Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Pollera Contest, National Theater, Panama City, Panama

National Pollera Contest
Art & Culture
WHERE: National Theater, Casco Antiguo, Panama City
WHEN: May 4th and 5th 

COST/TICKETS: Tickets $5.00, $20.00 and $30.00; Registration fee $100.00.

DESCRIPTION: A national competition honoring the traditional polleras of Panama and the artistry and craftsmanship involved in creating them. Prizes will be awarded in multiple categories based on strict criteria, and 10 contestants in each category of elegant pollera dresses will be chosen to participate in the final round of the competition.

for more information phone 270-8010.

Film Festival in Cuidad del Saber, Panama May 7th

Very Short Films Festival

WHERE: Ateneo Theater, City of Knowledge and other venues, Panama City
WHEN: April 26th through May 7th, 7:30 p.m.


DESCRIPTION: Film festival presenting both very short and full-length films from Germany and France. Each of the Very Short Films lasts no more than three minutes, and the audience will vote for their favorite. Feature length films will be screened also, on consecutive evenings. The festival, which is now in its 15th year, is being hosted in Latin America for the first time.

Fiesta en el Mar May 4th, Amador, Panama

Fiesta en el Mar 
Food & Drink / Music

WHERE: Playita de Amador, Amador Causeway, Panama City
WHEN: May 4th, 7:00 p.m.

COST/TICKETS: Tickets $25.00

DESCRIPTION: An open-air party on the shores of beautiful Panama Bay, featuring an open bar, DJ music, and many surprises.

For more information phone 6767-7930.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tour option in Panama

Barefoot Panama Tours was started over 5 years ago by Kevin O'Brien. Kevin has traveled through 40 countries and led tours in 15 of them (from Argentina to Alaska) and then finally settled in Panama. Barefoot Panama is a unique company in Panama offering ‘Servicio Americano’ and with Kevin you can explore the most diverse country in the world! Barefoot offers day trips, overnight adventures and we are the only company offering a cross country week long tour. With 15 years guiding experience, Barefoot Panama uses this knowledge to put together the best tours including the top ranked Panama City Tour, tours through the canal, wildlife viewing tours, cultural tours as well and adventure tours.
     Panama's Natural Adventures

             Cell 6780 3010
         From the States dial:
           011 507 6780 3010
       Skype name : Kevstours
   Home/Office: (781) 479 2011

Panama water issues, meeting in Boquete

From a Boquete blog:

Water, a big tempest is brewing

by Lee
Today, 25 April the National government sent it's team to Boquete for a public hearing on the new water law. The Mayor was there, the governor was there, many other local elected officials were there as were hundreds of residents. The meeting started late, as usual, and bilingual The lights went out as when power was restored the English part of the presentation was snipped out.
The presentation done in powerpoint was to the point. Panama has a water crisis and the government wants to fix it. My concern about this being a packaging for resale to a private company was addressed early by pointing to a line I missed in the proposed law, curiously under article one, free standing.
"Paragraph: The National Authority for Drinking Water and Sanitation not be privatized."
The audience was vocal and clear, they want no part of the law. I spent some time after the meeting with Rodrigo Marciacq discussing why the objections are so forceful. This is a quick summary of why.
In essence the people of Boquete want to continue to control their own water. They have no confidence in the national government. They believe this is a power grab and we will all be losers if Panama City has control of local water supplies. They point to the failure of IDAAN to provide water nationally and question if a new administration of a new department can do any better. They believe the focus will be on the Capital and we will pay more for worse service.
I have asked Rodrigo and the Mayor to address the Tuesday meeting on 29 April on the issue, in English. I will have a confirmation of this tomorrow.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Ancon Theater Guild

Theatre Guild of Ancon (ATG)  Get your tickets now for Improv8!
Improv8 is returning to the Theatre Guild of Ancon for the 5th year!

