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Canadians becoming Citizens of Panama PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Tuesday, 19 August 2014 20:55

YOLANDA_AND_ROB_800x600.jpegRobert Brown and Yolanda Van Der Kolk have recently passed the exam to become citizens of Panama. They are now awaiting the final steps to make their citizenship official - President of Panama’s signature and an official swearing in ceremony.

Becoming a citizen in Panama is quite similar to in the United States. Applicants must have five years of legal permanent residence to apply. They must pass a citizenship interview and exam, and they must indicate the intention to renounce their former citizenship. Despite this last requirement dual-citizenship is legal, and common.

We spoke to Rob and Yolanda about some of the reasons they choose to become citizens. “Panama is now our home”, said Rob. “We love the country and want to be part of it”. Rob and Yolanda moved to Panama from Canada in 2008. Like many expats they became permanent residents through one of Panama’s Visa programs.

Dining Delights in the City PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Monday, 18 August 2014 13:54

city scene-1 800x600QUOTE:  “Pull up a chair, take a taste.  Come join us [in the city].  Life is endlessly delicious.”  --Ruth Reichl

Traveling to the city is an adventure including the drive itself.  Once you arrive, the dining options are incredible, so we polled many of our readers to see what their favorites are, and are thankful to all whom contributed in very creative detail.  This is what they said:

Let’s begin in Casco Viejo.  

Panama Needs You! PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Friday, 15 August 2014 10:08
altIt’s easy to feel a sense of economic security if you work in Panama City and rarely venture out anywhere other than the beaches, the beach resorts and luxurious condos. However, this is not ‘Panama’,  at least not for the majority of Panamanians who live in the interior. 
“Despite the country’s strong economic growth, poverty levels remain high in Panama. Nationwide, according to … the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), … the incidence of poverty is particularly high in rural areas, where about 45.8 per cent of the population are poor and about 23.6 per cent of rural people live in extreme poverty.”
The Panama Christian Foundation (PCF) is an independent, private community support organisation based in Coronado and works largely with rural Panamanians from La Chorrera to Penonome and has some interesting insights to share with you.   
PCF works with some of the poorest most remote public schools in the area.  Reports from the teachers there indicate that the annual government budget per student is only $20!  That’s $20 per year per student to provide for good facilities, books, teachers, food, water, supplies, security etc.  The result is obvious:  a very high drop out rate and a poorly educated population which then cannot compete in Panama’s growing job market.  Poverty is the end result and the cycle continues for many. 
Beach Real Estate Association meeting and Awards Presentation PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Tuesday, 12 August 2014 12:07

P1090145_800x600.jpgThe Beach Real Estate Association met on June 26th at Café Coronado. Try Panama Real Estate hosted the event. The primary focus of the association (BREA) is to work together to establish standards and policies as a group in order to benefit both the buyer and seller while maintaining a high standard of professionalism throughout the entire real estate sales process.

The meeting proved to be quite a success and the day’s hot topic was MLS (multiple listing service), which is growing quickly and gaining respect here in Panama. Many North Americans are very familiar with MLS and its success in promoting real estate listings and maintaining a database of what homes have sold for, how long they have been on the market, and price changes.

Rotary Club of Playa Coronado raises $9000 for Wheelchairs PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Monday, 11 August 2014 16:18

wheelchair-child_800x600.jpgThe Rotary Club of Playa Coronado raised $9000 at the first Fundraising event in support of their Wheelchair Panama project.  On July 30, fifty people attended a Wine Dinner at LaTeca Restaurant in Coronado where a unique four-course menu was served along with four selected wines donated by Felipe Motta Wine Stores.

In order to provide specially designed wheelchairs to disabled children and adults, The Rotary Club of Playa Coronado has set a fund-raising goal of $30,000 by September 15. This will allow purchase and distribution of approximately 150 wheelchairs to be delivered to those in need from Penonome, San Carlos, Coronado and down to Chame in March of 2015. These rugged and adaptive wheelchairs are able to withstand difficult local conditions. In keeping with Rotary’s motto: Service Above Self, Rotarians are committed to this project and WILL make it happen.

