Sunday, June 30, 2013

Pensionado Discount Airline Tickets

For retirees living in Panama:
Posted By Clyde Cole in Americans_in_Panama:
Sun Jun 30, 2013 12:11 am  |

Some of you may know this, but thought it would be nice to share.

First of all make your flight arrangements online with whatever travel site you

After your arrangements are made, do NOT pay yet

Click on "pay with cash at your local office"

At this point you need to email the Star Alliance Airline Office in Panama City.
I believe they represent just about all of the airlines flying out of Panama.
They do not accept phone calls in this office. Only emails.

You will be emailing Surimari Probst (Suri) your information.
Her email is surimari.probst@... You might as well CC the corporate
email also. corporativospanama@...

You need to state that you want a Pensionado Discount on your tickets

You will need to include:

reservation confirmation number
Copies of all passports
Copies of all Pensionado Cards
your Phone number and contact information

Suri can speak and read English and is very nice and helpful. She is able to
call you back if she has any questions. After she gets all the information she
needs, she will adjust the price of your tickets online. Then, you can pay with
your credit card.

Hope this helps!

Clyde Coles

Friday, June 28, 2013

Chiquita Brand bananas possible return to Puerto Armuelles, Panamá


Chiquita Brands, one of Panama and Central America’s main distributors of bananas, has set their sights on Puerto Armuelles, in the province of Chiriqui, after a dramatic exit ten years ago which cost the region its economic stability.

Estimates are that if the former banana workers, the government and the company reach an economic agreement they could export about 6 million boxes of bananas from Puerto Armuelles, which would complement the 15 million boxes of bananas from Bocas del Toro that the company sells.
Julio Vásquez, Manager of Chiquita in the province, said that, ”the only thing needed to begin negotiations and re-start banana activity in Puerto Armuelles is deciding the economic model by which the activity will be conducted.”;
Puerto Armuelles’ future might depend on this negotiation. It’s a region strongly affected by unemployment that can’t afford to repeat the mistakes that led to the end of the banana sector there.
Vasquez acknowledged that, despite the multinational company’s great interest in reopening its banana activity in Chiriqui, it would be difficult to separate the history of what happened in Puerto Armuelles and the decision that will be taken in the near future.
“It is a fact that the lands now belong to the workers. We need to find ways to invest significant amounts of resources in these lands to reactivate them,” Vasquez said.

Publication date: 6/24/2013

Panama Coffee at some Starbucks locations.

Panama Coffee at some Starbucks locations.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Panamá increases its Canal Tugboat Fleet

World Maritime News:

Panama Canal Increases Its Tugboat Fleet

Posted on Jun 21st, 2013 with tags , , , , , .
Panama Canal Increases Its Tugboat Fleet
The Panama Canal has increased its tugboat fleet with the arrival of the first two of 14 tugboats that will improve the waterway’s resources to offer a safer and more efficient service to the global shipping industry. These tugboats will strengthen the Canal’s capacity for the operation of the Third Set of Locks.
Cerro Itamut and Cerro Picacho are part of the new fleet of 14 tractor tugs that will be arriving within the next 12 months from Spain. Astilleros Armon, S.A., a Spanish ship-building company, was awarded the contract in September 2011, after an open tender with the participation of 20 companies from different countries in South America, Europe and Asia.
“These new tugboats will allow the Panama Canal to continue offering a world-class service, Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quiijano said. “They will help us prepare to face the challenge of operating the new set of locks with the same efficiency.”
Quijano explained that the update to the Panama Canal tugboat fleet began in 2001, when the waterway had 20 tugs. Currently, the Panama Canal has 39.
According to the Panama Canal Administrator, towards the end of next year and after retiring those tugs reaching the end of their lifespan, the Panama Canal will have a fleet of 44 tugboats to face the operational demands of the current and expanded Canal.
The additional capacity will allow assisting Post-Panamax vessels that will be transiting the expanded Canal, which will not require the use of locomotives used in the existing locks.
The new tugs Cerro Itamut and Cerro Picacho were incorporated to the Panama Canal fleet on June 19th  in a christening ceremony in the Gatun Landing, Colon Province, together with the ferry 5 de noviembre and the tugboats Estí and Rio Bayano I, that are part of a previous generation.
The names of these new boats are taken from different landmarks around Panama.

