About

UPDATE: July 8, 2022 – I just finished designing and building a gallery and online store website [LINK] for my dear friend Richar Huisa.

I will soon be updating this website, and hope to maintain it regularly in the future. Two years ago, at age 78, I began suffering from a peripheral neuropathy that included symptoms of tingling and numbness in my hands and feet, muscle weakness, and balance issues. A neurological exam leas to a diagnosis of age-related nerve degeneration. So I closed my woodturning shop, and sold all of my woodturning tools and equipment. I had a wonderful eight years of woodturning here with the local tropical hardwoods.

I no longer drive, and I sold my car when my driver’s license expired in January. My mobility has become quite limited and I can barely walk with a cane. I use a “rollator” (walker with big wheels) to get around. Last year I purchased a rather expensive high-intensity Red/Infrared LED light therapy panel (LINK) and use it daily. It seems to be helping a bit, but only time will tell if it can stabilize or even improve my condition. Without the support and assistance from my dear friend Richar Huisa and his wife Eulogia, I would be in an assisted living facility. I write about Richar and our mutual assistnce relationship below.

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I continue to support and mentor my friend, Peruvian expat and very talented artist, Richar Huisa Mamani, as he expands his range of art styles to include airbrushing.  I just finished creating a website – RicharHuisa-Artist.com – to feature galleries of his work and a store whee you can buy original art, reprints and products – T-shirts and more – with copies of his paintings on them. 

Our town of Boquete, Chiriqui, Panama, is an old agricultural and ranching community nestled in a mountain valley about 60 miles from the Costa Rica border, and 35 miles from the Pacific Ocean.  Boquete is about 3,200 feet above sea level at the edge of the cloud forests of Panama and Costa Rica. Some call this place the land of eternal spring and rainbows.

I am a 80 y/o retired American – an “expat” from Sonoma County in Northern California – and now a legal permanent resident of Panama.  I moved here in 2012, and shortly thereafter, purchased a wood lathe to resume my hobby of artistic woodturning.  A little over a year ago, Richar, who is a fellow arts and crafts vendor at a weekly Tuesday morning market in town, came to me and asked me turn some plates for him to paint.  It was the beginning of a wonderful friendship and collaboration in artistic endeavors that continues to grow.

Richar Table at Parque Central - 01.jpg
Richar Huiza

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David van Harn