
- ePago (Las Tablas, behind the church / Chitre, by Payless and the post office) : Tell them your account number. They will let you know how much to pay, AND you can also pay a deposit (for future statements) in advance.
The statement generally has a “fecha corto,” which is generally 1-2 months from the bill date. If the bill is not paid by this date, Fenosa will send a technician to come and cut your electricity off. This is quite literally a pain because once your power is cut off it can remain cut off for days (you won’t be able to settle the bill with the technician either). How to resolve – first, pay your bill. Second, call Fenosa. Fenosa will send the technician back to manually restore power. However, this can take several days (or up to a week as they don’t work on weekends). You may be able to call a local electrician to restore the power much earlier – generally this is not allowed, but if you’ve paid the bill and call Fenosa, they tend to look the other way.
Twice a week one (or more) trucks pass through bringing fresh produce from Chiriqui. These days they come on Mondays and Thursdays. They usually come after noon, reaching Playa Venao around ~5pm. But some days they come earlier/later. They stop at several locations, including Lajagua, Aires del Mar, the Bakery, La Playita, Beach Break. If you miss the truck, you can buy the fresh veg at Supermarket Aires del Mar.
Global Computers usually covers most connectivity needs in the area. To pay – deposit directly into Caja de Ahorros 330100420542 Jose Almanza
There are four carriers in Panama. The services that work best in this area are Movistar and Claro.
Everything runs on propane around these parts. Most houses come equipped with a propane tank but if not you can purchase one for $50. If empty, take to a local chino (supermarket) and they will swap with a full one for $5.
Sending Snail Mail
The fastest way would be to send via DHL or FedEx through Mailboxes Etc. But that could be VERY costly (roughly $60 for a document)! I found that the MBE in Panama City give you the option of shipping through USPS. But if that’s not available, the best option would be to send via EMS service at the Post Office (Correo y Telegrafo). Documents cost about $14 to send and will arrive in about 3-5 days to the US. Otherwise, regular mail will take about 35 cents and will arrive in 2-4 weeks. Domestic mail can be sent via Uno Express (about $4.50 for documents).
Receiving Snail Mail
There are two great options for receiving mail in this area. Both cost a flat monthly fee and additional fee calculated by weight.
- Mailboxes Etc. :
- Hot Express : $15 monthly rate (for 15 pounds) plus $2 per additional pound.
- Uno Express (domestic mail) : received in Las Tablas or Chitre