altUnder a persistent drizzle, the Eugene Eisenmann Natural Pathway in the tropical dry forest of Coronado was inaugurated on November 26, 2011. The event was attended by the Directors of Coronado es Vida and Coronado Hotel, the Eugene Eisenmann Avifauna Foundation, representatives of different media, and special guests. Among those special guests attending was the prominent Kuna artist, Olodwagdi, who was commissioned to paint the mural depicting the dry forest at the entrance to the Eugene Eisenmann Natural Pathway and also to illustrate the different stations along the path. The Natural Pathway is named in honor of Eugene Eisenmann, a renown Panamanian ornithologist.

The event began with words from Margelis Barria from the Avifauna Foundation. Following the introduction, Engineer Jaime Quiros Guevara, author of the book ‘Coronado Dry Forest,’ talked about the importance and characteristics of the dry forest. At the end of the presentation, Mr. Roberto Eisenmann II expressed extreme gratitude to Coronado es Vida for maintaining this most interesting ecosystem.

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el_matchetazaHow do you get a resident at the beach excited?  The answer is open up a new store that sells everything from frozen and fresh berries to electronics and has a new age escalator to take your buggy from level 1 to level 2.  As a beach resident now of 3 years we have watched Coronado grow and flourish.  From Cochez, to Super 99 and now the long awaited El Machetazo.  We were so excited to hear that the department store opened, that we spent our Friday night wandering down the aisles of the 3 level department store in wonder and amazement.

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altThe Coronado area is home to a unique natural eco-system, called a Dry Forest, that is important for scientific study, due to the rarity of its occurrence in the world. With the rise in land sales around the Pacific beach areas over the last few years, ecological areas could face elimination, if not protected.

To ensure the preservation of natural lands for future generations, 45 hectares of dry forest land have been set aside as a scientific laboratory. The area, is dedicated to Eugene Eisenmann, a nature lover, whose study and research are credited for bringing Panama's bird population to the bird watching world.

The inauguration will take place at the entrance to the Dry Forest, just past the main gates into Coronado, on Saturday November 26th at 4 p.m.

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altIn today's financial environment, interest paid on savings accounts are at a dismal level. Trying to live in retirement, on the interest on your saving, was once a viable strategy. However, interest rates on savings, in most banks, are so low today that they produce minimal income.

Panamanian credit unions are an appealing alternative for foreigners seeking a safe fixed income. Credit unions offer highly competitive interest rates on savings in Certificates of Deposit and Money Market Accounts. Many people have experienced the extensive and exhaustive documentation requirements and long delays when attempting to open accounts in Panama banks. Credit unions are more user friendly and especially attractive to retirees who are seeking a safe fixed income investment. Credit Unions have existed in Panama for the past 70 years and just like in the U.S., they operate as cooperatives for savings and credit for the member employees of various industries and government agencies. In other words, a "Cooperativa" is a Panamanian credit union that is a licensed and government-registered. These cooperative financial institutions are regulated by Law 17 of May 1997, which gives them tax free status, among various other benefits. Panamanian credit unions are regulated by the "Instituto Panameño Autonomo Cooperativo" (IPACOOP), whose website is www.ipacoop.gob.pa.

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diablo_dancersLast Saturday and Sunday the Coronado Golf and Beach Club had their annual members appreciation day.  Every year, the Club puts on a private gala for it's members. This year the special 'day' lasted the weekend. It was kicked off by a golf tournament on the 19th. The tournament which lasted Saturday and Sunday was attended by 90 golfers vying for a cornucopia of prizes, which included big screen plasma TV's and full sets of golf clubs.

The center of the member's appreciation event is the annual dinner. This year the Club had lively dance presentations from local schools and a live band and of course a lot of great food and desert stations to spoil it's members.

For event pictures, click Read More.

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altThe students got a big treat at Finca la Maya’s free English classes on Saturday when Janice Pinney came all the way from Alto de Maria with her big colorful cast of characters to help teach by PLAYING…with big furry funny puppets!

The volunteer teachers split the students into small groups, then each group invented a short skit to perform for the other students ~ all in English. The beautifully crafted puppets provided a fun and creative way for students to use their most recent new vocabulary words.

Classes at La Maya have been full, even in this rainy season. Though Janice provided twenty-six puppets, students had to share their cute furry friends to do their skits.

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colors_gridIf you have lived in Panama for a few years, I'm sure you will agree that working and playing well together in our small expat community doesn't always go as smoothly as we would like it to.  We are certainly a diverse group of people. Different cultures, backgrounds, languages and ways of looking at the world.

Some weeks ago, a few expats came together to participate in a Personality Styles workshop. The purpose of the workshop was to learn more about our own personalities and that of our friends and colleagues.  Mainly, we wanted to learn how to work together better. We learned a lot! And now we would like to invite you to join us.

Personality Dimensions is a one day workshop on Dec 6, in English, coming to Coronado to help you understand different personality styles.  It uses a color lens to distinguish four distinct styles for how we solve problems, communicate, organize and create. The insights are generous and the information is simple to grasp.

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puppiesThese three adorable pups were abandoned in Coronado on Avenue, Boulevard yesterday, in front of an expat's home. Dr. Reyas has checked them for fleas and worm. When they are a little older PAL will arrange for them to be spayed. They desperately need a home.

Nov 22 - Yeaaaa!!! All 3 puppies have found loving homes!

