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British Consular Officials Visit Boquete


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British Vice Consul and Pro Consul visit Boquete

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British Consular personnel, Vice Consul  Jose Mesquita and Pro Consul Ana Lorena Jones, visited Chiriqui last week to meet with members of the British  Expatriate Community to hear their concerns and to check out some business engagements (especially coffee and honey!).   Local resident Tricia Daugherty is the local Consular Agent.  She arranged and hosted the visit. The Consuls visited local hospitals for an overview of the health care available to expatriates.  They also met with Boquete Mayor Millo Vasquez and provincial authorities who have responsibility for the welfare of foreign tourists and residents.  High on the list of priorities for discussion was the increase in local violent crime.   

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Left to right:  Bob Gregory, Vice Consul Jose Mesquita, Ana Lorena Jones and Tom Counter

A meeting with Alto al Crimen was included in their schedule.  Bob Gregory and Tom Counter, AAC board members, described the services Alto al Crimen provides to the community, including home security inspections and the AAC Hotline.    The emergency AAC Hotline program was provided with contact information for the British Embassy and Consulate.  The British Embassy partners with Panamanian ministers, providing assistance to trade, education and security programs in Panama. 

Alto al Crimen was interested to learn that the British Embassy works closely with the Security Minister, Rudolfo  Aguiler,  looking  for ways to strengthen security cooperation, and also with the Vice Minister of Government,  Maria Luisa Romero,  who last year also visited the UK as part of the Anglo-Panamanian prison reform program.  It was also interesting to learn that the British Consulate additionally provides consular services to citizens of countries of the British Commonwealth and the European Union which do not have embassies in Panama.

A program has been developed in Panama City to improve English language skills among the local police.  Details of the first module will be shared to possibly develop a similar opportunity for the Boquete police Force.

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