Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Partial transit of the Panama Canal, Thursday, February 14, 2013


Tell Carmela I referred you!

The Panama Canal, recognized as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World,
will celebrate 100 years on August 15, 2014.  Before this historic day arrives,
you owe it to yourself  to experience firsthand the wonder of the Panama Canal transit.
An invitation to join our Partial Transit of the Canal

Carmela and Alonso Gobern
The Editors of the Panama Cyberspace News invite you to
Join our partial transit of the Panama Canal
Valentine’s Day, Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 9 a.m.
Departing from Flamenco Marina on Amador Causeway, Panama City
Travel Route:
The Pacific Ocean, Panama Bay,Under Bridge of the Americas, Panama Ports Company, Miraflores Locks, Pedro Miguel Locks, Gaillard (Culebra) Cut,
Canal Expansion Project, Under the Centennial Bridge, Gatun Lake, Gamboa

This transit includes the following: Lunch, (no breakfast), water and sodas, a bilingual guide, four (4) hours on the Pacific Queen, a 300-passenger cruise liner, and a bus to bring us back from Gamboa.

The Pacific Queen is a Norwegian-built cruiser, designed specifically for day tours and cruises, with a capacity for 300 passengers, measures 119 ft. in length and 25 ft. in width.
Passengers will enjoy:  Two (2) spacious, enclosed decks, with air conditioning and a comfortable seating, an open-air third deck with an ideal vantage point from which to enjoy your cruise, narration of the tour guide, six (6) conveniently-located restrooms, a souvenir shop complete with local handcrafts and Panama Canal souvenirs, a lounge area on the first floor with bar where food and soft drinks are served. (Liquor on sale.).  Wear comfortable clothing and shoes; take your camera, dark shades, a hat/cap and an umbrella.
Take advantage of this old price: Nationals and residents $80 – Tourists and visitors $115
New price as of January 1, 2013: Nationals and residents $100 - Tourists and visitors $140
Requirement: Cedula or Passport
Children 3 to 12 years of age: $50 Panamanians and $65.00 tourists (identification required)
New price as of January 1, 2013: Children 3 to 12 years old $75 Panamanians and $85 Tourists and visitors
Contact for reservations as soon as possible.
Telephone: Panama (507) 6675-4507 or (507) 314-0398  Telephone U.S. (678) 995-7136
Payment accepted as soon as possible or no later than Thursday, February 7, 2013

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cultural Dance Exchange Program

The Salt Lake Tribune (Utah, USA):

