Thursday, October 8, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
These latest developments may suggest a general trend in the region that can be linked to the global economic crisis’ impact on Latin America. But politicians and analysts of the region should also be asking whether the winners of the elections will address the region’s problems, which go beyond ideology and the global downturn.
As long as the democratic process unfolds in each country in a clear and transparent manner, hopefully the dominant political story of this next round of elections won’t be another rendition of “the rise of the left” or the “return of the right,” but rather will focus on how the new governments will deliver on their promise for a better future for Latin America’s people.
SF Girlfriend Getaways Examiner
Because hiding in that skinny little isthmus is one sorely under-appreciated Latin American country that is poised to explode as 2010’s hottest new Latin American travel destination. It offers something for travelers of every ilk, starting with a rich history, jam-packed with colorful tales of famous explorers, Spanish conquistadors, pirates and smugglers, bloody wars, slavery rebellions, all leading up to one of the world’s most extraordinary engineering achievements... the building of the Panama Canal.
As for natural beauty, Panama’s got it going on. Flanked by the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, there are miles of sandy beaches that are perfect for surfing, fishing and scuba diving; cool lush mountains just waiting to be climbed and biked, cloud and rainforests that will tempt the adventurer, and hundreds of gorgeous remote islands. (Calvin Klein and Playboy have both done model shoots here.) Cosmopolitan skyscrapers are just minutes away from steamy jungles teeming with wildlife. Crumbling colonial buildings are being transformed into edgy restaurants and boutique hotels. There is no shortage of vibrant markets, fashionable shopping malls, nightclubs, and luxury spas. About the only thing I didn't find in Panama were swarms of tourists.
I spoke to the head engineer, who shook his head ruefully as he shared, “It’s the most exciting project I’ve ever worked on, as well as the biggest pain in the ass! Even Gehry’s simplest components turn into complex nightmares.”
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
PANAMA. The contract to bring free internet to the entire country, particularly low-income families, has been awarded to Liberty Technology Corp at a cost of $25. 5 million.
The meeting with Benedict XVI took place at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandalfo, just outside of Rome.
Pope John Paul II’s visit to the country in 1983 was the last time a Pontiff spent time there.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Most hotels in Panama now have a computer with Internet access, some times for free and other times payable with a credit card. Several places are now offering Wireless service (look for a MovilNet sign or other similar banner advertising Internet).
Hopefully these tips will help you stay connected while you travel through Panama!
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Aug. 14 (Bloomberg) -- The free trade agreement between Canada and Panama signed Aug. 11 may be stalled or even defeated in Canada’s Parliament unless Prime Minister Stephen Harper can convince at least one opposition party to overcome concerns about Panama’s tax policies.
Canada intends to propose negotiations on a tax information exchange agreement with Panama, a finance department official said in an e-mailed statement on condition that he not be identified by name.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Metro project is progressing well
08-14-2009 MARIJULIA PUJOL LLOYD
“Currently the project is in the planning phase and we are estimating the costs and the technical viability. We are also doing the soil, and topographic studies and determining how much money we will have to pay to proprietors of the land affected by the metro,” said Roy.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Se necesita el debate nacional sobre el futuro de nuestra economía, actualmente egoístamente cuestionada por las potencias globales sin importarles el daño que nos puedan causar. Así como no podemos prohibir a Estados Unidos que produzca acero para exportar armas, ni a Alemania que declare que su industria automovilística “es de interés nacional”, tampoco podemos permitir que nos destruyan las únicas ventajas que tiene nuestro país, la economía de servicios.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
* Consortium led by Sacyr, Impregilo submit lowest bid
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Publicado el 07-02-2009
Certainly, several or many anti-democratic governments that pose as democratic in the Americas, although represented at the solemn inauguration of President Ricardo Martinelli and his Vice President Juan Carlos Varela, must have been surprised and dejected by the victory of a serious man who has all the characteristics of a statesman, although this might not be his academic background. However, he is a citizen who is determined to carry out his work with a serious ideological sense within the norms of representative democracy.
Panama has a slice of everything and something for everyone, says Richard McColl.
He explains why the future looks bright for Panama.
By Richard McColl
Published: 4:45PM BST 05 Jul 2009
There is no mistaking where we are, soaring above the Central American isthmus and over the Bridge of the Americas – an ironwork structure that from the air looks as if it is a giant's clasp fastening North and South America together either side of the Panama Canal.
Our plane banks up and over an endless line of waiting tankers before catching a glimpse of Panama City's exponential upward – or even skyward – growth. For the centre city now resembles a mirrored glass complex of clustered stalagmites, although you'll hear estate agents and residents claiming that the city has a "Manhattan" skyline.
Panama is booming, in fact it has been booming for some time now. Those who missed the boat in Miami and found Costa Rica inadequate and too costly, set their sights on this sliver of a country that since the strongman Manuel Noriega was deposed in 1989 has been a model of stability.
Many expat retired people have also been enticed into investing in property here because of Panama's easy access to both oceans, abundance of flora and fauna, by a favourable climate – which conveniently lies south of the hurricane belt – and most importantly the infrastructure.
"Panama is in a privileged location, multinational firms are moving their Americas headquarters here, Panama City has all the benefits of a first world city and Tocumen International airport has daily flights to 42 countries," says Jaime Figueroa, of estate agents Panama All in One.
Sitting in the shade of a jacaranda tree in a handsome plaza in the colonial Casco Viejo quarter of the city, my reflections on Panama's history as key to Spanish imperialism in South and central America are interrupted by a raucously loud Blackberry device.