 

altWhether you are new to Panama or have lived here a few years, life in the Republic always seems to get a little better when you find a personal shopping treasure. I’m talking about things like tasty food treats, lacey bed spreads and that rare piece of handmade jewelry that is a one-of-a-kind prize that can turn your beach tee into a party top.

Here at the beaches where most shopping is still limited to necessities, shopping treasures are particularly hard to come by. But when they do, you have to just hold the margarita, fold up the pool chair and take yourself to the occasion.

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ladies_smWednesday, November 23th is the date for November's Playacommunity Mixer. This month we are once again at Rincon del Chef Restaurant in Coronado. Mixer begins at 5 p.m. We always have prizes from businesses to give away at our monthly Mixers and this month we have a few different ways to win.

A Harpie Eagle (Panama's national bird) is hidden somewhere on Playacommunity.com. To be elegible for a Mixer prize, you must bring a printed copy of the eagle. Hint: ¿No tienes una Harpie? Hay que estudiar!

Once again we will be playing a version of Panama Facts for prizes. It's easy to win when you know the facts. There are 45 facts on Playacommunity.Com. You will find them on the left hand panel of every page of the site. Learn the facts, come ready to play and win.

Please click 'Read More' to fill in our RSVP form to let us know if you are staying for dinner, so that we can provide the restaurant with approximate numbers to prepare for.

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altSpay The Stray's 3rd Annual Halloween dance took place at La Carreta Restraurant in Coronado. The yearly event helps to raise fund for spay and neuter clinics in the area. One of the more active fund raising groups in the area, Spay the Strays mission is to improve the quality of life for animals by reducing the amount of stays on the streets. Funds raised goes towards organizing spay and neuter clinics for the benefit of local people who cannot afford to get their animals sterilized.

Halloween costumes were optional, however prizes were given for the most creative. This year 2 students from Panama Coast International School in Gorgona took first and second. First prize went to Cassie, who dressed as a Spay Veterinarian and the second prize went to Maya, who came as The Joker.

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My husband, Jerry, and I are ‘those people,’ who came to Panama for vacation and exploration and on our first visit bought property.
 
We came to Panama in 2005 with the idea to have a look around and see if this country could be a possible new home for us.  We immediately fell in love with the country and the people.  We toured the Caribbean side from Bocas Del Toro back to Panama City and from the City down the Pacific coast to Buenaventura and back.
 
Coronado was the last stop on our three-week exploration and we knew, just knew that this would be our new home.  We worked with Coronado es Vida and chose a beautiful building lot and picked our model home.  We actually bought our lot on a ‘hand-shake.’  We worked with Sr. Roberto Eisenmann and after our hand-shake, went home, put our house on the market and sold and closed within 40 days.  Then it was back to Panama to make good on our handshake and start the building process.

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altFollowing the ongoing recycling success at the Gorgona PCIS school, the Colegio Bilingue El Sembrador is now launching its own recycling program. As in Gorgona this new project is made possible with the support of Recimetal Panama who have offered to pick up the recyclable materials at no charge. The lovely representatives of Recimetal visited the Colegio Bilingue El Sembrador on Thursday October 6th and delivered an interactive multimedia presentation to the 120 students aged 3 to 12. This new initiative will be a much needed fund raiser for the modest school. For example, every 100 aluminum cans will generate approximately $1. The moneys raised by the recycling program will help the school in many ways like upgrading their playground, painting classrooms, fixing roofs and installing security fencing around the school's parking. Only aluminum cans and white paper (office type) will be collected for the moment. This strategy as been adopted in order to keep the recycling instructions as simple as possible and because these are the most valuable and ecologically important materials. Of course the school plans to expend the recycling effort to other materials in the near future.

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altThe first annual Coronado Cancer Walk was held last Saturday October 22,2011. Planning for the event was initiated by Ruth Devora Chen de Saucedo, an employee of Wandita Salon Spa, located in Coronado Mall. Ruth became an advocate in the fight against Cancer, when her mother-in-law was effected by Colon Cancer. Every October, breast cancer awareness month, a variety of events are hosted to raise funds for Funda Cancer Panama. One of the events is a Walk, an event that Ruth felt would work well with Coronado residents. So, she reached out to friends, Clemencia Watson, Donna Anderson and Penny Alves, and together the women planned and put on the first Walk for Cancer in the Coronado area.

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Coronado Area Social Association’s WINE and CHEESE FIESTA a Big Success!

What a great time we all had at the first ‘CASA Wine and Cheese Fiesta’ on Friday, Oct. 14!  It was a very pleasant and relaxing event.   Even with the light rain close to 35 people enjoyed a dry and fun-filled time.  There were people there who were part of the very first CASA (then know as CSA), as well as some who just moved to Panama and joined CASA in the last few weeks.  CASA provided a delicious array of cheeses, breads, fruits, veggies and dips, and everyone brought at least one bottle of wine to share.  And what an assortment we had: reds, whites, rosés, sauvignon blancs, and more.  The majority of the wines were reportedly ‘very tasty’; only one of them received a definite ‘thumbs down’.  We all agreed that we would go without instead of buying that particular wine even though the bottle was attractive and the write-up on the label was inviting!   It turned out to be a wonderful evening of conversation, camaraderie, and laughter among our CASA friends.  Just take a look at the pictures! And plan to join us for more upcoming CASA events.

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