Tuesday, February 25, 2014

American Society news from Panama

American Society news from Panama:

The February 2014 message from the President of the American Society of Panama to our members and friends.
Dear Members and Friends:  Thanks for the Memories!

As our notice for the next Expat Meet and Mix says --  we have had 3 consecutive sellout events.  This is another first!  Thanks to all of you for your belief in us and the American Society of Panama.  We will be posting the photos this week.   In the mean time you can read about the picnic/lasagna dinner and gala below. This has also been posted on our website under President’s Message.   See you March 10th at the Continental Hotel for our Expat Meet and Mix. Bring a Friend.

Dear Members and Friends:  Thanks for the Memories:

Annual Dry Season Picnic  and Lasagna party at Charly and Elsie’s  February 1, 2014
Our American Society events are often better than college days.  Remember those?

Meeting people you enjoy meeting is an excellent sport.  And, we expats enjoy a closer bond of common interests. Celebrating our American heritage and culture, combined with a Latin flavor, is great fun.

AMSOC'S annual dry season picnic, joined later with Charly and Elsie's fantastic party - are events that should not be missed.
Abandoning our cyber gadgets and juvenile City traffic, we wound our way, up to the volcanic paradise of El Valle.  During our 40 minute winding mountain drive from the main highway to El Valle, my foot hovered mostly on the brake pedal.  Inching our car around winding turns; serve as good exercise for the great picnic, party and friends we would meet.

Upon arriving in El Valle's volcanic bowl, a symphony of flowers and unique mountain scenery welcomed us like a light parade.  The coiffure battering winds, spritzed with very light rain, were totally enlivening.

We could not miss this annual American Society pilgrimage.  Our picnic stated at 12 noon at the El Valle Verde hotel and restaurant, ably operated by Ing. Miguel Vasquez and his Peruvian family.  We arrive, gung-ho to see old friends and meet new members and new arrivals to Panama.  Oiled with great food and libations, we all had a great time, picnicking and enjoying our mountain adventure.

We had the privilege of introducing Irving Bennett N., the grandson of founding member George Novey Sr., who was approved as an Honorary Member of the American Society.   Other new members to the American Society presented with our traditional pin were Jordan Zimmerman and Rita Kan and Brian and Carolyn Bell and Terry Phipps and Peter Puchyr.  Welcome to the American Society of Panama.  Bill Mariano donated six bottle of wine for the raffle -- thanks Bill.  

Left behind, at least for one day, was the drenched hurry of urban life.  We highly recommend an overnight respite in El Valle.  Attending Charly’s  and Elsie's party, starting at 6 pm is a cultural must.  Every year, we honor Elsie's next birthday, giving honor to a gracious, lovely host who just celebrated her 93rd "primavera."  There were others with birthdays in February including Mrs. Farrar and we sang to them also. Mariela Lord surprised us by serenading us with a typical Mexican love song. It was amazing. Thanks to Frank Nitte and Judy Klassen who played the guitar and sang some of our favorite “oldies but goodies.”

Charly and Elsie Garcia's annual party is a great tradition, famous for their luscious lasagna, great flan and animated conversations.   Thanks as always Charly for everything you do for the American Society and making us all feel welcome.

The next morning we arise and breakfast leisurely, knowing that our sturdy Subaru knows the way down by heart.  By Michael Pierce --  edited by Charlotte!!

Gala Fundraising Event at U.S. Ambassador’s Residence, February 1, 2014

JOY, PRIDE, ELEGENCE, AWE, TEARS, HEARTWARMING, GREAT CAMARADERIE, “FEELS JUST LIKE THE OLD DAYS” are feelings I felt and saw -- and words I heard expressed about the gala.

As members and guests of the American Society of Panama arrived for the scholarship fundraising gala held at the U.S. Ambassador home on February 14th -- Valentine’s Day, the Red Carpet was literally rolled out.  There was a sense of pride or importance walking on the “red carpet” to the entrance of the beautiful residence of The Honorable Jonathon Farrar and Mrs. Farrar, our gracious hosts.   And yes the women were elegantly dressed in red, black and white. A site to behold!

