1 - THE PRODUCTS: Nido Bag & shorts feature colorful molas, hand sewn by women from the Guna Yala Commarca. The intricate molas are transformed into wearable works of art by a group of Panamanian seamstresses.
THE SHOP: NIDO Indie Shop in Coronado. Located 1km from Coronado toward the city on the PanAmerican Highway, ocean side.
THE PERSON BEHIND IT: Rebecca Kore, creator or Cooperativa El Nido & owner of the NIDO Indie Shop, is the woman behind mola-inspired fashion! Cooperativa El Nido’s aim is to empower local women though arming them with skills they can use, and pass on. The store carries Cooperativa El Nido brands and a wide variety of local & international indie fashion.
There is still time to take advantage of some special offerings in the May edition of La Playa Community News. In case you missed them, we’ve created a simple list below for your convenience. However, you must bring in a physical copy of the ad found in the May edition of La Playa to redeem these offers.
1) Free introductory Class at Harmonie Pilates Studio
Harmonie is located at the enterance to Gorgona across from the Police station and open from Monday – Friday from 7:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon and from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
For a full drop in class schedule visit: www.PlayaCommunity.com/events
Sunday May 17 is International Recycling Day, the best way to celebrate is by cleaning up our beaches!
Directions: Make the turn into San Carlos the town. Follow the main road until you pass the park on your left side. Make a right turn when you reach a T in the road, just after the park. Follow this road and make a left turn at the next T. This road will lead you to the beach, stay left. To your right you will see the cemetery.
QUOTE: “I love Caribbean food. It’s a great melting pot of so many cultures.” --Bob Greene
Bocas del Toro to me doesn’t exactly feel like Panama, but more like being on a Caribbean island in a different country. It’s a “vacation from our life—the living vacation.” The language, the food, and the lifestyle all have a different impact on our senses.
Hotel and restaurant selections vary from the very cheap, to cheap, to moderate, and moderately expensive. Some upscale hotels in Bocas are the Palma Royale, Tropical Suites, and Island Plantation, to name a few, but as mentioned, the selections fit any wallet. The food here and on neighboring islands is a real adventure, with lots of good choices. Depending on the time of year you visit, some of your favorites may be closed down for a month or so, and many change management frequently. You can’t go wrong with most of the restaurants along the water in Bocas Town: Buena Vista, La Maraposa, El Pirata, Maracuya, La Buga, Be Nice Nomad, Raw Fusion, and Lili’s (home of the “Killin’ Me Man Sauce”).
It looks like the Pacific coast of Panama will once again receive some heavy storm generated swell. Last night Sinaproc issued a new "swell" warming lasting from May 12 at 5:00 a.m. Until May 15 4:00 p.m. (See below for report). Be cautious at the beach this weekend and coming week, and think twice about going swimming. The warnings against swimming are with good reason. The shallow water is the most dangerous place to be. When a strong current pushes a person off their feet they are offten slammed on the seabed, left disoriented, and unable to get their footing. Tumbled in the pull of the wave, it can be hard for the person to catch their breath. Last weekend there was one fatality in Gorgona and another near drowning on Playa Malibu - both men were in waist deep water. It is important to note that surfers are out in much deeper water, and have a good sense of what to do when "caught in the inside."
Mango season has kicked into high gear. Through the months of May and June trees and the beds of fruit trucks will be abundant with mangoes. A wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors are the result of years of cultivation. Each has a unique taste, some are more fibrous and tart, while others are smooth and sweet.
Mangifera Indica (the scientific name for a mango tree) is surprisingly not native to Panama. The tree originally comes from Myanmar (Burma) and Andaman Islands in Eastern India. Introduced to Panama via the Philippines during Spanish colonialism, the mango tree now seems almost inherent to the isthmus.
Most mango trees produce fruit twice annually, but different varieties bloom and fruit at different times throughout rainy season.
Flooding has affected several beach communities along the Pacific Coast of Panama. Damage was reported at the Decameron resort, Buenaventura, and the Bijao development. Restaurants in Farallon were also severely affected by the flooding.
According to a TVN report 27 adults and 21 children living in Santa Clara were evacuated from the area as a precautionary measure. Several restaurants, houses, and the local school were completely flooded. The families affected, some of who have lost their homes, are currently residing in a shelter. Today the local school is closed.
With high tides continuing into the week, a preventative warning was issued in an effort to mitigate injuries.
The Civil defense agency Sinaproc patrolled the pacific beaches of Panama this early morning after declaring a 72 hour "Preventative Alert due to strong waves". We spoke with a Sinaproc officer in Playa Gorgona (near the fishing village) as she urged those sitting on the beach not to enter the water and attempted to get the attention of surfers in the water.
