After moving to Boquete in December 2005 in 2007 I discovered and joined a hiking group led by Geraldine (Gerry) McCormick and her husband Ed Satterblom. Gerry and Ed are from Chicago and had rental property there. Periodically she returned to handle the rentals and in the interim asked me to schedule, post and lead the hikes, which I did. The hikes were Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. This occurred several times and all went well. Then in 2011 after I’d led the hikes in her absence she became upset and asked me to not do it anymore, which meant there would be no hikes in her absence.
I agreed and decided to stop hiking. However other hikers, particularly Michael Evnin (who now resides in Bocas) convinced me to start a new group. I changed the days to Monday, Wednesday and Friday so as to not interfere with the Tuesday Morning Community Meetings (there was no Tuesday market then) or her group. So starting in 2012 Take-A-Hike Boquete was born hiking Wednesday and Friday (Lesia Thompson, a Take-A-Hike participant, led Monday until 2014).
Therefore since 2014 I’ve led Take-A-Hike Boquete Monday, Wednesday and Friday, adding a Basic group Tuesday and Saturday in November 2021. In 2014 we had 672 hikers, 2786 hikers in 2022. Take-A-Hike Boquete is officially affiliated with the Panama Tourism Authority (ATP).
My intention has been to have few if any rules, assuming as adults we’ve learned how to behave in a manner that doesn’t adversely affect other hikers, animals and people encountered on the hikes. I’ve maintained this protocol.
My motivation for leading Take-A-Hike Boquete is to help as many people as I can have a life of physical and mental fitness and have fun, as well as for myself. Proper exercise and diet with pleasant socialization is key to this, as exemplified by hikers who’ve been cured of ‘incurable’ diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure. At 81 my blood pressure is 110/70, cholesterol ~170.
Humor that doesn’t target individuals is a key element of a happy, fulfilling life, which is why I incorporate humor during the hikes. My father said those without a sense of humor lead a very unhappy unfulfilled life – I wholeheartedly agree. That said, there are some who don’t like jokes and try to deprive others who’ve not heard the jokes from that experience, telling newcomers not to interact with me. I find that very selfish of them and disrespectful to newcomers and me. It saddens me to see such disrespect.