The rain had stopped just in time when the students arrived to be the first to walk down the red carpet accompanied by their proud parents and professors.  They were shy, curious, but busy taking photos.  This was their night!  The American Society of Panama awarded scholarships to 10 deserving students and presented them with certificates of educational achievement. This is the first time we have recognized the students in this manner.  Ambassador Farrar welcomed everyone and congratulated the students on their accomplishments.   Marcia Henry, Scholarship Chair and organizer of the gala introduced the American Society Board Members and had each Board Member present a student with a certificate.  Marcia introduced the parents, professors and mentors and supporters of the students. Celineth Mendoza  addressed the guests and members in English sharing what having a scholarship meant to her.  Celineth is an outstanding student and excels in all her classes. Thanks to Diana Amar and Joy Schaffer who support and mentor her.  

Awarding scholarships are only possible because of the support we receive from our members and sponsors. During the ceremony Sergio Davis, President of Brentwood Logistics and Security Company, S.A., Glenn Simon, General Manager of the TRYP hotel Albrook Mall, and Steve Walling, President of Walvesco Corporation presented donations to become sponsors.
Everyone always enjoys winning door prizes and the winners at the gala were thrilled with their treasurers.  Thanks to Chrisse  Harwanko who donated a Limited Edition Print “Nemo’s Cousin” won by Charly Garcia. Al Sprague donated two beautiful prints won by Hari Singh and Irving Bennett N.  Al Sprague will be in Panama February 27 and 28 to personally sign these prints.  

As I watched the dynamics of the evening unfold I felt proud to be part of this gran gala and Society. Seeing friends whom I had not seen in years, meeting new people, enjoying the incredible buffet which people are still raving about (thank you Mrs. Farrar for such a great selection),   yes dancing to the lively music of Zafiro --  or at least trying.   I thought how fortunate we are and just really savored the moment - a moment to keep for a lifetime.  Ambassador and Mrs. Farrar - thank you for opening your home and making a difference in our lives.

Thank each and every one of you for the impact you are having on the students, especially our sponsors, Marcia, and all the Board Members of the America Society of Panama.
As I started with -- again I say -- thank you for the memories.    

Charlotte Pierce
Proud to be a member of the American Society of Panama and your President
Americans and Friends United Abroad

The American Society of Panama
"Americans and Friends United Abroad"

InterNations Event at Riu Hotel in Panama City, Panama

InterNations event in Panama, if you are in Panama you should try to attend & join. The Riu Hotel on Calle 50 is beautiful, I attended a wine tasting there during a visit:

Dear Panama City Members,

Don't forget to sign up and join us this Thursday for our InterNations Panama City Monthly February Event - Welcome Carnival Holidays! from 7.30pm onwards at at Studio 50 Bar & Sushi Lounge which is located at the Hotel Riu Plaza Panama! Right before taking off for carnival holidays, let's get together to share plans and even get carnival tips - be part!

As usual, our Albatross Members who RSVP join for free and all attendees receive a free welcome drink! Moreover, there are special promos waiting for you!

We love having new people coming, if you are going to bring someone who is not yet an InterNations member, please invite the to join InterNations and then register for this event!

InterNations Panama City Monthly February Event - Welcome Carnival Holidays!

Location: Hotel Riu Plaza Panama
Date: Thursday Feb 27, 2014  19:30
Host: Marcela & Joanna - InterNations Ambassadors Panama City

Monday, February 24, 2014

Friday, February 21, 2014

Boquete, Valle Escondido condo for sale.

Boquete, Valle Escondido condo for sale. It is approximately 2.500 sq ft., 2 BR, 2BA, downstairs unit with enclosed patio/sun room.  All the woodwork and cabinetry is made of locally grown woods and built by local craftsmen.  For those not familiar with Valle Escondido attached is a link to their website.  There is a restaurant, a spa and a hotel on the grounds, and the property is built around a 9-hole golf course.  It is truly a beautiful place.


The price was just reduced to $299,000.

Monday, February 17, 2014


From the internet:



