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BEIRUT: A TASTE OF LEBANON AT THE BEACH PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Monday, 22 December 2014 15:50

25654QUOTE:  “I loved baba ganouch before I learned how to say it.  I still can’t spell it.”  --Author Unknown

The restaurant Beirut opened its doors in Playa Blanca about two years ago. Bringing Middle Eastern cuisine and a mix of international flavors to the beach area, Beirut has friendly and knowledgeable staff.

Similar to Spanish tapas, Romanian mezeluri, and Italian antipasti, Beirut offers the mezze (a Lebanese spread) dish.  The mezze brings variety of aromas, flavors, colors, and textures to the table; it’s a stunning array of small dishes. Don’t know what to order? The mezze is your solution. Beirut’s extensive menu also allows you to create your own mezze.  The mezze for two is $52, but could easily feed three or four.

 
Swinging Boquete - Jazz and Blues are coming back to the highlands! PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Monday, 22 December 2014 15:40

jazzWhen summer comes back to Boquete in early 2015 the valley will resonate once again with the sounds of world-class Latin Jazz and the raw power of North American Blues. For almost a full week, world-class music will rule the Boquete valley again with the 9th edition of the annual Boquete Jazz & Blues Festival, the biggest international music festival in the Chiriqui highlands.

With a star-studded program of 56 musicians from the US, Panama and Europe, 8 daytime shows in the beautiful amphitheater of Valle Escondido plus 5 nightly jam sessions, a New Orleans style street parade, a Latin Jazz garden party at the Panamonte hotel, a free concert in the park, a  „The Art of Music“ art show and a ‚Music for Schools’ program, the 2015 festival will be the best ever.

The line-up is hard to beat: International Blues star Shakura S’Aida from Canada will be tearing up the stage on Saturday, Feb 7 at 4:30pm; Li’l Ed&The Blues Imperials from Chicago will present their legendary spontaneous and unpredictable rowdy live show on Sunday, Feb 08 at 3pm; Deanna Bogart from Baltimore will boogie the 88’s and blow her horn on Saturday at 1:30pm; 83 year old Blues veteran Leon Blue from Las Vegas, will rock the house on Sunday Feb 8 at 1:30pm together with Swiss Blues Award winner Andy Egert and the Boquete Blues Band, presenting the best of Blues that has ever been heard in Panama!

 
Holiday Recipes PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Monday, 22 December 2014 14:53

ronThe holiday season is upon us along with the season for entertaining, cooking, and sharing food and drink. Here are three holiday recipes sure to impress your guests.

Rum Punch / Ron Ponche

Author Unknown

This is a traditional Panamanian drink, served at Christmas and New Year celebrations. It can be made with or without rum.

- 4 big cans of evaporated Milk (315 grams each)

- 2 big cans of sweetened condensed Milk

- Cinnamon

- Nutmeg

- 6 beaten eggs

- 2 teaspoons of vanilla

- Rum

- 1 1/2 Cups of Water

In a blender beat the 6 eggs, then add the rest of the ingredients, except the rum. Once everything is beaten, pour the mix into a pot and stir it for 25 minutes in an over-medium heat. Add the amount of rum you prefer, and place it in glass bottles. It’s ideal as a gift. Drink cold.

 
Moving to Panama: To Ship, or not to Ship, that is the Question. PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Monday, 22 December 2014 14:32

movingSo you’ve decided to move to Panama… Now what?

For many expats, the next step is deciding whether to move their possessions, or sell the majority of items and buy new ones in Panama. International shipping can be an expensive endeavor, so it is important to think hard about what you want to bring with you.  Mostly everything, including furniture, kitchen items, tools and other small appliances, are available for purchase in Panama City, but prices and quality vary. Additionally, for some, shopping in a new language and city can seem like a daunting task. 

When making the decision, take into account where you are going to live in Panama and what you plan to do there.  If you are moving into a condo in Panama City your needs and resources may differ from those you will find available in secluded beach house or mountain ranch.

Asking people who are already living in the area of Panama you have chosen if specific goods you will require are readily available can be a big help.

 
Mantaray Golf Club by Royal Decameron PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Saturday, 13 December 2014 14:46

200x200Mantaray Golf Club is part of the Royal Decameron resort and residences located just off the Pan American Highway at Rio Hato.  Consisting of 18 holes, each with 4 tee stations, this Randall Thompson designed golf course was mostly in very good condition the day two friends and I played.  The issue was the greens, which were being worked on.

