What do those craving silence and solitude, those seeking a behind-closed-doors place to party and those looking for a venue for their physical pleasures have in common?
Panama’s “Push Button” motels!
If you’ve driven the Panamerican highway between Chame and Coronado then you will have seen the sign for “Brisas del Amor” (Breezes of Love) just before the entrance to Gorgona. Brisas del Amor is one of several Push Button motels in the area and one of hundreds across the country.
Good health care is among the many reasons Panama has become a top destination to retire. Panama offers low cost public, and private healthcare as well as many well-trained bilingual medical professionals in populated areas like Coronado, Panama City and David and Boquete.
Today, Panama’s health care system is not only benefiting residents, it is also working efficiently for tourists.
In 2011 Panama’s Tourism Authority (ATP), administered a program that would grant all tourists entering through Tocumen airport, 30-day emergency medical insurance. The policy was in an effort to encourage tourism and transparency into their health care system.
“Those who take advantage of the health services in the country will see that Panama is an ideal place for medical tourism with highly trained physicians and hospitals.” Said the Minister of Tourism of Panama and Director of the ATP, Solomon Shamah.
Last year, a 71 year-old Canadian citizen, visiting Coronado, slipped and hit her head. Bleeding, she was taken to the San Fernando Clinic in Coronado.
9 cooks went head to head to win the coveted Pepto Bismo Cup at the CASA Chili Cook-off at Alcaza Towers, yesterday Feb 10. The event marked the 5th year for the CASA Chili Cook-off at the beaches. The cooks came with a range of chili making experience, from seasoned chili-chefs to first time dabblers. Before the voting began, the contestants took turns to talk up their own chili skills while talking down other contestants.
Every guest was a judge who received tasting cups filled with chili numbered from 1 to 9. The chills ranged in tastes from mild to hot, featuring various tastes and colors. There was even a White Turkey Chili to off set the crockpots filled with red. Ballots determined the winning recipe.
If you were to ask me 5 years ago what the Gold Coast would look like today, you might have found my answer hard to believe. Back when the Gold Coast was just a sleepy stretch of beaches along the Pacific, it was hard to imagine it becoming the epicenter of progress and promise that we know today.
But I saw it coming, as both a community member and an investor of real estate. I felt in my bones that this area had something special going for it- a rare combination of benefits; spanning from its ideal location and natural beauty to the breed of residents it had already begun to attract. I had no doubt- the Gold Coast was destined to be the next big thing in Panama.
How is Jeff doing, you ask? Well, three ladies left Coronado one morning this week and drove to Monkey Lodge, his new home and he has a new name, Marius. Monkey Lodge (monkeylodgepanama.com) is a B&B and monkey sanctuary just outside of the City on the new highway to Colon. It is in a peaceful setting, lots of trees and gentle breezes.
Marius, has two sister monkeys that are spider monkeys like him. One, Lily is just 3 years old, Lolu the matriarch is 8 years old, at between 1 and 2 years Marius is the baby.
Through the dry season beach communities in the arco seco, (the dry arc) of Panama see very little rain. This means plants need water daily. In dry hot weather watering at night is best, as it helps from water evaporating before it is absorbed into the soil. If you are watering during the day try not to get the leaves of the plant wet, as water droplets can create a magnifying effect and scorch the leaves.
When leaves wilt, become limp or turn yellowish brown the plant is suffering from drought. One way to know if your plant is thirsty is to test the soil. It is important to check below the topsoil, if it is dry that means the plant should be watered.
The quality of the soil will play a big part in keeping your plants happy and healthy at any time of year. Adding organic mulch will improve the quality of soil and help and retain moisture. Organic mulches include coconut husks, chopped up leaves, grass clippings, and manure or compost.
With the dry season comes a stronger wind, so make sure your plants are protected. If your plants are already in the ground a mesh wrapped around the growing area is one way to protect your garden. A more permanent way to battle the wind could be to build a green house.
There isn’t a better way to get a running start at making friends in a new community than participating in your local theatre company. Luckily for beach area residents, Rob Brown and Yolanda Van Der Kolk (Brown) have created a company in the area, called The Panama and Coclé Theatre (P.a.C.T.). The pair bring a combination of acting, directing, stage design and costume experience to the company.
Recently Yolanda starred in a production of “Small Talks”, an situation comedy, where she transforms herself from an awkward, dowdy woman into a self assured seductress. When Yolanda first walked out on stage, I didn’t recognize her, and was amazed at how convincing she was.
The Panama rainforest. An environment alive with vibrant flora, diverse fauna, bubbling Rios, and….hundreds of entrepreneurs?
That was the case between Dec 28th and Jan. 1st, when TEDx teamed up with Kalu Yala to bring over 100 visionaries into the jungle to connect, share, and create.
TED is a global series of conferences devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading.”
Each event assembles the world’s most remarkable thought leaders, providing a platform on which they can inform and inspire. It’s offspring, TEDx, enables organizations to bring their own TED-like events to the local community.
Are you expecting Jewelry this Valentine’s Day?