The Sinarpoc officer told us the beach was closed, as it was very dangerous for surfers, swimmers and beach goers alike.
Over the weekend the team responded to a tragic accident in Playa Malibu that claimed the life of a swimmer. The officer told us there was also a surfer missing and she spoke of another who had drowned, we cannot confirm either incident.
The Pacific surf season is here. While the rain coaxes the coastline back to the tropical lush green that suits it so, the breeze still blows slightly. Surfers wait patiently, watching the ebb and flow of the tide ever so methodically.
One thing I’ve realized about being a surfer on the Pacific is that you need to be committed. In recent years, surf season (starting mid-April and picking up in June, July & Aug) hasn’t been very consistent in the dry arc – a small price to pay for the empty *line-ups that remain for the most part, friendly.
The Pacific coast of Panama, ripe with ever changing surf *breaks, also boasts a couple of world-renowned surf *spots, (What is the difference? See the legend below).
The most consistent and powerful waves on the Pacific coast are typically *beach breaks, this is of course with a few exceptions. One of the most notable, is perhaps the most popular *point break in Central America, La Punta, Santa Catalina.
You might know that a Kartódromo, or a ‘kart circuit’, is a racetrack designed for kart racing. But did you know that there is one right here in Coronado? The professional track has been tucked away in the Coronado dry forest for over 30 years. This year, under new administration, it received a makeover. With a fresh layer of asphalt, the Coronado kart circuit was ready to host its first event March 15, 2015 with the first round of Karting Club Panama races.
The event brought over 50 participants out to Coronado. Participants competing were of various ages, some as young as 6 years old! The requirements for the karts driven in the race varied for each race, as did some rules and regulations. One requirement that stayed consistent was that all racers were required to wear the proper safety gear. We met with Yamilis Degracia and Victor Castro on race day to learn more about the sport of kart racing in Panama.
Victor is one of three people responsible for the rehabilitation of the Coronado track. Victor told us that with the new track, the area would host practices every weekend along with regular events and competitions. Victor has been involved with the sport of kart racing all his life and continues to support the sport in Panama and internationally, on the mechanical side, preparing cars with his pit crew.
The currency of real networking is not greed but generosity. - Keith Ferrazzi
There is a new business networking group that meets every Tuesday morning at 8:15am at the Blue Water Bistro in Gorgona. The initiative is the work of Cynthia Lehman, a US expat now living in Panama and doing real estate tours here at the Beaches.
Networking comes naturally to Cynthia, who is full of business ideas and loves meeting new people. She founded a chapter of Business Networking International in the United States and ran it for over two years before moving to Panama. In her 15 years of being a licensed realtor in the United States, Cynthia has been a member of many networking groups. “Networking works!” says Cynthia. "It is my favorite thing to do - connecting people, not only in business but life".
Here at the Beaches, Cynthia’s networking group is called the Beach Business Network. “The group brings like-minded folks together for education opportunities, to collaborate and increase profits. Networking is about building relationships - people do business with those they like, know and trust. Meeting each week gives us the opportunity to know each other better and feel comfortable referring business."
With health care costs in North America on the rise, ‘medical tourism’ has become a growing global trend. Each year, more people seek alternatives to pricey medical and dental procedures, often connecting with qualified, bilingual medical professionals working abroad.
At the top of the list of places to travel for medical treatments you will likely find Panama. This is due to the growing number of highly educated and bilingual medical professionals practicing here. Furthermore, the country uses the American dollar, and many of the doctors practicing in Panama have been trained in North America. Lastly, it is surely a contributing factor that most treatments are offered at a fraction of the price and without a waitlist.
The Pacific Coast of Panama is becoming home to a wide range of bilingual dental and medical specialists. As more medical professionals begin to open permanent practices in the area, Coronado emerges as a top destination for medical tourism.
If you have been using the city toll highways (corridor norte & sur) lately you have probably noticed the growing lineups in the “Tarjeta” and “Recargar” lanes. Almost all of the lanes have changed to “Panapass”. This is perhaps a simple way of convincing drivers to conform to the new toll system before the deadline.
As of May 1 you will need to have a Panapass to use the Corridor Sur and Norte. What is a panapass you ask? It is a sticker that will replace the Corridor Sur and Norte cards. The new system of collecting tolls aims to alleviate traffic on the Corridors by not allowing drivers to recharge at the tollbooths.