Courtesy image University of Utah dance students work with younger dancers as part of the Panama movement exchange.
U. dancers raising money for Panama exchange
Dance » Students seek to change the world through cultural exchange program.
First Published Jan 27 2013 05:57 pm • Last Updated Jan 28 2013 06:36 pm
Dance majors at the University of Utah aren’t required to take Fundraising 101, but 15 undergraduate and graduate modern dance students are learning fundraising skills through experience.
Through the Movement Exchange nonprofit, the U. dancers will spend March 10-18 in Panama City, where they will teach, collaborate, and perform with children in orphanages and dance professionals. The nonprofit partners with a number of institutions — including the University of Panama, the U.S. Embassy, the National Dance School of Panama, three orphanages, and three at-risk youth foundations — to provide sustainable dance education for Panamanian youth.
At a glance
Dancing to Panama
The U.’s second Dance and Educational International Exchange Program: Panamá will take place March 10-18. The 15 U. dance students who are taking the trip will hold a fundraising week Jan. 28-Feb. 2.
Dancers participating » Lynn Bobzin, Kelly Bruce, Christine Crepeau, Eowyn Fitch, Amy Freitas, Aiko Johnson, Jordan Peterson, Eiby Lobos, Laura Brick, Benjamin Roeling, Jamie Myers, Samantha Matsukawa, Ben Mielke, Scotty Hardwig and Laquimah Vandunk.
Fundraising projects
Tax-deductible online account » The Department of Modern Dance-University of Utah has opened an account under Panamá Exchange:
California Pizza Kitchen » Bring this article or a cell phone photo of it to California Pizza Kitchen at The Gateway on Jan. 30-31; 20 percent of purchases (dine-in, take-out, catering and beverages) will be donated to the effort.
Move to Change-Dance Intensive » U. students will lead a dance workshop on Saturday, Feb. 2, with proceeds donated to the Panama exchange tuition and flight expenses.
Where » Marriott Center For Dance, 1500 E. 330 South, University of Utah campus, Salt Lake City
When » 12:30 p.m. registration; 1-4 p.m. master classes in hip hop, musical theater, ballet or modern styles; 4:14-5 p.m. U. students presenting choreography and video from 2012 Panama trip
Fee » $45; at or at the door
Info » Contact Juan Carlo Claudio at 801-520-0989 or
Join the Discussion
Post a Comment
The U.’s exchange program was launched last year after assistant professor of modern dance Juan Carlos Claudio spotted a poster on a cluttered bulletin board for the Dance and Educational Exchange Program: Panamá (Movement Exchange).
"It was exactly what I had been looking for," Claudio said. He remembered the fulfillment he felt when he participated in community outreach during his 10 years as a member of the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company.
"My goal as a teacher is to build strong technical dancers, but I also want to teach students to think creatively, globally, collaboratively — and especially to broaden the definition of what dance can be as a profession," Claudio said.
Claudio teaches courses such as Dance in Culture, Service Learning: Modern Dance, and a Dance and Community program where students teach under-served populations, working with refugees, at-risk youth, the homeless and veterans. "We deal with issues like obesity, emotional stress and PTSD."
Those experiences led Claudio to contact Movement Exchange’s founder, Anna Pasternak, and the pair quickly discovered they shared similar goals about using dance as a vehicle for social change.
Pasternak, a 2007 Harvard graduate, launched Movement Exchange in 2010. She describes it as "sort of a Dancers Without Borders," working to facilitate exchanges with volunteer dancers who travel abroad to teach dance to at-risk youth.
In Panama, that includes working with children in several orphanages, where according to Pasternak, the children often have social and psychological issues. "They can have a hard time even facing each other and talking," she said. But through the dance classes and forming bonds with the teachers, "they gain self-confidence, pride and trust. They learn teamwork and organizational skills. Kids don’t necessarily want to talk about the things they’ve been through, so they get to explore and express some of their feelings through dance."
Working with Movement Exchange, Claudio led a group of 15 U. students to Panama last April. The group taught 100 students per day at two orphanages, a public elementary school, the University of Panama and National Dance School of Panama. In addition, they took classes with local artists.

story continues below
The trip included some challenges. For example, MFA student Lynn Bobzin said when they got to the orphanages, they hadn’t considered that there would be no power sources to play iPods for class music. "So we created our own by drumming on the floor and singing," Bobzin said.
Now, Claudio is coordinating the return trip to Panama in March. To fund the trip, the U. dancers have had to get creative. "With your help in the fundraising efforts, you are helping us to use dance’s global language to empower at-risk youth, promote self-esteem and creative development in underserved communities and develop new artistic relationships across the globe," Claudio said.
Characteristically, Claudio dipped his head and added: "I am humbled by the generosity we’ve already received."

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Russian pianist brings Chopin to El Valle, Panamá

Prizewinning Russian pianist brings Chopin to El Valle

By Dylis Jones
From over loud speaker hyped blasts at a beer fest, to outstanding jazz at the City of Knowledge to a world class classical pianist, Panama is covering the spectrum of musical entertainment this month.
Russian pianist Alexandre Moutouzkine, first-prize winner of Panama’s Fourth International Piano Competition will be performing in El Valle this week.
On Saturday, January 26 He will interpret the 12 Chopin Etudes, Opus 25 for the Music Festival of El Valle.
Moutouzkine, known to friends as "Sasha", was taught by renowned Cuban-American teacher Salomon Mikowski at the Manhattan School of Music in New York, and  came to Panama’s first piano competition in 2004 to take third prize.
The Festival of the Valley in 2005 invited him to play the  Rachmaninoff Concerto No.2 in C minor, Op 18, with the National Symphony Orchestra.
Five years later he returned to the isthmus to take the gold medal.After winning the competition,Moutouzkine's career has been on a rapid rise with performances in Berlin, New York, Philadelphia, Puerto Rico, Bogotá, Beijing and Japan.
Chopin’s Opus 25,  consists of twelve studies written between 1832 and 1836. The concert, at the Church of San Jose will also feature the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Jorge Ledezma-Bradely. It starts at 8 pm. Tickets are $ 20.00, on sale at the entrance or by email at
If you haven’t visited the magical El Valle recently, this might be your opportunity for a relaxing and musically satisfying weekend. The area abounds with good hotels and B&B locations