Just remember whether it’s gift at Christmas, your birthday surprise, or a brand new Valentine’s Day ring, all insurance companies have “set limits” on what they will pay for stolen goods. Some companies hold the limit at $1,500, others $2,500, and a small group, $5,000. If it has been awhile since your reviewed this portion of your homeowner’s policy, now may be the time.
Jewelry has “set” limits in all homeowner’s insurance policies. In addition, mysterious disappearance (like a stone falling out of a setting) may not be covered on a standard homeowner policy.
It was certainly not learning-as-usual for the English classes last Saturday at Finca La Maya. With donations from a local business and private sponsors, La Maya organized a fabulous excursion day for the students who regularly attend any of the five levels of free English classes.
At 9 a.m. on 2 February twenty-six students, a few moms, and several La Maya English teachers traveled in a rented bus to the marina at Playa Blanca, where Xtreme Adventures is located (www.xtremepanama.com).
The staff strapped students into life jackets then loaded young and old onto a pontoon boat. Then they set off into the ocean for the 20-minute boat ride to Isla Farallon. Near the island an anchor was set and the group enjoyed a few glorious hours to swim, snorkel, see fish and starfish, learn to swim, and explore the rocks around the island. Many students had never been on a boat, some were a bit scared, but most all were full of smiles and - even if they did not get into the water - everyone enjoyed the special treat to be out on the ocean!
A friend who is quite a wine aficionado recently said to me “friends don’t let friends drink pink wines”. Well, who am I to let a statement like that go untested? Particularly with Valentine’s Day approaching.
The other day, I gathered 8 different “pink” wines and tasted them all in 1 sitting. And before I hear all the crass comments, of course I spit each wine when tasting. I’m a professional after all!
Before I get into the specific reviews below, a bit of technical information might be useful. There are basically 3 ways to make rosé, or rosado in Spanish and Portuguese and rosato in Italian. The most common is to use a French technique called saignée. This is basically bleeding off some partially fermented wine from a tank of red grapes when only a bit of color has been extracted from the grape skins. Another method is to harvest red grapes and give them a few hours of skin contact, about 12-36 hours. This also imparts a small amount of color. The third and least desirable method is to blend red and white wines. This is illegal in some countries. There are rosés which range from bitterly dry to terribly sweet, still, sparkling and in-between.
Beyond the beautiful salt and pepper beaches and 5 star resorts, the Pacific coast offers a variety of inland adventures. From large lakes to rushing waterfalls and spectacular mountain views, our coast really has it all. Here are a few day trips perfect for the whole family.
Arenosa is a small fishing community located on the west end of Lake Gatun. This fresh water lake, created by a series of dams built during the construction of the Panama Canal, is only 70km away from Coronado. Stocked with Peacock Bass, the lake offers a great experience for children, as everyone with a rod in the water is sure to pull something out!
The Panama Christian Foundation (PCF) is happy to announce open enrollment for the Childrens Soccer Camp’ which will run on Saturday’s from March 15 through the 28th of June in the Bejuco Sports Complex. Enrollment is open to kids from age 6 to 13 and is only $7 per month for enrollment.
The kids will learn to develop their ’ skills from the credentialed PCF head coach Pablo Robiglio from Argentina along with the local PCF sports training team of Hugo Aviles and Rogelio Ortega who are expert players in their own right.
From their participation, each kid will have the opportunity to be selected to play on a competitive team in an organized league. Players who display an aptitude and skill for the game then have an opportunity to develop that aptitude for future growth and participation in a well organized structure with excellent support and leadership.
The Pacific Coast of Panama is developing so quickly that we rarely stop to think about how it is developing. On the top list of reasons to move to the Pacific coast is the natural life and beauty that still exists here. As development begins to trickle down both the Pacific and Atlantic coastlines we have to ask what will be forever changed and what will be preserved?
One of the realities of development is that for the most part you cannot construct without clearing land and removing nature. There is one new developer on Panama’s coast that is keenly aware of what development does to the natural landscape, and is creating a housing project with nature in mind.
To learn more about the project, I contacted Kevin Painter, an award winning nature photographer and developer of Azura.
I met with Kevin at his site in the village of Rodeo Viejo. When I walked into his office, there were a series of outstanding photographs of native butterflies on the walls.
Coronado Catholics, the English-speaking Catholic Community in and around Coronado, celebrates their Third Anniversary with a Grand Fun Fair at the Capilla del Divino Nino in Agua Mina, on Saturday, Feb 15h, from 10 am to 4 pm Enjoy a BBQ Lunch with Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Cup Cakes, Soda, Music, Prize Raffle, Folk Dances and more.
I was taking in a Pacific coast sunset from the quite shores of Malibu when the chaos began. It was Friday evening, so I did my best to ignore my phone, at the very least for 10 minutes of quite. Little did I know, Justin Bieber was back in town, and my weekend was about to get a whole lot busier.
This Year’s Super Bowl between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks is shaping up to be one of the best in years. The game will set the old-school pocket passing quarterback, Payton manning, against the new school mobile quarterback, Russell Wilson.
