A culture is a way of life of a group of people--the behaviors, beliefs, values, and symbols that they accept, generally without thinking about them, and that are passed along by communication and imitation from one generation to the next.
A splash of culture was the secret ingredient in the dishes Thelma was preparing the evening we met. The funny thing is, she didn’t even know it.
We arrived in Torio just after dark. A friend had suggested we eat at Thelma’s place in town. Thelma greeted us warmly, calling us into her kitchen to find out what we wanted for dinner.
There were two options on the menu that evening, stir-fried chicken with homemade patacones for $6.00, and lobster pasta for $8.00. We all opted for the lobster pasta. Thelma asked us to come back in 40 minutes; the food would be cooked fresh.
Take advantage of some great deals and help seven terrific community organizations with Bid4theBeaches! Bid4theBeaches.com is an online charity auction to benefit seven local organizations including
By: Mark K.
The 2015 Lexus Panama Classic was held April 30 through May 3. For the 2nd year in a row, the tournament was presented at the beautiful, Jack Nicklaus designed, Buenaventura Golf Club in Rio Hato.
by: Epicurious Em
QUOTE: “In the last couple of weeks, there was a review in the La Prensa newspaper about a new restaurant they referred to as five stars with the atmosphere of Havana 1950. It is called La Posta.” —Anonymous Review June 18, 2005
Several months ago, the flagship restaurant of the famed Henesey-Rodriguez Group, La Posta, closed at the old location in the city and recently reopened its doors at the corner of Calle Uruguay and Calle 47. Having been frequent diners there for over five years, we were curiously optimistic about the new venue. Fortunately for us, we dined there shortly after they reopened and were included in a “friends and family” evening.
Seeing sea turtles in their natural environment is a truly unique experience. Unfortunately, our time to see them is running out. Sea turtles are struggling to survive, largely due to human neglect of their natural environment.
One critical action we must take to increase sea turtle populations is to protect the beaches they nest on. There are seven species of sea turtles in the world and four of them nest in Panama. All four species, (Hawksbill, Leatherback, Olive Ridley and the Green sea turtle) can be seen on Mata Oscura Beach on the Western Azuero Peninsula.
Mata Oscura is a wide secluded bay, free of light pollution, noise, and development. These are among the reasons sea turtles still nest here. Female sea turtles will not surface on beaches where there is a lot of human activity. This means preserving the remaining nesting sites is vital for their survival.
Jacinto Rodriguez, founder and director of a local NGO, Agua y Tierra, has been documenting the arrival of sea turtles on Playa Mata Oscura for almost 5 years. Highly knowledgeable on marine life, Jacinto has dedicated his life to learning about, and educating others on marine turtle conservation.
Panama A/V is introducing their new line of Audible Security, manufactured by Honeywell Systems. The Honeywell System is well known as a high quality, proven, effective system for Audible Security. The Honeywell Audible Alarm System lineup consists of many valuable and important features:
- The heart of the system is an LED Touch Sensitive Wireless Color Controller, with Internet and Wi-Fi capability.
- The Controller is intuitive, easy to use and can be accessed remotely through an IOS (Apple) or Android device.
The Rotary Club of Playa Coronado has been working on the Wheelchair Project for over 1 year. Their fundraising efforts have purchased over 300 wheelchairs for under privileged children living in Pacific beach & mountain neighborhoods. News of the wheelchair donations spread via Panama mainstream newspapers and radio shows. The numbers on the list of recipients needing wheelchairs increased rapidly. With the help of donation from residents in the beach areas, Rotary clubs in Canada and other Rotary allied organizations, close to $50,000 was raised to purchase and ship the chairs to Panama.
My first months in Panama, even after an entire year of living in Spain, I could barely order off a menu, let along muster up the courage to actually speak Spanish. How did I spend a year in Spain and still struggle to speak Spanish? Well, it was news to me too, but apparently living abroad and being immersed in a language isn't the same thing.
You need to seek opportunities for immersion.
This only became clear after living in Coronado, where a good portion of the population is English speaking, first and second language.
After deciding Panama was home for the foreseeable future it set in that learning the language was going to be essential; if not to buy my groceries or order off menus, then to connect with more people.
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.
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.