Monday, June 17, 2013

STRI weekly seminar program:

Tuesday seminar June 18th, 2013 at the Earl S. Tupper Conference Center
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Announcing the STRI Tuesday afternoon seminar for June 18th, 2013 at 4:00 pm in the Earl S. Tupper auditorium:

Speaker: Thorsten Wiegand and Adreas Huth, Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research

Title: Towards a unified spatial theory of biodiversity

Abstract:  To understand the relative importance of processes and factors that govern the composition and dynamics of species-rich communities we use an approach that differs radically from previous attempts in adopting a spatially explicit perspective towards a Unified Spatial Theory of Biodiversity. We capitalize the tremendous amount of information on spatial patterns buried in fully mapped plots of tropical forests by integrating recent theory on statistical inference for stochastic simulation models with spatial point pattern analysis. We present an introduction into the project, a brief summary of major achievements and one case study for a spatial point pattern analysis.

Upcoming seminars: 

June 25:  Bernard Roitberg, Simon Fraser University

Title to be announced

July 2:  Mark Guiltinan, Penn State University

Exploring the Genome of Theobroma cacao:  Functional Analysis of Key Regulators of the Plant Immune System

July 9:  Sunshine Van Bael, Tulane University & STRI

Leaf traits and host plant-fungal endophyte associations in a tropical forest

Monday, June 10, 2013

Coronado ExPat gatherings

 Coronado ExPat social:
Playacommunity Happy Hour at La Teca

Playacommunity will not be doing a Mixer in June or July, instead, we would like to invite the community to join us at a weekly Happy Hour at La Teca. From 5pm - 8pm there will be 2 for 1 drinks (the white or red sangria is amazing), and a 5 tapas $15 menu. Finally, we will have PRIZE drawings EVERY TUESDAY. The prizes are courtesy of La Teca, and they will be better than the usual bottle of wine we give away. Hope you will join us at La Teca this coming Tuesday and every Tuesday through July.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Korean traditional and classical music at the Balboa Theatro, June 18th.


Korean traditional and classical music
and Korean B-Boy break dancing

June 18 at the Teatro Balboa
sponsored by the Korean Embassy and the Korea Foundation
free tickets from the Korean Embassy
Calle 50, Torre Global Bank, Piso 30, Oficina 02
which is open from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m

Suspects in beach area home and restaurant robberies arrested


Suspects in beach area home and restaurant robberies arrested
by Eric Jackson
According to reports by Rob Brown and others, at least four arrests have been made of suspected members of the gang that has staged about a dozen home and restaurant invasion robberies and several more warrants are pending. The police believe that one of those in detention is the gang's leader.
The arrests and renewed community clamor followed the second robbery of the Rancho los Toros hotel and restaurant, in a somewhat isolated part of San Carlos district's El Nance corregimiento. Several of the victims of the second robbery were Boquete residents and they called the hotline of that community's anti-crime group, Alto al Crimen. The group put the private detective who works with them, Martín Ferrara, on the case.
In the first robbery one of the maleantes used a stolen iPhone to take photographs, which were automatically uploaded online. That fact was quickly disclosed to police, but for whatever reason they did not succeed in following that lead. Ferrara did, leading to the arrest in Panama City of the picture taker. That wannabe photographer maleante reportedly turned over and gave information identifying other members of the gang.
Brown, a Canadian resident of Santa Clara, reactivated his Neighbours Helping Neighbours (NHN) organization after the second robbery and established a reward fund to which a number of real estate developers, business owners and residents have contributed. In coordination with the Boquete group and a neighborhood watch organization in Gorgona NHN held a June 6 meeting at Rancho los Toros. A number of police and government officials attended that gathering, at which the arrests and outstanding warrants were announced.
Presuming that the right people were arrested and that the gang members still at large will also be put out of action, this ends a violent rampage that had many beach area residents living in fear. Most probably this gang had nothing to do with the abduction and murder of Coronado resident El Moynan, which appears to be related to the organized criminal rackets. There are also other gangs with different methods of operation that have staged many unarmed burglaries in the area and remain active and at large. It is part of an overall national crime wave that the government minimizes but public opinion polls indicate follows only the cost of living among Panamanians' top concerns.