If Peyton is able to pull off the victory it should cement his legacy as one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. With two very different quarterbacks, both teams with incredible defenses, no one is sure if it's going to be an offensive shootout, or more of a defensively dominated battle at the line.
The best part about the Super Bowl is that it's a football game that can be enjoyed by everyone. This year expect some great commercials not to mention a halftime show featuring a performance by Bruno Mars and his band The Smeezingtons! Between Bruno and Budweiser’s #bestbuds commercial everyone should be entertained between downs.
Looking for a super bowl party at the beach? Here’s a couple:
Recently Boquete, located in the Chiriquí highlands, has been making a name for itself. Last year, US News spoke to the small mountain town as “one of the world’s biggest and best-known overseas retirement communities.” Offering a cool mountain climate, abundant natural beauty and a variety of amenities, its clear why the town has gained its popularity. Boquete is quickly developing into a hotspot of activity, but what's really special about Boquete is that it is full of culture, and rich with musical talent.
From February 13 until February 16 the Boquete Jazz & Blues Festival will serenate the foothills of Volcan Baru. In its beginnings this humble festival brought a small local crowd of music lovers together. Today, it is a well-known musical event that draws spectator and musical acts from all over the globe. Each year, the event boasts a variety of concerts and parties. This year like last, the festivities will kick off with a New Orleans style parade.
Liz Larroquette’s no BS approach to advising clients and investors on real estate has earned her the respect of thousands of expats who have relocated to Panama, and many more who are considering relocating in the future. To learn more, visit www.LizLarroquette.com.
And the award for best retirement destination goes to….
According to a recent CentralAmericaData report, Panama has recently surpassed Costa Rica as a retirement destination. Finally, the data crunchers are catching up and realizing what I have known for years, that Panama is the jewel of Latin America!
They’ve cited rising real estate prices in Costa Rica as the main factor in the switch. But I could list a slew of other reasons why Panama is the bee’s knees!
The National Civil Protection system has announced the start of their “Safe Summer 2014” plan. The plan was developed last year, and aims to promote safety in the beach area, it involves over 800 staff members and volunteers. These members include lifeguards, first air providers and paramedics.
Yesterday, Wed. Jan. 22, Jeff popped by the Picasso Happy Hour to say a quick hello. Some residents were excited to see Jeff swing in, while others were concerned as the Punta Prieta & Roberto Eisenmann intersection sees a lot of traffic, especially on a Wednesday.
We spoke to a Coronado resident who had been in contact with a caretaker in the area. She told us the caretaker, who knew the monkey and his previous owner, was able to get a leash on him yesterday afternoon. However, when the caretaker tried to get Jeff in a cage he got scared and escaped.
On May 4, 2014 the Panamanian population will elect a new president for a period of 5 years. The new president should take over office July 1 2014.
We know that this year a new president will be elected, but how much do we know about these presidential candidates or about this election? How will the future of Panama differ based on which candidate wins?
The three most popular candidates running in the 2014 elections are: José Domingo Arias, Juan Carlos Navarro and Juan Carlos Varela.
Have you ever wanted to make the world a better place? Have you ever heard of Rotary? Rotary International is a worldwide service organization of 1.2million members in over 200 countries. We are 1.2 million neighbors, friends, and community leaders who come together to create positive, lasting change in our communities and around the world. Our differing occupations, cultures, and countries give us a unique perspective. Our shared passion for service helps us accomplish the remarkable.
A Rotary club is being organized in Coronado and the beach areas. Informational meetings are held every Tuesday at 12:00 in the upstairs meeting room at the Coronado Golf & Country Club. Lunch is served at a cost of $12.00. There is no obligation to join. Come and learn about this wonderful and effective organization and how you might be able to participate.
Yesterday, Sunday Jan 19, The Skip Stewart Airshow was at the Scarlett Martinez International Airport in Rio Hato. The event brought over 15,000 to the airport, but local resident and photographer Frank Corbett told us this number only accounted for those inside the airport. There were also many spectators parked on the side of the highway to take in the daredevil pilots, parachute jumpers and aerobatics.
“This event attracted more spectators than the closing concert of the Jazz Festival on Saturday. The Civil Aviation Administration said that the attendance was higher than expected.”
Coronado residents have gathered on the corner of Calle Roberto Esienmann and Ylang Ylang to watch a monkey that has been in the area for several hours.
Early this moring around 7:45 a.m. a local resident noticed the monkey sitting outside of Gourmet Pizza on his way to drop his kids off to school. When we asked him about the monkey he said: “it was almost as if the monkey was waiting for someone.” The monkey is still in the area now (11:00 a.m.).
Since early this morning people have been stopping to see the monkey. Many are attempting to give him water and bananas. The monkey has been accepting, leading some to believe the monkey is domestic, and is in fact waiting for someone.
The wandering monkey has been gaining much attention and has created somewhat of a road block at the intersection of Roberto Esienmann and Ylang Ylang.