Despite the end goal being traffic alleviation, with no way to stop people from entering the corridors, and no real way to get them off, we are curious to see what the corridors will look like the day the cards stop working.
Baseball season in Panama is beginning to heat up as the Panamanian Major League finishes up the regular series. This first series, lasting from March 6 until April 1, will determine which teams will advance to the next round (the series of six).
Games in the regular season are $3, and $2 for Jubilados to attend. On typical game night during the regular season at Rod Carew, the home stadium of Panama Metro, about two to three thousand fans are in attendance. Throughout the finals Rod Carew stadium, seating approximately 25,000 people, will be at full capacity.
The league, consisting of 11 teams has been around since 1945, and is governed by Federacion Panameña de Beisbol (Federation of Panamanian Baseball).
By: Epicurious Em
QUOTE: “The pressure, the heat, the almost impossibly fast pace at which you need to work—this is the reality of working in the culinary industry. This is what professional chefs do every night after night.” —Joe Bastianich
The community has been buzzing about BluWater Bistro located at the Bahia on Playa Serena in Nueva Gorgona. The Bistro is corroboration between Owner, George Stumpp and Chef, Sacha Michel Woodward, each with well over 20 years of restaurant and hospitality experience. George started by washing dishes in Long Island and worked his way up in the industry and across the country. George is the “Commander” of the restaurant, paying strict attention to the smallest details. Chef Sacha, originally from Leeds, England, has led kitchens in world-class restaurants, most recently in Florida. Together, this innovative, hard-working duo has created a unique restaurant with spectacular food, a properly stocked and tended bar, and hand-picked, well trained staff. They are very grateful for the support of the community and strive to always do their best and to be the best.
Saturday at the Woody's House of Hope Open House, Allison Hough of Altos del Maria was announced the winner of the money bomb fundraiser! Allison (left) was awarded her prize of $1000 donated by United Country Realty.
Rather than collecting her winning Allison announced she had decided to share them between two other important community causes, Spay the Strays and the Neighbors Helping Neighbors. Each organization would receive a $500 dollar donation!
Though the fundraising platform that encourages people to raise money in new creative ways, Allison raised a total of $1861 dollars, and together the teams raised over $8000 for Woody's House of Hope. The Money Bomb fundraiser and the 'It Takes a Village Race', an event that took place last year at the beach, are the works Coronado resident Skye Wikjord (pictured on the right). Skye has years of experience fundraising back in Canada. Since moving to Panama she has teamed up Woody's House of Hope to help the house raise the money they need to live and grow.
Just imagine if Coronado communities had some urban planning before all the new construction done in the past few years! Urban planning is actually an extremely important job. City planners and engineers play an extremely important part in making communities better organized, safer, and more enjoyable to live in.
An urban planner is a professional who works in the field of urban and land use planning for the purpose of optimizing the effectiveness of a community's land use and infrastructure. In developing their plan for a community (whether commercial, residential, agricultural, natural or recreational), urban planners must also consider a wide array of issues such as sustainability, air and noise pollution, traffic congestion, crime, safety, land values, legislation and zoning codes.
Driving in Panama is always an adventure. It does not matter where you used to drive, whether it was Quebec City or Bangladesh; Panama traffic norms will test your reflexes. As simple as it may seem, the best way to avoid an accident is to make driving your number one priority. Here are a few more tips to navigating the Pan-American Highway.
Returno – A returno is a gap in the highway median that can be used to make a U-turn. On-ramps and off-ramps are few and far between in Panama so drivers should quickly become familiar with them. Be aware: unless otherwise marked, U-turns on the highway are dangerous and illegal. Even the marked returnos can be dangerous. Stay safe by waiting for an appropriate gap in traffic. If you feel the returno is not a safe place to pass due to a hill or curve in the road, keep driving, there will be another.
At its regular meeting on the second week of March, the Rotary Club of Playa Coronado honored another local youth to its Student of the Month Program. Jeisy Nicole Cruz Bonilla is a current member of the sixth grade class of Escuela San Jose, and resides with her family in Punta Barco. She is an honors student with hopes of a future career in Public Relations and Modeling. Some of Jeisy's favorite activities are soccer, going to the cinema, dancing, and shopping. Her favorite soccer team is Team Barcelona. Jeisy enjoys listening to music from the USA and pop songs from Justin Bieber, Austin Mahone, and One Direction. Jeisy was introduced at the meeting along with one of her teachers, Senor Jose Luis Carrasco .
