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The Panama Man PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Monday, 15 September 2014 20:18

jeff haydenrich novakWho is the Panama Man you ask? Its Rich Novak of Re/Max Beach & City! Did you know Rich is also the host of The Panama Show, an internet radio show that speaks with expats living in Panama. We met with Rich to speak about his internet radio show. Rich explained that the show offers people who are interested in moving to Panama first hand information from real people who are already living here. Rich was looking for the perspective of a young expat living in the Pacific Beach area, so Jeff Hayden of PlayaCommunity sat down with the Panama Man himself to speak about life in Panama.

For a sneak peak of next week's show (Jeff's interview) listen below:
Download Embed Embed this video on your site

To listen to Rich's shows, shows tune in every Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Standard time on

The Rotary Club of Playa Coronado PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Monday, 15 September 2014 11:41

rotary_wheelchair_boy_300x400.jpgRotary International headquarters approved the Rotary Club of Playa Coronado on June 17, 2014. Only one week after getting their charter the Rotary Club of Playa Coronado took on their first International project, the Wheelchair Panama project. The Rotary Club of Playa Coronado has set a fund-raising goal of $30,000 before the end of August. At the date of publishing they had received a total of $17,600 in  donations.

UPDATE: By Sept, 15 the goal was exceed by $3000, with a total of $33,000 raised. 

We spoke with president Jackie Kendziorek on how the Rotary Club of Playa Coronado was formed. Jackie and her husband Mark have been Rotarians for 23 years, having belonged to several clubs in the United States. “We knew they wanted to continue their service as Rotarians in Panama” explained Jackie. “So, reached out to members of the community introducing them to rotary.” Community interest was high, and a group quickly formed. Jackie told us only once the group had 25 members, could they apply to become an official club.

Dragon Asian Bistro PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 16:16

dragon-1_300x400.jpgConfucius say, “Man with one chopstick go hungry.”

Dragon Asian Bistro, where the Orient meets the beach.  Having opened on May 29 as part of the Tryp Hotel in Coronado, Dragon is a refreshing addition to the playa community restaurant scene, offering a combination of Japanese, Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisine.  The two spacious dining rooms are tastefully adorned with minimalist Asian accents, in a black and red color scheme.  The restaurant is well equipped with capable and attentive kitchen, dining, and bar staff.

The menu features some traditional dishes as well as some new twists on the classics. Head Chef Wilson  Lozano offers 16 different rolls and makis (5 or 10 pieces from  $7-$15) as well as a lovely assortment of nigiri and sashimi.  There are three soups and salads, and several hot and cold appetizers.  We’ve dined at the restaurant several times and always try to order a couple of new things.  On a recent visit we sampled the combination gyoza (beef, chicken, and veggie), which you can order steamed or crispy. 

ABC Revisited: 7 Chardonnays PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Tuesday, 09 September 2014 12:17

DSC04441_200x200.jpgI’m going to try to be generous and gentle, as best I can. I just tasted 7 wines made from Chardonnay grapes France, Argentina, Australia and USA (California). I really liked 1 of them, found 1 or 2 passable and the other 5 reminded me why I wrote a previous column titled ABC (Anything But Chardonnay)

At its best, Chardonnay can be elegant, complex and even exquisite. A sublime expression of the land upon which it is grown and the hand from which it evolves. I have had excellent chardonnay based wines from nearly every wine producing continent, so I don’t think I am pre-disposed or biased against the grape. However, it has become so over-grown, over-produced and over-sold that the term “chardonnay” has become synonymous with slightly sweet, insipid, industrially produced plonk.

But heck, I thought I’d give it another try, maybe even 2! So I gathered a selection of chardonnays from the above mentioned countries and gave them a pop. Each wine was properly chilled and tasted separately.

The Coronado Extreme Triathlon 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Friday, 05 September 2014 11:28

IMG_6150_copy_600x600.jpgThis year, the Triathlon Coronado Xtremo will take place on September 14, 2014 leaving the Coronado Beach Club at 7:00 a.m. While the event is a sprint, or short-distance triathlon, it is called an “extreme triathlon” with good reason. The race begins with a 750-meter swim in the unpredictable Pacific Ocean, continues with a 20 km bike ride through Coronado’s rocky back roads, and ends with a 5k run finishing on soft sand.