Arrest Made in Ed Moyan’s Murder PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Sunday, 10 August 2014 13:43

ludwigLudwig Vico Pereira, a 56 year old Swiss national was arrested in the murder of Ed Moyan on friday August 8th 2014. The arrest was made by undercover police in the parking lot of the Coronado Mall, in front of Super 99. It is believed that Pereira had been living at the beaches. Ludwig was in the Interpol list of wanted persons, as 'Wanted by the judicial authorities of Panama’.

Ed Moyan was reported missing from his home in Coronado since Thursday, 8 November 2012.  In March 2013, a body found in a suitcase in Campana National Park was confirmed to be Ed’s remains.

The authorities believe that Ludwig did not act alone. There might have been 3 or 4 others also involved. The investigation points to another expat, a Canadian, who was deported last year on a different matter.

The victim’s family eventually hired Carlos Sanad Espino to act as Attorney on record. Carlos worked closely with the District Attorney and Police to bring about the arrest of  Ludwig Vico Pereira. The investigation continues. Click more for photos of the arrest.

Tonight's Perigee Full Moon PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Sunday, 10 August 2014 09:30

super-moon1In June of 2013 one full mood made the news. They called it “supermoon.” Why? Well, it was 14% bigger and 30% brighter than all of the other full moons that year. The supermoon brought spectators around the world outside to look up at the night sky.

Why does the moon appear to be bigger and brighter? It is because the moon is actually closer to Earth. The moon follows an elliptical path around Earth, one side of this rotation is called perigee and the other, apogee. When a full moon occurs on the perigee side of the Moon’s orbit, the moon appears bigger and brighter because it is approximately 50,000 km closer to earth. For this reason the astronomical community refers to the moon as a "perigee full moon."

2014 is a great year for perigee full moons. Tonight, August 10th, sky watchers can enjoy what headlines have dubbed “an extra-super moon.” Tonight's moon is expected to be 16% larger and 30% brighter than usual.

Hanami Sohn - Photographing Panama PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Friday, 08 August 2014 14:25

2014-07-03_16.23.42-2_320x240.jpgIf you have Facebook friends from Panama, you have probably come across Hanami Sohn’s breathtaking photos of Panama City.  His high dynamic range photos are helping the country put it’s best foot forward, redefining the way the world sees Panama. From the twisting F&F tower to street scenes of Casco Veijo and panoramic city views from the Cinta Costera extension, Hanami’s Facebook photos are receiving hundreds of ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ from all over the world.

But Facebook is not the only way Hanami is getting known. Panama’s Ministry of Tourism is using Hanami’s images to promote Panama. His images were recently on display at a Ministry booth at a Tourism Expo in Berlin.

Since coming to Panama from Korea in 2011, three years ago, Hanami has been photographing Panama. Hamami loves the diversity of subjects the isthmus has to offer, “from the color of the sky, to the weather, to the people and scenery, everything is interesting and inspiring” says Hamami.

Paradise 507 to take over Coronado PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Thursday, 07 August 2014 15:15


max_320x240.jpgIn its 5th year Paradise 507, an electronic music festival, will once again bring thousands of rowdy youths out to the Pacific beach area.

This year the festival is a weekend long event with pre-parties to boot, happening in both Panama City and in Coronado. The main event will take place this Saturday starting at 4:00 p.m., featuring sets from various DJs including Salda, a Colombian artist, and Gian Varela the president's son. The show is set to continue well into the wee hours of the night, so if you live in the area and plan to avoid the concert, get your earplug ready. In past years this event has brought complains from residents living in the equestrian club community as music continued well past 4:00 a.m.

if you can't beat em' why not join em'?

This year we have to admit our excitement about the event, as resident DJ MAKSYM will be headlining the pre-party! The official Paradise 507 pre-party will take place tomorrow night (Friday) at the Equestrian club starting at 9:00 p.m. For those who would like to hear MAKSYM's set head to the equestrian club (or surrounding area) Friday between 10:20 and 11:00 p.m.

La Batea Restaurant PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Wednesday, 06 August 2014 12:16

IMG_3619_320x240.jpgQUOTE:  “Anyone who is a chef and loves food, ultimately knows that all that matters is: Does it give pleasure?”--Anthony Bourdain

Thus is the philosophy of Chef Cristobal from La Batea Restaurant next to the Rio Hato Fish Market.  Due to the many all-inclusive hotels in the area of La Farallon and Playa Blanca, the area is desperately in need of another good, public restaurant.  La Batea certainly claims a spot.  The spacious restaurant (located next to the Fish Market) is minimalistic and pristine, with dining inside or outdoors.  Chef Cristobal was educated both in hotel/restaurant management, as well as with Cordon Bleu classes.  He exudes youthful energy, optimism, creativity, and has “smiling eyes.”  His cuisine is revered; many of his clients come from the all-inclusive hotels.

