Richar Huisa Mamani is a Peruvian artist who lives in Boquete, a tourist and agricultural town in the cool tropical rainforest highlands of Chiriqui Province, located on the slopes of Volcan Baru in Western Panamá near the border of Costa Rica. Richar’s paintings capture some of the incredible variety and vibrant color of the creatures and plants that are found in Panamá. He also does paintings that illustrate the beauty and variety of the people and culture of Panamá, including the mainstream population as well as some of the indigenous people of this culturally diverse country.
Panamá is blessed with an incredible variety of flora and fauna because it is a narrow isthmus that connects two continents – North and South America. In this tropical paradise, nature has exploded with a variety of life due to the mixing and evolution of plants and animals from these two continents.
You can own a bit of this wonderland and its creatures and culture by purchasing one of Richar’s original paintings, or a high-quality reprint, either on canvas, T-shirts and other clothing items, or a mug. Free wallpaper for desktop PC’s, as well as backgrounds for mobile devices (smartphones) will also be available soon.
David van Harn – Founding Webmaster
David van Harn is an 81y/o retired American expatriate who also lives in Boquete, Panama. He is a former hobbyist artisan woodturner, and built and administered this website and former online store for Richar.
David “retired” in 2002 at the age of 62 and moved with his partner, Lois Werner, from Northern California’s Marin County to live on two acres in a pastoral setting near the town of Sebastopol in Sonoma County. Unfortunately, in 2005, he lost his partner Lois to cancer, and moved into an apartment in Sebastopol. In 2011, David had both knees replaced and regained his mobility. Then, on his 70th birthday in December of 2011, not wanting to either have to continue to work part time – or move into subsidized senior housing – he decided to look into expat living. The rest is history. In February 2012, he traveled to Boquete, and in April, moved there to live as an expat with legal permanent residency.
Shortly thereafter, having some experience at woodturning, David bought a “mini” wood lathe, and began to sell his artistic turnings at Boquete’s BCP Tuesday Morning Market. In 2016, fellow market artist and vendor Richar Huisa approached him and asked him to turn some wooden plates for painting. A year or so later, Richar said he wanted to do some woodburning (pyrograqphy) and was going to use a soldering Iron. David had sold dedicated professional-quality pyrography pens and accessories while working part time at a Woodcraft store to supplement his Social Security pension, so he told Richar to wait and bought him a professional pyrography kit. The same thing happened with air-brush painting a couple of years later, and now Richar incorporates both of those techniques into his body of works. Below are some of Richar’s past creations – plus a few of David’s turnings that he sold at his table when he still had the mobility to turn.
Now David is 81 years old, and has very limited mobility plus severe numbness in his hands and feet caused by progressive peripheral neuropathy. No longer able to drive or do woodturning, he shut down his shop, and sold his car and lathe two years ago.
Richar, his wife and two young daughters have literally become his family, and with their assistance, David was able to continue to live independently until spring of 2023. Since he had strong computer skills, including a bit of website design and administration, David decided to assist Richar and build and run this website and online store. It helped to give him purpose in life, and he says it is the least he can do for someone who helped him maintain a semi-independent lifestyle, and stay in his little rental casa a bit longer before it was necessary to move to an assisted care facility. But now the time has come for David to move to a nursing home a few blocks away, where for a fraction of the cost for a similar facility in the USA, he can be cared for and still enjoy visits from Richar, his wife and two daughters.