The Coronado Extreme Triathlon has been taking place during the months of August or September for the past 14 years.  The event, popular among locals and expats is organized by Union de Triathlon de Panama. The Coronado Extreme Triathlon is among the oldest triathlons in Panama, the oldest being Tri Xtremo Portobello.

Ocean to Ocean Bicycle Ride PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Tuesday, 02 September 2014 12:04

Kaye_600x600.jpgOn a Thursday afternoon I ran across an article about a coast to coast bike ride, from Panama’s  Atlantic to the Pacific, 86kms/53miles, coming up the following Sunday…how cool is that! The idea got me excited, what a great way to see this beautiful country we live in. I have some experience bike riding and my husband rides regularly. I knew he’d be excited to do it.

When I got home and showed him the article he said a couple of our friends had mentioned they would be doing this ride.  He also told me I may not be in the best shape, i.e., no recent training to do this long of a ride. (Okay, so I had not been on my bike since the last Coronado Triathlon). Oh, don’t worry about me I said, I’ll just go slow and if it takes me 5 hours, what the heck. Just go at your own pace, honey. You don’t need to hang back for me. I’ll get there when I get there. I really want to do this!

So, on Saturday at 3:30 in the morning we were on the Amador Causeway with our bikes, which we loaded into transport trucks. There were about 1,030 people signed up to do this ride and many of the participants opted for the group transport from the causeway to Colon. After getting the bikes all loaded and secured on the transport trucks, it was time to transport the humans….we traveled via Red Devils.

Happy Ocean Month Panama! PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Monday, 01 September 2014 16:26

isla-toce-100 200x200“Unless someone like you, 
cares a whole awful lot, 
nothing is going to get better, its just not.” – The Lorax

Join the Community Beach Clean-up this Sunday starting at 8:00 a.m. leaving from the Coronado Beach Club. For more info contact Kara at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit the PlayaCommunity Events Calendar.

The Ocean is vital part of our existence. It is a source of food, a temperature regulator, a means of transportation and an environmental indicator. The ocean is our playground, and an integral party of our country.

While we have barely broken the frontier of ocean exploration, we are starting to see signs of human impact. With these warning signs in mind humanity is met with a choice: to ignore or, to take action. Each year Panama takes one month to raise awareness on Ocean conservation.

A message from the Coronado Hospice and Respite Foundation PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Friday, 29 August 2014 23:12

hospiceThe Coronado area has quickly become home for many retirees from outside the country.  As in areas such as Panama City and Boquete, where we also have a high concentration of expatriates, these people are aging and require a plan and a system of support for the next phase of their lives.  To this end, Panama Hospice and Respite Foundation (PHRF) currently active in Panama City is establishing a local area Point of Service in the Coronado Area.

PHRF is a non-tax oriented, private interest foundation, which provides service free of charge.  Its mission is to assist, using trained volunteers, hospice clients and their caregivers as well as those needing short-term help in crisis situations.  The volunteers work in cooperation with the client's primary caregiver.  While PHRF hopes to extend its services to all members of the community, in this inception phase it only provides service in English.

Wheelchair Project Benifit Concert PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Tuesday, 26 August 2014 11:09

benifit-concertTomorrow, Wednesday August 27th, Bobby Henderson & John July will be performing at Picasso fundraising for the Playa Coronado Rotary Club Wheelchair project. In a joint effort with the Rotary Club and the Canadian Wheelchair Foundation, the benefit concert aims to raise the final amounts needed to reach a goal of $30,000, which will be used to purchase wheelchairs.

Wheelchairs will be donated to those in need of them living in the Pacific beach and mountain areas. They will make an immediate difference in the lives of the recipients and their families. To learn more about the project click here.

Contributions can be made online using the website of the Canadian Wheelchair Foundation.

Police Volunteering with Spay the Strays PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Saturday, 23 August 2014 14:06

spay-the-strays-114_200x200.jpgToday Dr. Alexis, special police and police dog veterinarian, was one of two acting vets at the Spay the Stays clinic in Las Lajas. Dr. Alexis was accompanied by Eliecer, fellow police officer and soon to be vet technician. Eliecer was at the clinic today learning how to care for the k9 (dog) unit he works with daily. Dr. Alexis was teaching him to give treatment beyond the basic shots and stiches he already knew how to administer. By learning more about the dogs he works with and how to treat them, Eliecer will be better able to provide care in the field when it is necessary.

