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.
Joshua Henry, a young expat living in Coronado, did not think he would have to save someone’s life when he went to the beach near Punta Barco on Carnival Monday. Being a holiday there were a lot of people on the beach and in the water.
At the early age of 23, Joshua is already a trained lifeguard and is one of the youngest full time firefighters in Canada. Saving lives comes naturally to him. So when Joshua saw someone struggling in the ocean he recognized the signs of drowning. He immediately took off running into the water towards the young swimmer being pulled down by a strong undertow. Undertows commonly occur where the river meets the ocean.
When Joshua reached the drowning man the he grabbed and clawed in a panicked frenzy, a natural reaction for a drowning person. Luckily for the man, Joshua was trained in how to deal with such a situation and was able to secure him.
Thank you all for your help in getting the word out on our Blood Drive - 30 people came and donated blood, all 30 were accepted which is very usual. We have great blood donors here in the Coronado area, lots of different blood types and the Blood team were thrilled.
Sadly, I had to call 4 people as the Blood Team only had 30 units to fill; it is always sad to turn away a volunteer. The event was very social with lots of laughter and people staying long after they needed to as they were enjoying the good company and refreshments.
Refreshments were provided by playacommunity and the Cafe Viana cookies were very well received. The ones left over were quickly devoured by the Blood team who had just spent 4 1/2 hours working steadily.
Recently, the Boquete Jazz and Blues Festival transformed the quiet town of Boquete. The 4 days festival held in February, could have easily called itself the Boquete ‘BLUES’ and Jazz festival. With world class Blues musicians headlining the event, Blues and Boogie-Woogie were the mainstay that rocked the slopes of the Baru Volcano.
The festival officially kicked off with a Mardi Gras style parade through the town, led by a local trumpet band playing tunes like “When The Saints Go Marching In”. Residents in colorfully decorated golf carts followed the band. Multi colored wigs, feather boas, angel wings and painted faces were a few of the details dressing a rainbow of celebrating music lovers, dancing their way through Boquete’s main streets. Candies and beaded necklaces were tossed to scampering children who followed the parade to gather as much treasure as they could.
In recent years, the Bay of Chame has ranked as a top destination for kiteboarding, by publications including Kiteboarding magazine’s travel guide. Punta Chame draws more visitors each year as the sport gains popularity worldwide. This has created the opportunity for local business in Punta Chame to grow, while new businesses open their doors.
Itzick Lalo, owner of Machete kites, has been kiteboarding in the Bay of Chame for almost two decades. Machete Kites has been growing the sport in Panama, offering lessons on the point for over 15 years. Itzick has watched both the sport, and the area develop.
Itzick explained that kiteboarding is a relatively young sport. When he started, there was little literature, and definitely no videos or tutorials. The sport has developed quickly, becoming both safer and easier. There are higher quality products available and techniques for riding and teaching have improved a lot.
The Azuero is a large peninsula located in the south of Panama. Cultivated over 10,000 years ago, it was one of the first parts of the country to be settled, before the arrival of the Spaniards. The peninsula is often referred to as the “heartland” of the country, upholding traditions of farming, culture, and celebration. It is also home to one of Panama’s most secluded national Parks, Cerro Hoya.
The Azuero peninsula is divided into three provinces: Herrera, Los Santos (both of which are entirely on the peninsula) and Veraguas, which extends into the west of the peninsula. It is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean on the south, the Pacific and Gulf of Montijo to the west, and the Gulf of Panama on the east.
Spay the Strays is happy to announce that our beloved Dr. Velez is back in action! He will be participating in STS clinics after struggling with health issues over the past several months.
Dr. Velez joined Dr. Alexis for our second clinic of the year in Las Lajas. Together these two vets spayed and neutered 54 animals! We processed 38 dogs and 16 cats.
Outside the Casa Comunal we discovered 3 kittens huddled together under a log. They were about 6 weeks old. We managed to get them out and within 30 minutes all three had homes.
Pictured here is one of our longtime volunteers, Freddi (woman in red), who left on her motorcycle with a kitten tucked into her shirt. On the right is a volunteer and one of the kittens that we found.
A very happy ending for all!
Yesterday, February 23 at approximately 10:00 a.m. Coronado residents, living on the the Coronado Golf course, realized there was a two-toed sloth hanging out in their front door planter! The 5' high ornamental bamboo plant seemed like an odd place for a sloth. So, concerned about the animal's well-being they called several people in the community for advice on what to do.
When PlayaCommunity received news about the sloth, we reached out to our friends at Conservación Panamá. While many community members offered to relocated the sloth to a more secluded environment, Ezekiel Jakub of Conservación Panamá advised otherwise. Zeke told us that unless the animal was in clear distress, the best thing to do would be to let him be. "Often animals come into areas where it is odd to see them" explained Zeke, "usually they are just passing though".
