In MY opinion, Arraijan is a TERRIBLE place to live if you are coming to Panama.
What is a complex? It’s either a small or very very LARGE area of land where they build TONS of houses that are right next to one another. They don’t share the same walls, but since there’s no insulation, you can usually hear everything next door. This also depends on how they constructed the houses.
Some people will disagree with me that Arraijan is terrible, as there’s a few expats here & some people have stand alone houses because they could afford to buy land & build, but after living here in 3 different complexes I have found:
- There’s construction going on ALL the time. I came to this country for peace & quiet & instead all I get is NOISE & MORE NOISE. This happens in Panama city too just so you know, as all this country seems to be doing, is building in LARGE volumes.
- The toxic chemicals these construction workers use are horrific. They come into my house (even if the construction is going on pretty far away from my house) & I’m now sick as a dog. My face is even going numb today.
- The cement they chop up flies all over the place & comes into my house into my lungs & all over my rooms on my dishes, desk, you name it. I’ve even had slivers in my fingers.
You can’t shut the windows in Panama, not unless you have an air conditioner going on day & night which most people don’t do because of the cost.
Even if you shut the windows which I now had to do in my bedroom, because the windows are those Panamanian slat types, it’s not a solid seal. Plus this makes my room an oven, so I either have to suffer from heat exhaustion, or smelling chemicals & ingesting cement & gawd knows what else.
- The first 2 complexes I was in in Arraijan were okay because the barking dogs were far enough away that even though I could hear them, it wasn’t close enough to cause me to go insane.
In THIS complex I’ve managed to subdue the barking dogs on either side of me, but sometimes my screaming at them doesn’t help. This morning in the middle of my sleep I was awoken by a dog that’s towards the back of me. He would NOT SHUT UP!!! And of course the owner or even the neighbors do NOTHING to quiet the dog.
All day this dog was barking with the odd break. Now I have a splitting headache from all the chemicals & cigarette smoke & his barking has literally caused me to become suicidal.
I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced constant noise you can’t stop, but now I know what prisoners feel like in prison.
He FINALLY stopped after 3 hours of barking every 3 seconds. I was really beside myself. Also I never got enough sleep because he woke me up.
- The cigarette smoke is terrible.
Most Panamanians don’t smoke, but if they do & they live next to you or behind you & the wind carries the smoke & you don’t like second hand cigarette smoke, you are going to feel ill.
- Lots of bugs in this house. Cockroaches too. The bugs here have been causing me to be sick. The bite becomes HUGE & I’ve been unable to walk for 4-5 days now. Finally the bite has subsided a bit so it can start to heal, but that’s JUST NUTS.
I’m writing this with a headache still pounding & I just took 3 Extra Strength Tylenols.
When I first saw the lovely foliage in Arraijan & saw how close it was to Panama city, I was excited to move here.
People said it’s dangerous & YES, some areas are, but I’ve NEVER had a problem with danger, the above is what I’ve had a problem with.
And if you think it’s cheap to live here, it is if you buy a house, but if you are renting, most houses that are so so, are minimum $600/month. You want nicer or bigger, it’s $800 & they even have houses here that are $1,600 which is NUTS!
The locals don’t pay that much if they bought their house, they pay around $150-300/month. Lucky them.