on April 1, 2013
If you read my Panama, One Plate at a Time journal, you will notice another Paraiso entry -- that one for a restaurant and bar. This is the same place: they also have cabins and houses for short term rent, long term rent, and sale. My boyfriend's father retired in Panama last year, so when we told him we were coming down he told us he'd find us a place to live for a little while until we figured out where we really want to be. This is what he found us -- for just $400 per month -- and we were delighted.Our casita is the smallest of the six -- it's one large room with a kitchenette, a bathroom, and a large balcony. There's not a lot of storage space (we have numerous shirts on each hanger, and a lot of my stuff is still in a suitcase under the bed) nor a stove (we finally bought a hot plate), but aside from that we love our little home. Because of those things, this particular cabin is better suited for a short-term stay -- but we had no idea we'd be staying this long when we got here. It just so happened that the place we found to move into doesn't come available until the middle of April, and we arrived at Paraiso at the end of January.Of course, with the bar and restaurant right there, we don't miss not having a full kitchen too much. As I wrote about in Panama, One Plate at a Time, the food is quite good! Some of the other cabins do have full kitchens, as well as up to two bedrooms.We moved our microwave to the table on the balcony to free up a little counter space, where we make coffee, chop veggies for salads, and work on the computer. There is a weekly cleaning service and a washing machine and dryer that you can use for free -- even the soap is included! The only trick is finding a time when it's not already in use, but we haven't had a lot of trouble with that.The owner, Rose, is a wonderful woman who goes out of her way to accommodate us and the other guests. There is a real sense of community here -- all throughout the day, guests congregate in the outdoor dining area for food, drinks, and games like cards and dominos. Rose also hosts lots of special events, like the weekly market, Thursday night live piano music, Friday night salsa classes, Spanish lessons, and more. Even though most of our work and play takes place in Coronado, we don't really mind the short drive in and out of town. This place is so peaceful -- I sit on the balcony each morning, eating my oatmeal, drinking coffee, and watching this one beautiful bird (green with a bright blue stripe across his face) who shows up every morning to dance among the squirrels in the trees.Rose has a great vision for Paraiso that we are happy to support: she would like it to become self-sustaining with solar and wind energy, as well as locally grown produce. They already have mango trees, and have planted various herbs and some pineapples. They also have plans to put in a pool and build more homes.
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