The design is challenging but not too daunting.  With water hazards on many of the holes, tight fairways and out of bounds are very common. The fairways and tee boxes are in good shape.

Mantaray is a semi-private, resort style course, meaning there are paid memberships but the public is also allowed to play for a fee.  The website states weekday greens fees of $48.15 and weekend greens fees of $62.40, however, when we played on Friday, the fees were around $80 including cart.  The course also offers a four-some to play for $60 each.  There is a bag drop off at the proshop. The carts are well maintained electric EZ Go and come with a bunker rake.  Walking is permitted, but I don’t recommend it.  There is a lot of up and down and some of the tees are a long distance from the previous green with little shade anywhere.  There is good signage pointing to the next tee, which comes in handy when one is not familiar with a golf course.

 
Discovering Surf Talents PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Saturday, 13 December 2014 14:26

DST-109_600x600.jpgThe 7th annual Discovering Surf Talents Levis Cup, brought over 50 young surfers from around the country, to Playa Serena in Coronado. The event, originally scheduled for the 18th & 19th of October, was proponed as there was no swell. The waves predicted for the following weekend (October 25&26) were small, ranging from 1-3ft, but learning to compete in unfavorable conditions is one of the many challenges competitive surfers face; with this in mind, the event went on.

The first day of competition began with a reminder from Technical Director, Stanford Raúl. “It is not the quantity, but the quality waves” he said. This means, judges score the best maneuvers, not the numeber of waves each surfer rides. Playacommunity was on the sidelines as young compeitiors Veronica, Marita, Maria, Andrea and Vivian took to the water. All under the age of 12, each girl raced to the water with a smile. The younger of the compeitiors were accompanyed by a parent or coach.

 
New Year Traditions of Latin America PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Tuesday, 09 December 2014 14:24

For many the beginning of a New Year is about starting a new chapter, getting a clean slate, a new opportunity to start over.  While parties and fireworks are global traditions, there are certain unique customs that have their roots in the Spanish and Latin American World.
 
Wearing white for New Year is one way to represent a fresh start and bring good luck. Add a splash of color with the underwear you wear. Red for love, yellow for prosperity, green for health. Do not wear black or you will be doomed throughout the coming year.

Eat 12 grapes - one with each toll of the midnight strike. Each grape represents a month of the year and eating them is supposed to bring you luck. A lot of people throw in an extra grape, for extra luck.

Hoping for that dream vacation? Walking around in circles with a suitcase is said to ensure a year with plenty of travel.

 
Safarick’s Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Zoo in Colon PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Wednesday, 03 December 2014 13:59

Safaricks Zoo AgencyPromo1 200x200Located in the Maria Chiquita area, on the Caribbean side of Panama, Safarick’s Zoologic is an animal rescue and rehabilitation center founded by Antonio Purificacao, a real estate developer from Montreal, with a love for animals.

Most of the animals kept at the zoo are brought in by ANAM, Panama’s wildlife protection agency. Many arrive sick and unhealthy. Some come from seizures, others are found injured and /or deforested. “In most cases we strive to return the animal to the wild, but in cases where an animal has been rescued from life with humans, we have to keep it and care for it, as it cannot survive on its own”, says Antonio.

 
CASA Prepares to Deliver Food Baskets to Families in Need PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Tuesday, 02 December 2014 15:25

3-children.jpgEvery year on January 6th the Coronado Area Social Association (CASA) celebrates Three Kings Day with special needs children and their families.

Three Kings Day, or in Spanish, Dia de los Reyes, is celebrated in many parts of the world. On the Christian calendar it marks the date the three kings brought gifts to baby Jesus. For many living in Panama, it is customary to give a gift on this day.

For the past 6 years, Senora Maribel Gonzales has welcomed eighty families with special needs children into her home to celebrate the occasion. Guests enjoy lunch and dessert, and children receive gifts donated by a local church. Each year, CASA provides a food basket for each family. Last year 80 families took home a basket, and children wore decorated paper crowns and received photos of them taken that day.

The baskets, containing dry foods such as flour, sugar, pasta, beans and other canned items, cost about $25 each. Fundraising events are hosted annually to raise the money to buy food items.

 
PlayaCommunity Networking Evenings at La Teca PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Tuesday, 02 December 2014 12:22

new-la-teca-hh.jpgOn the first and third Tuesday of every month PlayaCommunity hosts a networking evening at La Teca’s popular Happy Hour. This December those dates are December 2 & 16. From 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. guests enjoy 2 for 1 drinks and a special tapas tasting menu.

