Introducing the centralamerica.com podcast where we speak to Nicholas Corea of The Bocas Breeze in Bocas del Toro, Panama about living in Bocas del Toro.
You won’t know this yet, but here at centralamerica.com, we’ve jumped on the bandwagon and started a podcast.
Yes, yes, we know everyone and their dog are doing podcasts at the moment, but we believe that here, in our niche of talking about life in Central America, the spoken word has some true value.
We believe talking to interesting people in Central America doing interesting stuff, whether they’re a local, an expat, or a visitor, is worthwhile. So here we are adding to the “podosphere”.
What we didn’t know was how tough it is, doing these things for the first few times. As an interviewer, I admit, I’m often found wanting.
I stutter, gurn, interrupt, and say “you know” way too much, you know? In short, I’m excruciating and I apologize. But even the great Joe Rogan says his first few podcasts were awful, so I have good company. I will do my best to improve. Please find the podcast below:
And at least my shortcomings make my guests look good in comparison to me.
My first guest is Nicholas “Nico” Corea, a journalist living in Bocas del Toro, Panama.
For those who don’t know, Bocas del Toro is an archipelago of islands on the Caribbean side of Panama, close to the border with Costa Rica.
Nico is a transplant from New Hampshire in the United States, and he could not have been kinder as a guest. I’m grateful to him.
Despite my flaws in the podcast, Nico’s story is worth listening to for anyone thinking of moving to Central America. It’s the story of a guy graduating college during the financial crisis, finding there’s no jobs out there, and deciding to travel.
We discuss what brought him to Bocas del Toro and what made him stay.
Nico talks about arriving on the islands in 2010, falling in love with them and hustling to find his niche. After various teaching and writing gigs, he ended up taking over a community newspaper called The Bocas Breeze and the rest is history.
I spoke to Nico while he was sitting in the restaurant of Divers Paradise, a hotel-come-dive center in Bocas Town. We discuss how Bocas del Toro is one of the few places in the world perfect for surfers, sailors, and divers. We touch on expat life, and what kind of expat Bocas del Toro would be perfect for and who give the area a miss.
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Nico and I also talk real estate in Bocas del Toro, about renting verses buying and averaging out some typical rental prices on the islands. He recommends some trusted realtors, long-time expats themselves, who will help newbies through the process of settling down on the archipelago.
And talking of prices, we also discuss the cost of beer, in addition to playing music, jungle life, and baseball.
Every expat in Central America has an interesting story, and we hope Nico’s story may inspire others to come down, explore, and see if life in Bocas del Toro might be for them or not.
If you listen to the podcast, we hope you enjoyed his story and weren’t too annoyed by the host. He’ll get better.
Please find the podcast at the top of this page and again below. It’s also available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Pocket Casts, and RadioPublic. Apple Podcasts coming soon plus a video of our chat on YouTube. Feel free to follow us on any of these platforms.
- How long have you run the Bocas Breeze and who does it serve? (1:06)
- Some personal history. Tell us about yourself and why you ended up in Bocas del Toro? (5:00)
- What does the Bocas have over living in other parts of Panama or even Central America? (14:10)
- Is there a type of expat who settles well into the Bocas and a type who you’d see and think, no? Do you have to bring something to make the Bocas work for you? (17:00)
- What’s the real estate scene like in Bocas? (20:00)
- How the Bocas attracts conservation/scientific researchers and volunteers, and why some end up staying. (23:35)
- How much is a beer in Bocas del Toro? (26:15)
- What’s your favorite thing about the Bocas? (27:17)
James Dyde is the editor of centralamerica.com. He lives in Escazu, Costa Rica.