Jeisy spoke with each Rotary member and told the Club she has one brother, and three dogs at home that she enjoys each day after school. She was born in Panama City and her Zodiac sign is Gemini. Her favorite class is natural science, however, she enjoys all of her classes and looks forward to attending school each day. She also enjoys reading and encourages her friends to appreciate more the importance of reading to be a more successful student. Rotary Club of Playa Coronado congratulates Jessy and the Escuela San Jose for participating in the Student of the Month Program.
Do you know what a Cassius Blue butterfly looks like, or where you could look to find it? Butterfly Photographer Kevin Painter does. It is a tiny light grey butterfly with dark grey markings, and blue on the inside of its wings.
"It is very common in most Panama gardens but they are so tiny that all most people see are small flashes of blue. They live, feed and hatch on the Plumbago plant. Their caterpillars are tiny green bugs. Please don’t spray them, or you will kill the whole colony that lives with you”.
Kevin Painter’s butterfly photos are sharp images, full of detail, showing the complex patterns and coloration of these marvelous, hard-to-capture insects. They catalog the world of Lepidoptera and captivate the artistic imagination. People around the world follow his photos. They have won contests and one photo of the Enos Thara butterfly is the only one ever taken to date.
There is no question that one of Panama’s greatest allures is it's wildlife. The landscape is lush, boasting rainforests, dry forests and cloud forests, each ripe with biodiversity. These unique environments are home to hundreds of species, some of which are only found in Panama. As the country develops, these habitats and the wildlife that thrives within begin to disappear.
From large mammals, like ocelots and jaguars, to tiny amphibians, each species, equally important in preserving the country’s biodiversity, faces a list of obstacles. One NGO, Conservación Panamá Inc., is working with locals to conserve a variety of species. Among these species are large wild cats.
Yesterday Spay the Strays (STS) held our third clinic of the year in Gorgona. And what an event it was! Four vets performed surgeries on 96 animals. It was a record breaker! The day started with no water in Gorgona. Not usual for the dry season there. Our local Gorgona volunteers scrambled to bring jugs of water from their home tanks to get the clinic rolling. During the busy clinic two male street dogs wandered in to check out the party. Our volunteers were happy to round them up and they too were fixed.
Special thanks to Rob Condit who dropped by with several containers of coins as a donation to STS. It will take a while to get the final count, but we're guessing it will be upwards of $200. Creative donating!
This year The International Film Festival of Panama 2015, will be held from April 9th through the 15th. While the event will coincide with the VII Summit of the Americas, with the collaboration of the national government, measures have been taken to insure both events run smoothly. Films being shown on April 10th and 11th will not be subject to any changes despite running simultaneous to the Summit of the Americas. Access to all IFF Panama’s theaters has been guaranteed.
These theaters include: The National Theatre, The Anita Villaláz Theatre, Cinépolis Multiplaza, and the Mirador del Pacífico; located in Cinta Costera II
IFF Panama will host over 150 special guests hailing from all over the world, including actors, directors, producers, industry leaders, as well as over two dozen international media outlets. There will be over 150 screening of 73 films. Last year 22,000 people were in attendance.
For a full list of screenings and special events visit: http://iffpanama.org/en
The 7th Summit of the Americas will be held in Panama April 10 - 11 2015.
The Summits are a continuing series of conferences bringing together the leaders of the Americas including North America, Central America, the Caribbean and South America. The international meetings typically go unnoticed by the general public. This year's summit however, has gained the world's attention. The buzz is primarily over Cuba's invitation and the likely meeting between US President Barack Obama and Raúl Castro.
Expect the city to be a mess from April 9 - 12. Plan your travels accordingly, as many streets / areas will be closed to the general public.
A number of streets near the Atlapa Convention Center, where the summit is being held, will be closed. These streets include:
Vía Israel from Calle 68 to Via Cincuentenario, which will be closed from midnight April 9 until 9 p.m. April 12.
By: Armando Acevedo, Public Relations Officer from San Carlos, Caja de Seguro.
Policlinica de San Carlos.
Movil/Whatsapp: (507) 6062-5880
During summer month’s resorts located the region of Panama West and Cocle are packed with visitors in search of fun, sun and sand.
Sometimes, what begins as a pleasant day quickly turns into a medical emergency.
The Emergency Room of Caja de Seguro Social Juan Vega Mendez in San Carlos provides this important service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to the entire Pacific beach area (from Rio Hato to Capira).
In the CCS Emergency Room, Dr. Ovidio Almanza, chief of emergency, along with his staff, physicians, nurses, nursing technicians and others, are on alert to treat emergencies that arise in this region of the country. The medical professionals here provide quality care to insured and uninsured people, Panamanians and foreigners.