In this case it seemed likely that the sloth was a juvenile, and indeed just passing though the territory. so we passed along Zeke's advise, "so long as the sloth seems generally protected from predators, let him move on his own, when he is ready."
The pollera is the national dress of Panama, worn by Panamanian girls and women on important occasions. The Panamanian pollera is a descendant of a dress worn by Andalusia females in the XVI century. There are a few variations of the national costume, while each has a unique purpose, they can all be defined by a few simple elements.
Miss Nieves de Hoyos, director of the Museo del Pueblo Espanol, published an article, "La Pollera Panamena," in 1963. She wrote:
"[…] white with a full skirt of two or three ruffles embroidered or appliqued in floral designs. This description is, simply, the pollera.”
The traditional dress is accompanied by a complicated hairstyle using gold combs resembling the ornamental pins once common in Valencia and Salamanca, Spain. Much like the evolution of this richly decorate hairpin, the pollera has evolved, becoming quintessentially Panamanian.
Author: M Stefan
As the season changes to summer (dry), I like to change up my wine repertoire to include something pink. No, not that sweet, fruity, blush stuff. The 4 wines reviewed below are serious, dry and full of complex flavors. If you think you don’t like rose wine, give these a try. You will be very pleasantly surprised. Served chilled, versatile enough to go with a variety of foods or served alone.
Juve y Camps Brut Rose’ Pinot Noir, Cava, $20.00 12% alc. Spain
Produced from Pinot Noir grapes this sparkling wine is a pretty, deep pink, almost red color. On the nose there are both floral and berry fruit notes in perfect harmony with alluring cherry blossom and strawberry aromas and flavors. Broad on the palate with savory, spicy fruit, it will make a superb match for jamon Iberico and other charcuterie. Long bottle aging – 3 years -has brought balance, length and weight while retaining freshness and vivacity. What a wonderful bubbly! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Today (Monday Feb. 9 2015) The Home Owners of Avenida Boulevard shut down the Boulevard Road of Coronado in Protest. We spoke with several home owners this afternoon (1:30 p.m.) to find out more about the protest.
We were told by residents of the Boulevard who were in attendance at the Coronado SA meeting yesterday (Sunday Feb. 8 2015) that their protest is in an effort to prevent construction vehicles and workers from passing though the backroads that connect Gorgona to Coronado. These residents feel that developers have a responsibility to ensure their trucks pass though the main Coronado gates and that all workers have a ID card and sign in.
The 7th annual Discovering Surf Talents Levis Cup, brought over 50 young surfers from around the country, to Playa Serena in Coronado. The event, originally scheduled for the 18th & 19th of October, was proponed as there was no swell. The waves predicted for the following weekend (October 25&26) were small, ranging from 1-3ft, but learning to compete in unfavorable conditions is one of the many challenges competitive surfers face; with this in mind, the event went on.
The first day of competition began with a reminder from Technical Director, Stanford Raúl. “It is not the quantity, but the quality waves” he said. This means, judges score the best maneuvers, not the numeber of waves each surfer rides. Playacommunity was on the sidelines as young compeitiors Veronica, Marita, Maria, Andrea and Vivian took to the water. All under the age of 12, each girl raced to the water with a smile. The younger of the compeitiors were accompanyed by a parent or coach.
The Panama Christian Foundation (PCF), are a group of business people who operate from Christian principals. The core of their operation is to lead by example. It is by these principals, that the PCF has created a futbol (soccer) team that has been participating in Chame District of Panama at the official league level.
The foundation runs soccer camps 4 days a week in Coronado and Bejuco for boys and girls aged 3 - 15. “Our membership is open to all”, says Francisco Oñate the sports coordinator and managing director of PCF. “We have different levels of culture, social economic levels and people from all walks of life coming together to play.”
Carnival, or “Los Carnavales” as described by most Panamanians, has been celebrated nation wide since the early 1900’s. Each year for the four days leading up to Ash Wednesday, the country shuts down to party; enjoying parades, live music and fireworks.
Among the highlights of carnival is the crowning of a new queen. Typically the town is split into an upper and lower section (calle arriba y calle abaho), crowning their own rival queen.
Each section boasts being better than the other, having a better party and the more the beautiful queen. During carnival, the competitive emotions of the towns run high. Being crowned queen is a tremendous honor, not only for the young woman being crowned but also for her family.
Elssy Vasquez Barrera, from the small town of Parita in the province of Herrera, was a carnival queen in 1981. Today she lives in Coronado, and continues to participate in Carnival annually as part of the Parita Carnival organizing committee.
Elssy spoke with us about some of the responsibilities of being queen. “The queen is the ambassador of the town for the year. She has to organize activities, be present at important events and raise funds for the following year’s carnival.”