Friday, January 18, 2013

Smithsonian Tuesday seminar January 22, 2013 at the Earl S. Tupper Conference Center

Smithsonian Tuesday seminar January 22, 2013 at the Earl S. Tupper Conference Center

Announcing the STRI Tuesday afternoon seminar for January 22, 2013 at 4:00 pm in the Earl S. Tupper auditorium:  
Speaker: John Pandolfi, Director, Centre for Marine Science, School of Biological Sciences, University of Queensland
Title:  Fossils as tools for Marine Management
Abstract:  The fossil record prior to human interaction provides a unique insight into how natural systems behaved in the absence of human impact, and can even provide information about ecosystems before and after human interactions. In this talk, I will show how study of fossil marine sequences shows: what was natural in the sea prior to human influence; evidence for ecological response to similar environmental drivers that are operating today; how climate and anthropogenic drivers for ecological responses can be differentiated. An understanding of the fossil record of marine organisms can provide managers with both ecological goals around which targets can be derived, and metrics for measuring the success of management actions.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Beer Fest at the AtlaPa convention center this week end.

This is a great event, don't miss it if you are in Panamá   NewsRoomPanama:

A chance to quaff 50 samples at International Beerfest

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By Dylis Jones
If you are a lover of that frothy stuff that comes in shades from something resembling muddy water through multiple variations of gold to near jet black, you are going to enjoy this weekend, Jan 18-19.
It’s that favored beverage that connoisseurs claim can slake your thirst like no other. It’s a brew that has been around for thousands of years and has adherents all over the world who claim that the best vintage on the planet comes from their home town or, with the age of micro-breweries, from their own “local” (pub). I’m talking of course of BEER.
If you are one of the happy band of warriors who believe that there’s nothing to beat a good pinta , then you will almost certainly be heading for Atlapa for Panama’s second International Beerfest ,where you will get the chance to sample 50 different brews from countries from as close as Cuba and as far away as Germany and the UK. Ironically Panama’s two major supplier of beer declined to participate. “Not up to the challenge” said one wag at Tuesday’s Press conference at the Riu hotel. But Panama’s micro brewery La Rana Dorada, which has two locations in town and already offers clients four beer samples before making a decision will be there. A wise move, and sure to attract more customers to its locations in Casco Viejo and just across from the Einstein bust off Via Argentina.
At the festival, after each of your 50 tastings, if you are standing, you can point a finger in the direction of a newly discovered frothy friend and, for a small donation, take a bottle home.
I discovered one at the press conference, a Cuban offering called Bucanero. Those pirates must have had strong legs, as this flavorsome offering has a higher than usual alcohol content and its likely that some new adherents will not stray far from the Cuban stand. But for the rest there are other matching delights in store. Talks on brewing, and what food goes down best with your favorite tipple, and you will be able to add that sampling experience to your night or day out.
There’s music too with a selection of bands including the Pacora Bombero band that has warmed up proceedings at Oktoberfest gatherings at Rincon Aleman.
What does all this schmoosing and b---zing cost? From 5 pm to midnight on Friday, it’s just $8. (Get your ticket at Rincon Aleman on 51st and it’s just $5 with a free beer (figuratively) thrown in) Same price Saturday from 3-10 pm. If you are in survival mode, a two day pass costs $12. So drop by, and knock back a cool one. You'll be sure to meet many old friends, and maybe meet some new ones.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Home invasion in San Carlos, Panama

Report from Panama: Home invasion in San Carlos (just over an hour drive west of Panama City on the strip of highway near the beaches) the other day, a gang effort that rumor has it fits the MO of a number of other crimes in the beach communities. Do I want to talk about all the details I have heard, especially when early in the evening of the next day i saw and reported someone who seemed like he may have been sizing up the place where I am? If I had special barriers, locks, firearms, chemical weapons, guard animals, lighting, alarms, arrangements with neighbors or strategies I would not be such a fool to publish any of this. (Except that my attack cat is so vicious that his name is Grasshopper.)