by Richard Arghiris on February 17, 2014 

see: http://intercontinentalcry.org/panama-indigenous-


100th Anniversary Transit of the Panama Canal

PERSONS INTERESTED IN THIS PANAMA CANAL 100TH ANNIVERSARY TRANSIT ARE ASKED TO CONTACT goberncl@cwpanama.net to confirm your reservation and give an indication of when you will be paying, since the spaces are rapidly filling up.
Because there is a high demand for this transit scheduled for August 15, we are accepting payments effectively immediately or no later than March 31, 2014.  The payment confirms your reservation.
An invitation to join our Panama Canal Centennial Anniversary Transit
The celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Panama Canal
Is drawing near: The date is
August 15, 2014
In celebration of the Canal's Centennial Anniversary
we have scheduled an anniversary Canal partial transit
on the same anniversary day August 15, 2014 at 9 a.m.
departing from Amador Causeway and debarking in Gamboa.
(Limited space, please register early)
 Cost is $100 for Panamanians and residents of Panama and $140 for visitors.
Panamanian children (or residents) under 12 years of age $75.
Children visiting under 12 years of age $ 90
A copy of either Cedula, Resident Card or Passport is a requuirement.
For details and reservations, please contact
Carmela Gobern
Celular (507) 6675-4507

Yankees Visit to Panama

From the internet:
Girardi hasn’t decided who he’ll bring to Panama
Posted on February 16, 2014 by Delia Enriquez

Now that the trip to Panama will actually happen, it will be up to Joe Girardi to decide which players will go on the trip of a life time to Panama in order to visit their old closer, Mariano Rivera.

“Obviously we’re going to take a team that represents us very well, but we also have games here,” Girardi said. “These are split-squad games for us.”

The Yankees will have to play against the Orioles and Braves on top of the games in Panama. It’s pretty much a lock the Yankees will send Derek Jeter to Panama, seeing the game is being hosted in his best friends home town. if Girardi wants to put together a good team team, I’d suggest to bring the players who have played with Rivera in the past (Mark Teixeira, Brett Gardner, David Robertson, etc.) and leave the new guys in Florida to get their at-bats in. Although it seems ideal, Girardi hasn’t set his travel squad roster yet.

“The interesting thing is, you could try to make a roster now, but a lot of it could change,” Girardi said. “For us to do that probably doesn’t make a lot of sense wasting a lot of time doing that.”

Rivera may not be on the team anymore–but this will be the first Spring Training road trip he has taken in a long time. Rivera has been famously known to not go on road trips in the Spring (and has famously shown slight annoyance for the grey road pants that come along with it).

“I believe it will be the first game that Mo actually goes on the road with us in spring training, so I’m kind of looking forward to that,” Girardi said. “I’m actually excited to go. I’m excited to see the country. I’ve never been there. We have some special things planned on that Friday before we play, so I’m kind of excited about going there and being in Panama.”

Friday, February 14, 2014

Playa Community, Coronado & beaches news

Playa Community, Coronado & beaches news from the internet:

Happy Valentine's Day from Playacommunity
All you need is love! But dinner in a nice restaurant now and then, doesn't hurt!

Terraza's Del Mar Restaurant at Vista Mar is offering a Valentine's Day Special menu on Feb 14th (tonight). So, grab the one you love and head to Vista Mar for a special evening. Menu listed here:

It's a pretty busy month at the beaches, so be sure to check the Events Calendar for everything that is going on.

We are finalizing the March edition of La Playa this week. If you are interested in getting your ad in the paper for March, please contact me today. We have Business Card and Cuadrado sizes available.

Go forth and spread love!


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Colorado & Beaches News

POCO LOCO will be playing the VALENTINE’S DANCE at Paraiso Bar & Restaurante in Las Uvas, on SATURDAY the 15th of FEBRUARY (not the 14th). Transportation by Paraiso, will be provided to and from Coronado. Pick-up near Banco General in the El Rey Parking Lot at 6:30pm. 
(Sorry for the mix-up)

NEIGHBOR'S HELPING NEIGHBORS General Meeting will be hosted at Picasso Bar in Coronado on SATURDAY FEBRUARY 22nd at 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM. NHN is asking members to help spread the word by bringing along a non-member.

For event updates check the Events Calendar at:

3rd Locks Construction halted

Panama Canal work stops in $1.6bn row

Published on February 11, 2014 by    ·
Panama Canal
The Spanish-led consortium working on a project to widen the Panama Canal has said that work at the site has been halted over a disagreement on cost overruns.
Panama Canal work stops in $1.6bn row
The Spanish-led consortium working on a project to widen the Panama Canal has said that work at the site has been halted over a disagreement on cost overruns.
The construction group says it is owed $1.6bn (£1bn).
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) said the demand amounted to blackmail.
The new lock, which was due to be completed next year, would allow the passage of larger cargo ships in one of the world’s busiest maritime routes.
Failed talks
On Wednesday, the consortium – officially known as Grupo Unido por el Canal (GUPC) – denied that work at construction work had been suspended.
It said 10,000 jobs were at risk if there was a stoppage.
But in a statement on Friday, the group blamed the Canal Authority for failing to extend a negotiation protocol.
In the protocol, the building companies agreed to carry on negotiating without threatening to suspend the work, while Panama promised not to cancel the contract signed by both parties
“While awaiting an agreement to enable the finalization of construction, work has been suspended on the project,” announced the consortium in a statement.
The GUPC says the Canal Authority has also failed to pay an outstanding $50m bill, which would allow the companies to carry on the work in the short term.
But the consortium said it would “continue the efforts to find a joint solution and reach an agreement with the ACP”.
The Panama Canal, linking the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific, is celebrating its centenary in August.
More than 13,000 ships use the maritime shortcut every year.
Construction of the canal’s expansion was due to be completed in June 2015, nine months behind schedule, with the overall cost of the project estimated at $5.2bn.


DVD PANAMA 2014 - Price: $12 if purchased in Panama.
                                                 $15 with shipping and handling.

Includes two DVDs:
1. One DVD/CD has 400 photos in color of various scenes in Panama.
2. The other DVD has a video of the provinces and the Indian reservations (“Comarcas.”), accompanied by authentic Panamanian Folkloric Music in the background.

Persons who have purchased this set of DVDs have written the following comments:
·         Nice packaging and a bargain product!
·         This was GREAT GREAT!!
·         Me gusto mucho
·         ¡Que Bueno!  Me gustaron, sobretodo el video.  Me gustaría conseguir 3 más.
·         Thank you for the 2 DVDs, a colores y con música folklórica de Panamá. Well done!
·         I love the DVD!!! Thanks so much.
·         Sobre el DVD....espectacular.  Continúa con este trabajo de inculcar patriotismo.
·        I receive the DVD and it’s a keeper!!!  You are always on the ball!!!
·        Great pictures, great video, thanks for the memories.
·        Got it today……AWESOME….!!!!
·        The best DVD on Panama that I have seen so far.
·        I received the DVD and CD today.  I saw it while drinking a cup of hot green tea.  The overall grade was A+

Feel free to purchase from the following:
In person from Carmela or Alonso Gobern (2361, Balboa);
Via credit card through our Web site www.panamacybernews.com
At SAMAAP Gran Feria Antillana in the ATLAPA (March 1 and 2)
Or feel free to send a check payable to;
Carmela L. Gobern
PTY 3109
P. O. Box 025724
Miami, FL  33102

For questions or more information, feel free to contact goberncl@cwpanama.net

Please bear in mind that quantities are limited!
Carmela L. Gobern
Editor, Panama Cyberspace News
Tel. (507) 314-0398
Cel. (507) 6675-4507
U.S. (678) 995-7136

Monday, February 10, 2014

Good Panama Coffee, “Panama Joe” from a finca in Chirquí

Good Panama Coffee, “Panama Joe” from a finca in Chirquí located near Boquete available for purchase via email: "15 oz bags $xx, small bags...5 oz for $xx."  We have sampled it & highly recommend it, not sure what words to use to describe it, but it is smooth, not too strong or bitter.  Make you order via email to panamajoe@live.ca . Shipping extra.  You must try at least the small bag, but we recommend the larger bag "try it, you'll like it" to steal an old ad.  The coffee was sampled at our train club meeting yesterday which was hosted at our house & all like it.  Comments were if it was available in local store they would buy it IF they had a sample.  Give it a try & let me know your comments.
XX I had the wrong pricing, I am awaiting an update & will repost.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Panama U.S. Navy League meeting reminder

Panama U.S. Navy League:

Reminder -- Navy League Dinner 2/11

Just a reminder for our monthly dinner on February 11th. (Note, if you have received a confirmation, there is no need to reply again.)

Please do plan on joining us for an evening with our local NCIS agents.

His schedule permitting, we also plan on welcoming the new Resident Agent In Charge, Mr. Tony Bain, to Panama and enable him to meet some of the community at large. Special Agent Christian Rivera is also attending.

Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) is also the Force Protection unit here in Panama. As such, they appreciate knowing about potential threats to our military and by extension, those related to local American citizens and tourists. So, part of our meeting will be to discuss just what types of information you can pass on to NCIS to prevent problems.

