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.
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 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.”
El Hato Del Volcán, better known simply as Volcán, is a small mountain town located in the Chiriquí province of Panama. Nestled in the foothills of Panama’s tallest peak Volcan Baru (3,475m), this dormant Volcano was first inhabited by indigenous tribes thousands of years ago. Volcán and the surrounding communities, including the agricultural capital of Panama Cerro Punta, are still home to many indigenous people belonging primarily to the Ngäbe or Guaymí commarca.
Over the last century, groups of Swiss immigrants have settled throughout the highlands leaving their mark on the area’s architecture. Today the town is praised as one of Panama’s top retirement destinations boasting coffee farms and national parks.
As you begin to climb in altitude passing through the small village of Cuesta de Piedra, the breeze gets a bit cooler, the air misty, and you can almost begin to taste the coffee. Driving through the clouds, past tall pines growing up towards the volcano’s peek, the sleepy town looms. Despite its appearance, Volcán is actually quite an active town. Almost 80% of Panama’s milk, meat and vegetables pass though here. The town is a highland hub for locals, expats and tourists alike with amenities like banks, grocery stores, restaurants and hotels.
This afternoon there was a fatal accident in Asturias, an area of the private development Altos del Maria. It has been reported that a tour bus carrying 10 American tourits went off a cliff. A witnesses told TVN the driver lost control of the vehicle due to a problem with the brakes. Two fatalities have been reported and several of the injured were airlifted to Albrook and then to St. Thomoas hospital. Since Altos del Maria is a private community only ambulances and rescue teams were allowed in the area. For this reason some details are unclear including the number of injuries. See the La Prensa and TVN reports below.
What is a trust?
A trust is a contract by which a person called the settlor transfers assets to a trustee (ACTION TRUST, S.A.), to hold and manage them for the good of a beneficiary, who may be the settlor himself.
Trust companies are supervised by the Superintendency of Banks, which ensures that customers are served under the highest professional standards.
Why should I create a trust?
A trust is very versatile instrument because it can undertake any lawful activity, so it is limited only by the imagination of its parties.
What assets can I place into a trust?
Any type of assets, present or future, can be settled into a trust. The applicable law allows for assets to be transferred by the settlor or by third parties once the trust has been created, with the consent of the trustee.
****** CALLING ALL BIRDERS ************
The Christmas Bird Count: Old and New Traditions
By Ezekiel S. Jakub
Every year throughout the Americas thousands of people take part in an annual bird census, called The Christmas Bird Count (CBC). The count is administered by the National Audubon Society, and the purpose is to provide population data for use in science, especially conservation biology.
By: Anibal Diaz
January 9th is a national day in Panama called "Martyrs Day". It is a tribute to honor the patriotism of civilians and students who gave their lives for Panama to be a sovereign country throughout its territory.
After the separation of Panama from Colombia in 1903 a French man named Bunau Varilla made a treaty with the United States on behalf of Panama Republic. This treaty granted in perpetuity, the Panama Canal, along with a 5-mile strip of land on either side of it, to the United States. This area, which stretched from the Pacific coast to the Atlantic coast, was called the "Panama Canal Zone". With this treaty Panama was politically divided into two, having US territory running down the middle. For Panamanians to pass from one side to the other, they had to cross a path, which would later become "Puente de las Américas." Bridge. Many Panamanians did not agree with this treaty, but they accepted it in order to gain the help of the United States with separation from Colombia.
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.
QUOTE: “For fish to taste right, it must swim 3 times—in the sea, in butter, and in wine.” --Oceanaire Restaurant
Of all the fish in the ocean, I like fresh fish the best! Thus is the credo of Christian Mahlke’s new gourmet fish market and restaurant in the Plaza Bayside Center in Coronado. Christian brings in fresh fish daily from both the Pacific and Caribbean, as he has a long established relationship with fishermen and buys from the same people all the time. The pescaderia features fresh lobster, crab, shrimp, and varieties of fish. He sells whole smaller fish and uses large deep-sea fish for nice sized fillets. Christian instills pride in the fact that most of his fish are caught in the healthier deep seas, rather than close to shore. The pristine market boasts sparkling glass cases adorned with treasures from the sea in their beautiful colors.