April, 25, 26 and 27.
May 3, 4, 10 and 11, 2013 

tickets, here's how to get them:   http://www.improv8.com/reservations.html

Smithson Tropical Research Institute (STRI) Weekly seminar information

Smithson Tropical Research Institute (STRI) weekly seminar:
Tuesday seminar April 23rd, 2013 at the Earl S. Tupper Conference Center
Announcing the STRI Tuesday afternoon seminar for April 23rd, 2013 at 4:00 pm in the Earl S. Tupper auditorium:  
Speaker: Michael Haley, Ecoreefs
Title: Marine Ecosystem Restoration using Artificial Branching Coral
Abstract:  Of the different general morphologies of scheleractinian corals, branching corals have been negatively affected more by anthropogenic stresses than other morphotypes, and have become much less abundant in recent years. For this reason, and also because branching corals convey more 3-dimensional topographical complexity to coral reefs than other morphotypes, it makes sense to focus on installing branching coral substitutes in any program of coral reef repair. In this talk, the use of EcoReef® modules, a ceramic branching coral substitute is described and compared to other types of artificial coral, along with the use and periodic necessity of live coral transplantation, to create rugose artificial habitats that self-transform into natural systems.

Upcoming seminars:  

April 30:  Lars Markesteijn, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, UK; STRI
Drought tolerance of tropical tree species; functional traits, trade-offs and species distribution

May 7:  Emma Sayer, Open University
From microbes to biomes - comparing and scaling soil carbon dynamics in forest ecosystems

Front entrance to the STRI

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Panamá Eco/Nature/Birds/Fishing Sites

Eco/Nature/Birds/Fishing Sites:
Barro Colorado Island: Gatun Lake, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, see:
Canopy Tower Bird watching: near Gamboa, see:
Eco Tours:
Embera Village, see:
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, Ancon, see:
Taboga Island: Located just south of the Pacific entrance to the canal, about a 35 minute launch ride to the island. See: http://www.tabogaislandpanama.com/
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 luis_gnelson@hotmail.com or see: www.hotelavicar.com
Tranquilo Bay Eco Lodge
: Bocas del Toro, see:
Tropic Star Lodge, Piñas Bay, World class Marlin fishing: http://www.tropicstar.com/?source=navyleague
Whale Watching:


Colón, Panamá Tragedy

Colón in a better era.
Following from New York Times:

A Once-Vibrant City Struggles as Panama Races Ahead on a Wave of Prosperity

COLÓN, Panama — On one end of the Panama Canal, the nation’s capital gleams with new skyscrapers; a subway, the first in Central America, is under construction; and new malls and restaurants fill with patrons. The city fancies itself a mini-Dubai on the Pacific. 

Forty miles away on the other end of the canal, in the city of Colón by the Caribbean, rotting buildings collapse, sewage runs in alleyways, water service is jury-rigged, and crime and despair have sent protesters into the streets. Recently, Hollywood filmmakers made Colón, Panama’s second-largest city, a stand-in for Haiti, the poorest country in the hemisphere. 

Panama is booming, with an average economic growth of 9 percent in the past five years, the highest in Latin America. Banking and financial services and big public works projects like the subway and multibillion-dollar expansion of the canal have fed the good fortune. 

Panama City, the capital, has the tallest building in Latin America, a 70-story Trump hotel and condo tower, and its skyscraper forest reflects the rush of foreign investment, real estate speculation, well-heeled foreign transplants and, American officials have said, some measure of drug money. 

But Panama can also lay claim to some of the starkest disparities of wealth in Latin America, according to the World Bank, and the persistent poverty in Colón, an hour’s drive from the symbols of wealth in Panama City, remains a glaring, festering example inflaming friction here. 

Colón, wedged between a busy port and a handsome cruise ship terminal, is a crowded, cacophonous city of 220,000, with street after street of faded colonial facades and concrete-block buildings with peeling paint and weeds growing out of some upper floors. 

“There are hardly any jobs here,” said Orlando Ayaza, 29, who works occasionally at the dock. “Not ones with regular salary and benefits that we need here.” He has a two-inch scar on his face that he attributes to a policeman’s baton during unrest here last year. 

When asked why he does not move to Panama City, he touched the dark skin on his arm. “They see this, and you say you are from Colón, and they say, no way,” he said. “They think we are all thieves there.” 

Colón is predominantly black, whereas Panama City’s population is more of European descent, and many residents and analysts say they believe that racial discrimination has contributed to Colón’s stagnation. 

Such disparities are growing starker in rising economies like Peru, Brazil and Ecuador, said Ronn Pineo, a senior research fellow at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs who studies economic change in Latin America

“Not every urban area has gone along with the growth,” Mr. Pineo said. “And if there is any kind of racial divide, it is hard for affluence to cross, with the poorer area tending to be one color.” 