Anyway, a house invasion robbery with three men entering the house and accomplices working outside and communicating by cell phones, Canadian newcomers whose defenses were woefully not there (and I am not talking about not being equipped with an assault rifle), the intruders being a guy with a .45 or 9mm pistol, a guy with a machete and a guy with a knife, a tie up and beat for more than an hour to extract information scene, then packing the couple's belongings in their car and driving off with it, abandoning it shortly thereafter. There is a possibility of inside information. There were apparently communications among the robbers with fakey nght-time bird calls just before the assault.

I would expect that these people will be caught and that most probably the leader will be a somewhat older guy who has done time in prison and the accomplices will be younger men and maybe some adolescents who see no decent and viable economic future for themselves. The guy I saw inspecting the gate here and then quickly heading off away from where there is anything when he saw that I saw him looked to be in his early 20s.

If they do not get caught that would probably say nasty things about the police.

Friday, January 11, 2013

This Tuesday at Smithsonian (STRI) in Ancon:

Este martes a Smithsonian seminario en Ancón:
This Tuesday at Smithsonian (STRI) in Ancon:
Announcing the STRI Tuesday afternoon seminar for January 15, 2013 at 4:00 pm in the Earl S. Tupper auditorium:
Speaker: Catherine Lovelock, Professor, The School of Biological Science, The University of Queensland
Title:  Mangroves and Climate Change
Abstract:  Mangrove forests occur at sea level on tropical and sub-tropical coasts. They provide a range of ecosystem services that support biodiversity and productivity of the coastal zone. Their position in the intertidal results in exposure to a range of environmental changes associated with climate change. Here I describe the complexity of potential outcomes of climate change on mangrove forests by considering how mangroves in Moreton Bay respond to sea level rise, how mangroves in New Zealand have been influenced by El Nino events, and finally how intense storms affect mangroves in the arid zone in the Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Photos of a river stream in Chiriqui Province Panama

Photos of a beauty of a river stream in Chiriqui Province near to the Costa Rica Boarder just north of the pueblo of Boquete, Panama.  Chiriqui is a "must see" if you visit Panama.

Hotels & B&B in the Boquete area: 
THE HAVEN health spa, health clinic, fitness center and hotel
luxury mountain retreat, Boquete, Panama
Phone: (001 507) 730 9345 Email:
Finca Lerida: E-mail to Panama@CentralAmerica.Com e-mail Reservation Form Toll free from the US or Canada at 1-888-535-8832 / 1-800-948-3770
Hotel Ladera:   email:  Telephone 507-730-9000
Oasis B&B:


The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service aka INS Field Office in Panama will be closing

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service  (used to be called INS) Field Office in Panama will be closing permanently on February 1, 2013.
This office had jurisdiction over Panama, Ecuador, Columbia, Guatemala, Venezuela, Guyana,  French Guiana and Suriname.
After Feb 1, 2013 Panama will be in the jurisdiction of the USCIS Field Office in San Salvador, El Salvador. The other countries mentioned above will be
under the jurisdiction of the USCIS Field Office in Lima, Peru.

This change may affect American citizen spouses or family members who are applying for immigrant Visa/Residency status for their spouse or other
relatives. Since their office is closing, some functions that were fulfilled here will only be available in the U.S. All of the relevant specifics are available on the 
website link below.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Martyrs' Day is a Panamanian holiday

From the U.S. Embassy in Panama:
Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Martyr's Day

Security Message

Martyrs' Day is a Panamanian holiday which commemorates the January 9, 1964 riots over sovereignty of the Panama Canal Zone. The incident is considered to be a significant factor in the U.S. decision to transfer control of the Canal Zone to Panama through the 1977 Torrijos-Carter Treaties.