What if buying your new mountain home in Panama came with a free vacation? It does!
We at Inside Panama Real Estate love Lucero Golf and Country Club, and we know you’ll love it, too. In fact, we’re so convinced, we’ll reimburse your travel expenses up to $5000 (USD) if you visit us and buy at Lucero.
Book your flight. We’ll show you around the development and the community, because we know that “home” isn’t just a building. We’ll have breakfast at Sugar and Spice, where they have great muffins and even better coffee. We’ll explore the luxury home options and find the one that fits your needs and your tastes. We’ll play some golf or tennis and get a feel for what your daily life will look like as a Lucero home-owner and resident. We’ll meet up with fellow ex-pats at Amigos Restaurante or Mike’s Global Grill to enjoy some good company and good food — and maybe even some live music.
Firefighters are at the scene of a large fire that broke out at HIM Coronado. The fire is located in the supply depot behind the main store. Cause of the fire is not known at this time. No one is hurt.
Today at 10:00 a.m. a car making a left turn out of Coronado was hit by an SUV traveling towards Panama City. The driver of the car hit appeared to be a middle-aged Panamanian woman. There were no passengers in the car. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the SUV is currently in police custody.
“I loved baba ganouch before I learned how to say it. I still can’t spell it.” --Author Unknown
The restaurant Beirut opened its doors in Playa Blanca about two years ago. Bringing Middle Eastern cuisine and a mix of international flavors to the beach area, Beirut has friendly and knowledgeable staff.
Similar to Spanish tapas, Romanian mezeluri, and Italian antipasti, Beirut offers the mezze (a Lebanese spread) dish.
The mezze brings variety of aromas, flavors, colors, and textures to the table; it’s a stunning array of small dishes. Don’t know what to order? The mezze is your solution. Beirut’s extensive menu also allows you to create your own mezze.
The mezze for two is $52, but could easily feed three or four.
When summer comes back to Boquete in early 2015 the valley will resonate once again with the sounds of world-class Latin Jazz and the raw power of North American Blues. For almost a full week, world-class music will rule the Boquete valley again with the 9th edition of the annual Boquete Jazz & Blues Festival, the biggest international music festival in the Chiriqui highlands.
With a star-studded program of 56 musicians from the US, Panama and Europe, 8 daytime shows in the beautiful amphitheater of Valle Escondido plus 5 nightly jam sessions, a New Orleans style street parade, a Latin Jazz garden party at the Panamonte hotel, a free concert in the park, a "The Art of Music" art show and a ‚ music for Schools’ program, the 2015 festival will be the best ever.
The line-up is hard to beat: International Blues star Shakura S’Aida from Canada will be tearing up the stage on Saturday, Feb 7 at 4:30pm; Li’l Ed & The Blues Imperials from Chicago will present their legendary spontaneous and unpredictable rowdy live show on Sunday, Feb 08 at 3pm; Deanna Bogart from Baltimore will boogie the 88’s and blow her horn on Saturday at 1:30pm; 83 year old Blues veteran Leon Blue from Las Vegas, will rock the house on Sunday Feb 8 at 1:30pm together with Swiss Blues Award winner Andy Egert and the Boquete Blues Band, presenting the best of Blues that has ever been heard in Panama!
As the year end approaches, I decided to look back at my wine reviews and select some of the highlights of 2014. I have broken it down to Sparkling Wines, White Wines, Rose’ Wines and Red Wines.
All the wines I list have been rated a BEST BUY or HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, or both.