Mr. Pineo said he recently visited Colón and found it “really depressing.”

Colón used to shine. In the early 1900s, during the construction of the canal, and after, it blossomed with theaters, clubs, restaurants and finely manicured boulevards. Old-timers recall distinguished visitors like Albert Einstein. 

West Indian immigrants surged in, finding jobs at the canal and in American military installations because they spoke English. But even then, discrimination was a given, with the black West Indians paid at a far lower rate — silver roll versus gold roll, in the vernacular of the time — than white workers. 

“Racial exclusion has been a burden on the development of public policy related to black Panamanians in general and Colón in particular,” said Jorge Luis Macías Fonseca, a professor of history at the University of Panama in Colón. 

But as Panama City grew and modernized in the post-World War II era, Colón’s luster wore off. The reduction and ultimate closing of American military bases with the canal’s transfer to Panama in 1999 accelerated Colón’s tailspin. Crime and poverty swelled, and middle-class strivers moved to the suburbs, Panama City or abroad. 

Colón’s duty-free trade zone, the largest in the Western Hemisphere, has done little to lift the town’s fortunes. Recent development, including a hotel, an upgrade to an airport and a cruise ship dock that allows visitors to shop without entering the city’s squalor, have benefited mostly the businesses in the zone, long a source of friction. 

Surse Pierpoint, a vice president of the free-trade-zone business association, said the central government receives $100 million in annual revenue from the zone and spends it as it pleases. He said he did not know how many of the zone’s 30,000 employees live in Colón, but acknowledged that many come from the suburbs and from Panama City. 

“The free zone was never designed to carry the fate of Colón,” Mr. Pierpoint said, suggesting that it would take “out of the box thinking” from the government, residents, businesses and others to revive the city’s fortunes. 

Last October, there were protests when President Ricardo Martinelli, a supermarket tycoon who has made business development a centerpiece of his term, pushed through a law allowing the sale of state land next to the free zone. Residents interpreted the move as a prelude to expanding the zone and displacing them, and several people died in the unrest. 

Mr. Martinelli has since backed off the idea, and this year he began a dialogue with Colón residents, who presented a 33-point list of demands including new housing, jobs and an end to the city’s perennial flooding, sewage seepage and chronic lack of potable water. Just last week, several schools were closed in and around the city because of problems at a treatment plant. Spider webs of plastic tubing and wires hang from buildings, signs of improvised water and power connections. 

The dialogue hit an impasse in January, said Edgardo Voitier, the president of the Broad Front for Colón, a group of residents that has held more protests. A main sticking point, he said, was the government’s refusal to guarantee that the proceeds of the land sale would stay in Colón. 

Mr. Martinelli’s office did not respond to messages seeking comment. 

The government has argued that projects like a new highway connecting Panama and Colón, the expansion of the canal, construction of a new hospital in Colón and other public works have reduced unemployment and poverty. This month, the government announced a $9 million project to rehabilitate Colón’s seaside park. 

But Mr. Voitier dismissed such projects as sources of only temporary employment that would do little for the large number of people with informal jobs. 

Some Colón boosters have mustered their own piecemeal efforts, tired of waiting for a government rescue. Kurt Dillon, an architect and urban planner, has led a coalition to save and restore some of the crumbling buildings in the city’s historic core, recently drawing dozens of preservationists to write a plan with the help of the World Monuments Fund, an independent nonprofit group. “Civil society has to get things done here,” he said. 

Despite the lures of Panama City, many residents have no interest in abandoning a place that is home. 

“If we all go to Panama City, what’s left here?” said Alma Franklin, 25. She has worked at fast food stores and struggles to feed her three children, but has no faith that the government will help her. “This country,” she said, “would prefer to forget Colón.”

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Auto windshield repair in Panama

Auto windshield repair in Panama:

From another website:
Auto Glass Panama. Specialists in all types of windshield repairs cracks and stone chips. Reduce up to 90% of the visibility of the damage and replace all the strength of the glass, if not more. All work is guaranteed. Located on 12 de octubre. Contact #s 6825-9832 or 6204-1874 Facebook page https://www.facebook.com-AutoGlassPanama I look forward to hearing from you. Owner: Ashton Davies