The U.S. Embassy in Panama City advises all U.S. citizens in Panama that Martyrs’ Day (Mourning Day) will be observed this year on Monday, January 7, 2013.  There is a planned march scheduled for 10:00 am that will begin at the Instituto Nacional and conclude at the Balboa Academy in Ciudad del Saber.  The ceremony will include speeches by some Panamanian survivors of the incident and the mother of one of the Panamanians who was killed.  The Embassy has received no credible information of possible demonstrations, marches or related activities and has no information that the planned march will be violent or otherwise disruptive.  However, even events planned as peaceful may evolve into demonstrations, including violence. We advise U.S. citizens in the area of the march and ceremony to use due caution, and to consider avoiding the affected areas.


The event was postponed until Wednesday, January 9, the actually anniversary of the event. I am waiting for reports on the event.  LS 01-09-2013

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy in Panama

PANAMA – If you’re happy and you know it, then you probably live in Latin America. Latin American countries dominated a Gallup poll that revealed populations with the most positive emotions.

Coming in first place? Panama. A whopping 85% of Panama residents responded positively when asked about their overall well-being. Looks like money doesn’t buy happiness because Panama ranked 90th in a worldwide GDP, which means Gross Domestic Product. It’s basically a measurement of the country’s wealth. And 90th place is no bueno.

Wyndham Grand Playa Blanca Resort Opening Night Art Exhibit

Wyndham Grand Resort
Playa Blanca - Panama
Zina Sotina 
invite you to

Art exhibition comprising 200 original oil paintings
inspired on the artist feelings and experiences
Opening Night
Friday 25 January 2013
6 -10pm
Wyndham Grand Playa Blanca
Hotel Ballroom
with Champagne, light entertainment and a raffle
to be drawn before closing for the prize of a still life painting from the artist.

Please reply by e-mail at as numbers will be limited.
Paintings can also be commissioned
Open to the Public
Saturday 26 January 2013
from 11am to 6pm.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Eco Information in Panama

Water fall in Chiriqui province near the Costa Rican Boarder Panama 

Eco Sites:
Barro Colorado Island: Gatun Lake, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, see:
Canopy Tower Bird watching facility between Summit Gardens & the Gamboa bridge: see:
Eco Tours:
**Embera Village, see:   **The lady who provides these tours name is Sue Gordon de Barron from Washington State, she is married to an Embera.  Tell Sue Lou said hello if you use her services, she will give you a discount if you mention my name.
Gamboa Rain Forrest Resort: see:
Gamboa Ivan’s B&B: Birding Lodge (Bird Watching), see:
Panama Railroad, Though not eco itself, you will see a lot by riding the train. see:
Playa Venao: Azuero Peninsular, El Sitio beach & surf resort, see:
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) who has been in Panama over 100 years, has a seminar every Tuesday at 4:00 pm at their headquarters in Ancon in the main auditorium followed by a “social hour”.  The subjects maybe very scientific & over my head, but I always attend when in Panama City—one visit the historian from Washington, D.C. did the address on the history of the Smithsonina in Panama (over 100 years) & what I found interesting is President Roosevelt had the Smithsonian do an environmental study before the canal project began.  see:
Taboga Island: Located just south of the Pacific entrance to the canal, about a 35 minute launch ride to the island. See:
Torti, Panama: about 2 hour drive east of Panama City toward the Darien includes the Hotel Avicar and Restaurant Avicar. The hotel, is a 10 room hotel with swimming pool. Prices ranges depending on the occupancy (beds) from 35.00 to 50.00 US Dollars. The food at the restaurant is a la carte and it ranges from 3.00 to 5.00 US Dollars (steak with rice and salad). Bird watching & jungle tours, for more information contact Luis Gonzalez Nelson at or see:
Tranquilo Bay Eco Lodge: Bocas del Toro, see:
**Whale Watching:
**The lady who provides these tours name is Sue Gordon de Barron from Washington State, she is married to an Embera.  Tell Sue Lou said hello if you use her services, she will give you a discount if you mention my name.