Chandon Brut Nature, $19.40, 13% alc. Argentina
This non-vintage blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir shows full flavors with some intensity. A very nice alternative to more expensive French Champagne.
Greenhouses or in Spanish viveros, are a common solution used by gardeners to combat the dry and hot months in Panama. While having and operating a greenhouse might seem like a daunting task at the beginning, if you can see the construction through your garden will flourish.
A greenhouse can be a big help in a tropical climate, especially when growing vegetables. It can help regulate temperature, humidity, water distribution, and protect from pests. The allure of a greenhouse in North America is often that you can extend your growing season; here in the tropics it is more about creating a consistent environment.
The most common greenhouses seen throughout Panama are simple, but they do the trick. A semi-permanent structure made of PVC piping and metal with or without roof, is not only an economic, it’s also efficient. Some greenhouses use a clear plastic covering rather than a mesh roof, for plants needing more light. Affordable irrigation systems are also available locally. Automatic irrigation can help take the guesswork out of watering, it can also free up time for other hobbies. With automatic watering and airflow conscious construction, your greenhouse can actually take care of your plants for you.
The holiday season is upon us along with the season for entertaining, cooking, and sharing food and drink. Here are three holiday recipes sure to impress your guests.
Rum Punch / Ron Ponche
This is a traditional Panamanian drink, served at Christmas and New Year celebrations. It can be made with or without rum.
- 4 big cans of evaporated Milk (315 grams each)
- 2 big cans of sweetened condensed Milk
- 6 beaten eggs
For many the beginning of a New Year is about starting a new chapter, getting a clean slate, a new opportunity to start over. While parties and fireworks are global traditions, there are certain unique customs that have their roots in the Spanish and Latin American World.
Wearing white for New Year is one way to represent a fresh start and bring good luck. Add a splash of color with the underwear you wear. Red for love, yellow for prosperity, green for health. Do not wear black or you will be doomed throughout the coming year.
Eat 12 grapes - one with each toll of the midnight strike. Each grape represents a month of the year and eating them is supposed to bring you luck. A lot of people throw in an extra grape, for extra luck.
Hoping for that dream vacation? Walking around in circles with a suitcase is said to ensure a year with plenty of travel.
Located in the Maria Chiquita area, on the Caribbean side of Panama, Safarick’s Zoologic is an animal rescue and rehabilitation center founded by Antonio Purificacao, a real estate developer from Montreal, with a love for animals.
Most of the animals kept at the zoo are brought in by ANAM, Panama’s wildlife protection agency. Many arrive sick and unhealthy. Some come from seizures, others are found injured and /or deforested. “In most cases we strive to return the animal to the wild, but in cases where an animal has been rescued from life with humans, we have to keep it and care for it, as it cannot survive on its own”, says Antonio.
Antonio and his family started rescuing wildlife four years ago when they arrived in Panama. The very first animal they saved was a baby Howler Monkey that had been rescued from poachers. The wildlife population under the Purificacao care increased from there; today the Zoo has 109 animals that are being rehabilitated and cared for. While the family has been saving animals for several years, the Safarick Zoologic facility only opened its doors this year in October.
Every year on January 6th the Coronado Area Social Association (CASA) celebrates Three Kings Day with special needs children and their families.
Three Kings Day, or in Spanish, Dia de los Reyes, is celebrated in many parts of the world. On the Christian calendar it marks the date the three kings brought gifts to baby Jesus. For many living in Panama, it is customary to give a gift on this day.
For the past 6 years, Senora Maribel Gonzales has welcomed eighty families with special needs children into her home to celebrate the occasion. Guests enjoy lunch and dessert, and children receive gifts donated by a local church. Each year, CASA provides a food basket for each family. Last year 80 families took home a basket, and children wore decorated paper crowns and received photos of them taken that day.
The baskets, containing dry foods such as flour, sugar, pasta, beans and other canned items, cost about $25 each. Fundraising events are hosted annually to raise the money to buy food items.