Carefully I cast a glance over my shoulder to see a fiftysomething North American woman, dressed impeccably, sipping tonic water sitting before a pile of immaculate office files. There's no doubt about it, she's an estate agent. And by the sound of things business is good. Could this be the agent who brokered the deal for Sean Connery or for Mel Gibson in Panama's current hot spot, the Azuero Peninsula, an axe-head shaped parcel of land in Panama's southwest jutting out into the Pacific, or perhaps she is sweetening the deal for prospective clients Angelina and Brad on the Caribbean's Bocas del Toro region? Apparently Pierce Brosnan is fond of Panama as well since he can move about for the most part unrecognised.
Brian Requarth, managing director of VivaReal (www.VivaReal.net), an English language online property site, says: "We saw Panama as a key market as there are a growing number of investors drawn to the area. The country has provided some excellent incentives to attract foreign investors to the region and the strategic location really makes Panama a bridge into South America."
These incentives include a conservative banking industry and a stable economy, the balboa is pegged to the US dollar. In addition to this, the Panamanian authorities have waived property taxes on people investing in Panama for a period of 20 years as well as not taxing earnings made elsewhere.
Celebrities aside, Panama gained some notoriety in recent years from "canoe man" John Darwin and his wife Anne, the debt-ridden Hartlepool couple who were so enamoured by the county that they staged John's death to invest the life insurance payout here.
Intending to set up a business, they bought a £200,000 lot in Escobal, which is just a few kilometres outsite the run down and dangerous city of Colon on the Caribbean coast, which is an hour's drive from downtown Panama City and the location of the famous Zona Libre (Tax-Free Zone). Similar lots are selling up fast, partly due to the publicity surrounding the Darwins causing a mini surge in tourism.
One assumes that the Darwins did a thorough reconnaissance trip around Panama before settling on Escobal, shunning the cooler climes of the mountain town of Boquete, steering clear of the Miami-like Panama City, staying away from the busy Caribbean islands of the Bocas del Toro and obviously staying to the North of the troublesome Darien area.
In short, Panama has a slice of everything and something for everyone. With a new government elected in May that is ambitious and overtly friendly and open to foreign investors, the future looks brighter and brighter for Panama.
"As soon as the United States was attacked on 9/11," says Figueroa, "Panama saw an upsurge in interest in people looking for first-world amenities, warm weather and security, and they found it here."
I won't be found criticising the United States for their role in the forming of modern day Panama – I am benefiting from it right now. Rather than check into a soulless multinational establishment in the downtown mayhem and rush hour traffic of El Cangrejo or Marbella, I have decided to stay in Balboa, the heart of the former Canal Zone.
Here the streets are wide, a breeze takes the edge off the stuffy mornings, people still tend to their lawns and there is an appreciation of personal space. A basketball net adorns the eaves of a garage door and it is hard to imagine that I am anywhere else but in a parallel version of Americana, certainly not in Latin America.
Perhaps the only difference is that over breakfast on the terrace, looking out at the exotic birds of paradise I can make out a family of coati scavenging for food near the bottom of the garden and up above a pair of toucans sing their morning tunes, whistling through their colourful beaks.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
By Sara Miller Llana Staff writer 06.25.09
A local, slice-of-life story from a Monitor correspondent.
These days kids have nothing to hide – as boxing is making a comeback across Panama. In April, the government inaugurated the Roberto Duran arena, a $16.5 million renovation expected to attract world-class title events. Panama currently boasts three world champions – no small number considering the country’s population of 3 million.
The two-year old Association for Organic Human Development helps in all kinds of ways: with tutoring or after-school activities to steer boys away from gangs and girls from prostitution. Boxing is just a piece of it, but one that Pedroza is willing to teach.
And he teaches by example. He might not have the celebrity status of Roberto Duran, but Pedroza has an advanced degree, has served in public office, and continues to work in a variety of capacities for the government.
Monday, June 22, 2009
June 21, 4:03 Pm
Norfolk Panama Travel Examiner
Here are some words that you are sure to hear during your visit to Panama, but may not find in your dictionary.
Diablo Rojo: (dee-ah-blo row-ho) Old US school buses that provide transportation around Panama City (and in some other cities). The buses are characteristically decorated with dramatic pictures and streamers. The route traveled by each bus is painted on the windshield and often shouted out by the driver or helper. The cost is $0.25 to ride in Panama City, paid when you get off the bus. Diablo Rojos do travel past Tocumen International Airport during daytime hours (leaving from Albrook Bus Terminal; about $1.00 each way). Be ready to exit the bus quickly at your stop as the driver will not wait long.
Corredor: (core-e-door) A toll road (4-lane) most commonly traveled between Panama City and the Tocumen International Airport by tourists. It heads in both directions, so you will see signs for Corredor Norte and Corredor Sur. If you catch a taxi at the airport, you may be asked if you would like to take the ‘Corredor’ to the city. This option will help avoid potential traffic delays, but you will be charged more to cover the tolls (there are 2 between Panama City and the airport, totaling about $3.00).
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Are you interested in history or enjoy beautiful architecture? Would you like to attend a service in an ancient church? Or perhaps you are seeking a break during your travels towards the western part of Panama? I encourage a stop in Natá, Coclé. Natá is one of the oldest cities in Panama, established in 1622, and is home to one of the oldest surviving churches of the New World.
Natá, originally settled by the Spanish, is a quaint community of about 6000 residents. Natá has a bank, Western Union office, pharmacy, a store with construction supplies, and a couple of small fondo restaurants.
You can visit the church by turning left (when traveling west) in the center of town and heading straight until you see the large, white tower or the park across the street. Ask a local person to point you towards the iglesia if you don’t find it right away. The church, a National Historic Landmark, is in great condition thanks to continuous restoration efforts by the local people. Catholic services are held daily and festivals are frequent events.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Philadelphia Business Journal - by Athena D. Merritt
Friday, June 5, 2009
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Los Angeles Times-Washington Post
Published: June 03, 2009, 23:36