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Paraíso for Sale cover photo

Paraíso for Sale 2011

Highly Recommended

Distributed by Distributed by Impacto Films
Produced by Producer n/a
Directed by Directed by Anayansi Prado
DVD, color, 88 min.

College - General Adult
Japan, Popular Culture, Music Trade, Singers

Date Entered: 09/04/2012

ALA Notable:
Reviewed by: Reviewed by Cindy Badilla-Melendez, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN

Paraíso for Sale another superb film by Panamanian director Anayansi Prado speaks about the recurrent abuse by the rich and powerful; corruption; disorganization of government agencies; indigenous rights; environmental issues; the underlying lies; and the future of “undeveloped” countries.

Bocas del Toro, a group of small islands located on the Caribbean coast of Panama, populated by indigenous groups, multicultural and multilingual locals, and American baby boomers, is been subjected to the un-controlled development and construction by foreigners. The incoming tourists and American retirees are creating jobs, in a way, and yet are damaging the environment—causing electricity and water problems through overuse. The area itself has adequate natural resources for a controlled town but not for an explosion of buildings, marinas, hotels, and people. On top of this, the ambiguity of the property laws in Panama and the corruption between local officials and the developers makes the issue even more detrimental.

The camera follows three stories. An American couple, who retire in Bocas, build their dream home and start supporting the community by raising money for schools for indigenous children; Dario, a tour-boat captain, who campaigns to become the mayor so he can help his community; and Feliciano, a young indigenous organizing the indigenous and locals to fight for their land rights.

Then there is the U.S. battle against immigrants both legal and illegal, and “Americans” continuing to discriminate against Latinos and other minorities, complaining of their migration to the U.S. They keep forgetting that more than 6 million U.S. citizens are living abroad and more than half of that number is located in Latin America. Many Americans are retiring, packing their belongings and settling down in any country that suits their economic status. Some of them help the community and become members of it while others just see it as another step to more wealth and forget about the community, the environment, and the locals.

The picture and sound qualities are good. Paraiso for Sale is in Spanish and English with subtitles in Spanish or English. Recommended for Latin American studies, Central American studies, human rights, environmental studies film collections.


  • Best Native American/Indigenous Film; Greenville Film Festival, Greenville, SC
  • Audience Documentary; San Diego Latino International Film Festival, San Diego, CA
  • Best Documentary; Boyle Heights Latina Film Extravaganza, Los Angeles, CA
  • Best Documentary; Oaxaca International Film Festival