Black Expats in Panama® (BEIP) was started as a Facebook Group by Charlotte Van Horn in May 2019 when she was a part-time expat in Panama. Charlotte was looking to connect with other Black Expats in the country and to become more immersed in the Black culture of Panama.
However, when she looked at other Panama expat groups on Facebook, she found that the group discussions did not resonate with her. Although basic information was plentiful, she did not find much in terms of Black culture and diversity. She says “some may not understand, but the Black experience and perspective on many aspects of life and travel is unique.
When it comes to relocation, we will want to know basic information, but we also want specific information such as what the Black culture/history is like; is racism a significant issue; do we need to fear the police; where do we get our natural hair done; are products available for our hair; are there Black churches that will make us feel welcome and nourish our soul; what is dating like for Black women/men?”
When Charlotte saw a lack of information, she started BEIP.