One of our members had a recent experience in which we facilitated this exact situation with the team. It proved to be very helpful in determining if a larger problem existed and sparked this aspect of our dinner.

Our meeting will be similar in format to the dinner we had for Ambassador Jonathan Farrar. He found that having us introduce ourselves (30 seconds or so) was most helpful and so it is with NCIS. Good for our collective Rolodexes.

Please RSVP by noon on February 10th to this email address.

Time: 7:00 pm
Date: February 11
Place: Le Meridien Hotel
Price: $30 including glass of wine

We look forward to seeing you there.

Kind regards,

Hunter Schultz

Smithson Tropical Research Institute (STRI) weekly seminar

Smithson Tropical Research Institute (STRI) weekly seminar, do check them out if you are in Panama, "social hour" follows the seminar:

Announcing the STRI Tuesday afternoon seminar February 11th, 2014 at 4:00 pm in the Earl S. Tupper auditorium:  
Speaker: Barney A. Schilinger, UCLA
Title: Androgens and athleticism: Lessons from a Panamanian bird

Upcoming seminars:  

February 18: Ellis Loew, Cornell University
Visual Pigments and Retinal Oil Droplets of Lizards:  Their Functional Significance

February 25:  Juan Carlos Villarreal, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität
Evolution of RuBisCo-dense structures in hornwort, and clonal diversity and sexual allopatry of the Southern Appalachian Nothoceros aenigmaticus

March 11:  Greg Wray, Duke University
Title to be announced

Sad story of an ExPat living in Chiriquí, Panama, as I tell people you need to visit Panama for 6 months to a year with minimum personal effects to decide IF Panama is your "cup of tea".  Re, there are other stories of happy ExPats living in Panama also, but the below writer has items you want to be aware of if considering Panamá for a destination..:

I moved to Panama back in 2011 after researching the country for a few months. I had been looking for a less expensive place to live that was cleaner, had great produce, warmer, etc. & had been researching several countries in Latin America.

Unfortunately, after being here for 8 months I realized this wasn’t a country I could handle living in & that the expats hadn’t divulged a lot of crucial information that would have struck Panama off my list. Issues such as:

No reliable water. Unless you live in a very expensive area, you will be almost certain to experience water outages & they NEVER tell you in advance. In the last house I lived in 30 minutes outside of Panama city, there were days I want 12 hours with NO WATER.This went on for 6 months non stop. One week I went without water for 2 1/2 days.

Electricity is a terrible problem in Panama. There are power surges all the time which has ruined almost all of my electrical equipment.There are brown outs & blackouts too. In one of the houses I lived in, I went for 7 hours with NO electricity.It’s bad enough that my food goes bad, but then in the extreme heat not to have access to a fan & no way to work or see anything, it’s a nightmare!

I work online & the first question I asked when deciding if Panama had what I needed was… “How is the Internet?” I was told by several people that it was fine.Well I can tell you that IT’S ALL A LIE!I have lived in 7 different houses & I’ve had Internet problems in all of them. Either the speeds aren’t what I pay for, or the Internet goes down all the time, or there are glitches.One can’t even have a proper meeting because my phone line may go down at any time.The ISP here doesn’t know what they are doing & they don’t let you speak to a manager. I was just lied to about the cost of my move, so in the end I wasn’t charged the $20 I was told I would be, I was charged $60.I tried to fight them on it, but here in Panama, fighting any company is next to near impossible. They don’t take any responsibility for their mistakes or actions, they won’t let you speak to a manager, & they are very greedy. They will do everything in their power NOT to give you a credit or give you your money back if you need to return something.

So by the time I started to figure out only some of the issues I mentioned above (trust me there’s way more), my online business was failing because of Google’s algorithm change.

I had no money to leave the country, I was STUCK here & as I’ve learned over the last 2 1/2 years, there are several expats that have been in the same boat I am in. They want to leave & yet can’t.”

American Fair at the Embassy Sponsored by the U.S. Embassy

From American Society in Panama:

American Fair at the Embassy Sponsored by the U.S. Embassy

Find out about U.S. and other non-profit organizations in Panama, enjoy fellowship with other Americans and simply have a great Saturday!

When:           Saturday, March 8, 2014
Where:          U.S. Embassy Grounds, Clayton
Time:             8:00am-12:00pm

For more information contact: Carson Dolan, People to People Coordinator, at 317-5268 or via e-mail at Dolancm@state.gov