Residential Tourism: (De)Constructing Paradise offers the first in-depth, critical exploration of the foreign retirement/expatriate communities proliferating in both size and number throughout Latin America. Amidst the widespread development and promotion of international destinations of residential “paradise” intended for retirement, leisure, and experiences of exotica, this book draws on a diversity of perspectives in order to analyze the social and spatial impacts that dynamic phenomenon has on the people and places it directly affects at the local level. Utilizing the community of Boquete, Panama as a case study, this book examines how two diverse residential groups – the native community who have lived in the area for generations and the foreign residential tourists who have just recently relocated abroad – coexist in a shared place of home, define their experiences of place and community, and confront the mass development of residential tourism in Boquete.
Mason R. McWatters is a doctoral student in Geography at The University of Texas at Austin, where he previously earned a Master of Arts degree in Latin American Studies. His research interests are based in Central America and include such themes as consumption-oriented migration, representations of place and landscape, the socio-spatial effects of tourism, and the dynamic tension between preservation and development.