Dr. Alexis aims to provide training for 13 more police officers that work directly with k9 units. Once officers like Eliecer gain the knowledge they need to become vet technicians they will need to complete mandatory volunteer hours. Dr. Alexis explained  “the officers gaining the knowledge must pay it forward, they can do this by volunteering at clinics like Spay the Strays”.

La Dorada El Valle PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Friday, 22 August 2014 12:35

b_afiche_rana_el_valle_carrera-01.jpgThis weekend marks the end of Golden Frog week in El Valle, but it is not too late to get involved in the festivities. Join walkers and runners on a 5 or 15k walk/run on Sunday, August 24.

The 15k departing at 7:00 a.m. follows an intense route, requiring racers to climb hills. The 5k starting at 8:00 a.m. is family friendly route on less rugged terrain. 

To register go to Organica in the Coronado village mall. The registration free is $25.00 and payable by cash or check. Checks should be payable to Fundación Caminando Panamá. Proceeds from the event will go to educational programs that promote conservation of the Golden Frog and other amphibians.

Canadians becoming Citizens of Panama PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Tuesday, 19 August 2014 20:55

YOLANDA_AND_ROB_800x600.jpegRobert Brown and Yolanda Van Der Kolk have recently passed the exam to become citizens of Panama. They are now awaiting the final steps to make their citizenship official - President of Panama’s signature and an official swearing in ceremony.

Becoming a citizen in Panama is quite similar to in the United States. Applicants must have five years of legal permanent residence to apply. They must pass a citizenship interview and exam, and they must indicate the intention to renounce their former citizenship. Despite this last requirement dual-citizenship is legal, and common.

We spoke to Rob and Yolanda about some of the reasons they choose to become citizens. “Panama is now our home”, said Rob. “We love the country and want to be part of it”. Rob and Yolanda moved to Panama from Canada in 2008. Like many expats they became permanent residents through one of Panama’s Visa programs.

Dining Delights in the City PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Monday, 18 August 2014 13:54

city scene-1 800x600QUOTE:  “Pull up a chair, take a taste.  Come join us [in the city].  Life is endlessly delicious.”  --Ruth Reichl

Traveling to the city is an adventure including the drive itself.  Once you arrive, the dining options are incredible, so we polled many of our readers to see what their favorites are, and are thankful to all whom contributed in very creative detail.  This is what they said:

Let’s begin in Casco Viejo.  

Panama Needs You! PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Friday, 15 August 2014 10:08
altIt’s easy to feel a sense of economic security if you work in Panama City and rarely venture out anywhere other than the beaches, the beach resorts and luxurious condos. However, this is not ‘Panama’,  at least not for the majority of Panamanians who live in the interior. 
“Despite the country’s strong economic growth, poverty levels remain high in Panama. Nationwide, according to … the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), … the incidence of poverty is particularly high in rural areas, where about 45.8 per cent of the population are poor and about 23.6 per cent of rural people live in extreme poverty.”
The Panama Christian Foundation (PCF) is an independent, private community support organisation based in Coronado and works largely with rural Panamanians from La Chorrera to Penonome and has some interesting insights to share with you.   
PCF works with some of the poorest most remote public schools in the area.  Reports from the teachers there indicate that the annual government budget per student is only $20!  That’s $20 per year per student to provide for good facilities, books, teachers, food, water, supplies, security etc.  The result is obvious:  a very high drop out rate and a poorly educated population which then cannot compete in Panama’s growing job market.  Poverty is the end result and the cycle continues for many. 
Beach Real Estate Association meeting and Awards Presentation PDF Print E-mail
Panama News - Community News
Tuesday, 12 August 2014 12:07

P1090145_800x600.jpgThe Beach Real Estate Association met on June 26th at Café Coronado. Try Panama Real Estate hosted the event. The primary focus of the association (BREA) is to work together to establish standards and policies as a group in order to benefit both the buyer and seller while maintaining a high standard of professionalism throughout the entire real estate sales process.

The meeting proved to be quite a success and the day’s hot topic was MLS (multiple listing service), which is growing quickly and gaining respect here in Panama. Many North Americans are very familiar with MLS and its success in promoting real estate listings and maintaining a database of what homes have sold for, how long they have been on the market, and price changes.

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