If you have been following my blog, you already know that my wife has a nephew with a bunch of kids who we nicknamed “The Twisters”. Every time they came home for a visit, when they left, the house was upside down—just like twisters do. They are growing up, and their behavior has changed, but the nickname stuck.
Alcibiades, the name of the Twisters‘ father, owns a taxi, and that is how he puts food on the table. His car is a Toyota Yaris. After using it for over six years, the poor creature can barely walk. The wear and tear of driving in the city, has halted the vehicle almost to a full stop. Something had to be done. The family was in dire straits.
My wife went to a local bank and asked for a loan of $16,000.00 to buy Alcibiades a brand new car to keep the money flowing in and the Twisters’ belly full. Alcibiades would repay the loan on a weekly basis—that’s the way taxi drivers pay for their cars in Panama with the financieras. Every day Alcibiades has to set aside $14.00 per day to pay his taxi. At the end of the week, he’ll pay $98.00 to my wife until the $16,000 has been totally paid.
Toyota Yaris are the favorite vehicles used by taxi drivers in Panama. They are small, compact, relatively cheap, and extremely fuel-efficient. So that is what Alcibiades decided upon—a brand new 2012 Toyota Yaris.
Last week we went to Ricardo Pérez, S.A. to purchase the car. Alcibiades was over the moon, when he saw the brand new Toyota Yaris at the dealer’s entrance. Of course I had my Birthday camera with me and captured the scene. This was a very special occasion for Alcibiades and his family. Every taxi driver knows that his vehicle is the only source of income he has to provide for his family. If the car stops, money stops, and the problems start. We don’t want that to happen.
The car has already been delivered and painted yellow complying with the law. The checkered tapes have also been placed on both sides of the vehicle and all the paperwork with the transit authorities has been completed. Starting today, Sunday, April 1, 2012, the taxi is ready to roll.
Below are several pictures of the Toyota Yaris when we were in the process of acquiring it at Ricardo Pérez, S.A. in Panama City, Panama. Here we go.
Snapshot of the car sales rep at Ricardo Pérez, S.A., José Miguel Quirós, explaining the features of the Toyota Yaris to Alcibiades. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
Snapshot of Alcibiades Achurra, the Twisters father, posing for the camera in front of his new Toyota Yaris. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
Snapshot of a white 2012 Toyota Yaris, which Alcibiades purchased last week. It had a price tag of $15,500 (sales tax included) which covered a car maintenance package for up to 40,000 kilometers. Cars are relatively cheap in Panama, that's why our highways are flooded with automobiles. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
Snapshot of Lina Quirós at her office in Mundo de Seguros, S.A. Lina is the woman who sold us the car insurance for the new taxi. We paid $153.21 for a bare bones taxi insurance. This amount will cover one whole year. I thought it was a fantastic deal. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
Snapshot of Dionisia Broce, the owner of the insurance broker. I have known Ms. Broce for over thirty years. She's one of the best insurance brokers in town. The name of her company is Mundo de Seguros, S.A. She bent herself backwards to get us an amazing deal. Can't thank her enough. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
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