An Update on the Rio Hato Airport PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Wednesday, 06 August 2014 11:55

IMG_3550_320x240.jpgThe beaches will start seeing regular charter flights flying into the new Scarlett Martinez International Airport Rio Hato airport (MPHR), just four months after the first commercial flight landed at the new airport.

In a press release published July 10, 2014, Sunwing Airlines announced that regular charters coming from Toronto, Canada would be flying in to the Rio Hato airport every Friday starting August 1, 2014. Daniel Xahuentitla, Sunwing’s lead representative, at the Riu Hotel in Playa Blanca confirmed this information for us. However airport administrator Mr. Morgeniz Cano, was not able to confirm if or when flights local would be available.

The Galápagos in Panama: 
Swallow-tailed Gull Expanding their range PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Monday, 04 August 2014 10:52

swallow_tailed_gull_mature_adult-1_320x240.jpgThere is an annoyance among many in the field of Ornithology, which I am not above when writing about gulls. There is no such thing as a “seagull” there are only gulls.  There are many types of gulls, many species around the world, but never in contemporary Ornithological literature will you find the term “seagull”. So now that we have that clear, lets talk about one gull in particular, the swallow-tailed gull, mostly known as the world´s only nocturnal gull and even more popularly by its primary residence, the Galapagos Islands.

The swallow-tailed gull (SWTAGU) or Creagrus furcatus was first described as late as the 1840´s by Adolphe-Simon Neboux.. The SWTAGU is named aptly whereas Creagrus or Creagra translates to “butcher” or more accurately “flesh-hook” and furca translates to “fork” referring to the birds forked tail. While mainly nesting on the Galapagos Islands this bird does have another confirmed breeding site on Malpelo Island off the coast of Colombia. This bird as a habit, post-breeding, of becoming highly pelagic (sea-going) and can often be found over 500km from its home range.

Panama's Tourism Expo PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Monday, 04 August 2014 10:47

trade_show2_320x240.jpgThe International Tourism Expo will be held September 26 and 27 at the ATLAPA Convention center in Panama City. The event will be open the public on the second day, Sept. 27, as the first day, Sept 26, is reserved for wholesalers and exhibitors.

International Tourism Expo, which has been running for 5 years offers businesses in the tourism industry an opportunity to network and develop working relationships between tourism service providers, buyers and wholesalers from over 20 countries. Businesses come from Europe, North America, as well as Central and South America. Airlines, tourism ministries and hotels are just some of the businesses expected to be represented at the expo.

The Pearl Islands: Exploring Contadora PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Friday, 01 August 2014 11:04

IMG 3666 320x240The Pearl Islands archipelago is made up of over 200 islands and islets. Discovered in 1513 by Spaniard Vasco Nunez de Balboa the islands were named for the abundance of pearls that were found in their waters. The most notable island in the archipelago is Contadora, lying about 30 miles off the Pacific coast of Panama in the Gulf of Panama. Contadora is the 11th largest island in the Pearl Islands, and a hub for tourist activity.

Contadora, translating to “the one that counts, was given its name for the pearls that were counted on its shores. While those who visit the archipelago today will no longer find these lucrative oysters, there are treasures of a different kind that can be found in and around the islands. From humpback whales, to pods of dolphins, colorful marine and island life continues to thrive in the clear blue waters and sandy shores of Contadora.

Paraiso Restaurant PDF Print E-mail
Panama Life - Restaurant Reviews
Wednesday, 12 May 2010 12:28

paraiso-logoOn the road to El Valle, in Las Uvas, is a bar/restaurant called Paraiso. Fast becoming known for live music and fresh food, owner Rose is excited to welcome you visit and explore Sitio Paraiso. Playacommunity recently visited Paraiso to see what was new. Click read more for information on restaurant hours, menu & location. For info on Sitio Paraiso cabins call 247-7266 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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