This bi-monthly event is a great way for expats to immerse themselves in the beach community.

Get to know the PlayaCommunity team and other local business owners while enjoying great food, quality drinks and music!

Did we mention Ron Abuelo sponsors the evening? This means just for showing up you get a free glass of Rum and the chance to win some great prizes.

La Teca will also be gives away two bottles of their house at every event.

 Stop by and see who’s at La Teca this evening, you may even win a great prize!

 
What’s happening at the Coronado Community Center? PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Friday, 28 November 2014 12:43

karma-yoga_600x600.jpgDid you know that the Coronado Community Center (CCC) hosts a variety of social, educational, and health related activities every week? Located on the 2nd floor of the Village Mall, CCC was founded by the Panama Christian Foundation (PCF) in March of 2014. Since its inception, this simple facility has acted as a classroom, a studio, a dining room, and clubhouse. It has become a tool for locals to learn English and receive job training, a place for kids have fun and discover, and a meeting spot for social gatherings.The facility is open to all members of the community. Here is a closer look at some of the activities taking place at the CCC:

 
The Bocas Bay Resort PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Thursday, 20 November 2014 11:50

Bocas_Bay_resort-9732_640x480.jpgAs we have entered the last quarter of 2014, the excitement is up! The traffic from visitors to Panama is increasing and as I travel around Panama I can feel it, I see it, and I hear about it. 
With the presidential election behind and the new administration set to begin to put it's stamp on the next 5 years, I must say, now is the time to have a look if you are considering Panama as your next chapter in life to retire, to vacation, or to invest before the next boom.
 
I have spoken with developers from Holland, France, Italy, China, and the U.S. eager to enter the market and make things happen! New hotels are the key, and a sure sign of things to come. Especially in the area of Bocas Del Toro.

 
Bacchus Offers Affordable Family Fun PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Tuesday, 18 November 2014 09:43

owners-smiling_640x480.jpgTucked away in the small town of Los Pozos, (10 minutes past Cholos), this family owned bar and restaurant is open to the public on weekends. Bacchus is more than your average restaurant. With a large pool and three 4x4 tracks, it’s a great place to spend the day with family and friends. Since opening earlier this year, Bacchus has quickly become a local hot spot. When we stopped by to visit with Dutch owners Arjan van Groenigen and Katrien Slaar, it was clear to us why.

The atmosphere is welcoming. Bacchus has that old school, no-frills vibe that fits in with Panama’s naturally rugged terrain. The eclectic bar is spacious yet comfortable, sitting on 23 hectares of land, nestled between several small fincas.  While only 20 minutes from Coronado, life is a bit more relaxed at Bacchus, explained Katrien. The main social area caters to families with several activities to keep the kiddies entertained.  Katrien and Arjan’s son Troy is the inspiration behind features like the custom sandbox, little tike bikes, go-carts, and playroom room fully equipped with cartoons.

 
Expats in Panama featured on House Hunters Internationals PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Monday, 17 November 2014 11:44

paul-tara-102_reduced_blur_320x240.jpgPaul, 35 and Tara, 34 moved to Panama from Alberta, Canada last year with their son Linden, 2 and daughter Taya, 5. Looking to get out of the cold and break free from the rat race, they decided to move to Panama. With their children in mind, Paul and Tara chose the Coronado area.

“Coming to Panama with kids definitely restricts where you can live,” explains Paul. “We needed to be near quality schools and health care, the Pacific beach area was our best option, apart from the city.” 

 
Gran Feria de Vinos Report PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Saturday, 15 November 2014 09:05

unnamedOn October 16, my wife Jackie and I attended Felipe Motta’s 14th annual Gran Feria de Vinos in Panama City.  With 7 countries and over 60 wineries represented, it was a good cross section of wines to taste.  This 2 day affair was heavily attended, with an ample contingent from the beach area.  My personal strategy is to arrive as the doors open, thus avoiding much of the crowd.

We tasted nearly 75 wines that evening.  When tasting that many wines and trying to remain objective, your humble reporter always behaves professionally and spits each taste. I can report we were the only ones doing so!

Not all the wines are currently available in Coronado, but I have been assured they can be ordered in any quantity.

On to the highlights:

 
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Panama A/V
Clinica Dental Coronado
La Teca
Panamá Christian Foundation
Optica Boyd Diaz
Boquete Jazz Festival
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