Creative Writing Workshop in Casco Viejo

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo

Funny, but once we are out of school / university, our lives tend to have on its natural flow mainly two types of communication: social media (and mainly emoticons!) and work related stuff.  I was warned by my old literature teacher that this was going to happen! but was she wrong?

Maybe. I mean, each one of us contains rivers of feelings, words, thoughts, and crazy ideas running inside us, we just don´t know what to do with it. Some people even create damns. But Lili Mendoza has no damns, I´ll tell you that. If you want to see a river in action, and risk having your own gates break open, you have to go to her creative writing workshop.

If you read Spanish, the following blog will give you an idea. It is signed by veterinarian Enrique Samudio:

Mainly in Spanish, but Lili is one of the few that can do creative writing in English as well. here is a bit about her: Stockton Times article. Be prepared for Spanglish, her favorite language.

How does it work? the group meets in a spot in Casco, which changes from day to day. The last class was held inside the Religious Art Museum by Arco Chato. Both for visitors and locals, it is a way to look at the city in a different way, to experience it from a different angle. Perfect recipe to start writing!

How to get in touch with Lili? usually her facebook is pretty good. Or if you would like to go to her QueVi website:    and her email



Natural Beauty

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo

Casco Viejo is full of beautiful moments in nature. I just wanted to take a minute to share some of the photos I´ve taken from the beach. I specially love mornings and evenings!

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A healthy investment starts with your involvement

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo

Hate condo meetings? You are not alone. At their best, they are boring. At their worst… they put to the test your every skill , including – and not limited to- pranayama breathing. Spending your evening with your family looks like a really nice option. So is walking on top of nails. Anything but a condo meeting!

But here is the thing: whether you made an investment or you live in the building, the first step to long term value is your active involvement.

In Casco Viejo, where condos are small, this is particularly important. Do you really want big changes voted without your consent or even your knowledge? with only a few units on each building, this is perfectly possible. Make sure you are always at the table, and advocate for everyone to take and active roll. After all, most buildings in Casco (with a few exceptions) only have between 4 to 10 units.

Casco´s best buildings so far have shared that characteristic: owners who live in the building, are part of the board of directors.

They make for a healthier building, and a prosperous one. Investments are made in the right places, administrators and concierges tend to do a better job, and they are able to compete shoulder to shoulder with brand new condos that tend to have more amenities and even better design. They keep and raise their values in both rents and sales.

As you can imagine, the opposite is also true.

There are many ways to protect your investment. But very few as important and proven as living in the condo you buy or keeping a close eye / presence at the owner´s association meetings and a line of communicating with the board and administrator. If you feel they are not doing their job, you´ll have the tools to change it. And sometimes that energy is all a building needs to come back around.


Via Plural 2016 May 21st

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo

Via Plural is a street art event that takes place at Avenida Central, Santa Ana. Last year, it gathered around 300 artists who performed along the commercial side of La Central all the way to Plaza 5 de Mayo.  From breakdance to really good bands, from street poetry to aerial dancing, we were impressed by the quality and the concept.

This year, Via Plural´s second edition is May 21st.  It is roughly from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Stuff will happen along Central. Mostly street art all day long, but what they call teh “artistic ciruit” will be from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.  An urban market will also be happening, at the other side: Plaza Centenario, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

HERE is their Facebook page if you want to learn more.

Morning Breakfast at Clementinas Roof Terrace

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo

Loved the new breakfast at Las Clementinas! for all guests, it is now served at the roof terrace. My favorite: the burrito!

Clementinas breakfast Clementinas morning views Roof terrace breakfast

UnderCover Boots opened in Casco Viejo

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo

Shopping in Avenida A is getting better and better. This week, UnderCover Boots inaugurated a beautiful space, between Madrigal and Lupa. The place was packed with neighbors, children, everyone. A beautiful store, great products. Colorful rainboots for everyone (and right on time for Panama´s rainy season!) painted or created by local artists. Of course, I was already wearing them going in… mine had the “papo” flower, but I really loved the “guayacan” long boots and the Rana Dorada elegant black. Depending on the boot you buy, they donate to different organizations, including the Smithonian frog team in Panama, who are working on research and preservation of Panama´s golden frog.

CLICK HERE for their website

My favorite boots

guayacan and rana dorada my boots

Chef from New Zealand! new zealand chef

Me walking to the store, passing by Lupapassing by Lupa

Raincoat by Lupa, Top Model provided by Art Deco´s Model Agency  =)raincoat by Fraulamb Lupa

Reaching Under Cover Bootsreaching Under Cover Boots Remedios long undercover boots store

Warm welcom by the owner María and her adorable daughterwelcomed by owner MariaWelcome to the neighborhood!!!

Meassuring our frontiers: Panama – Costa Rica

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo

This past week, La Prensa published an article about the need to renew the posts that mark the Panama- Costa Rica frontier, as they are old and some of those posts are even missing.  When I read it, I couldn´t help but to smile. My grandpa put those posts down back in the 40´s, boy! they´ve lasted!!!

Of course, he wasn´t the first one to draw physicaly a line between the two countries. Here is a whole page of its history (Wiki).  But of course, I grew up listening to the stories. When he passed away, my cousin gave me to safe keep the instrument he used to meassure. It is in a wooden box that weighs “like a bad marriage”.  Talk about quality: the box is still hard and solid, no termite has dared to taste it.

I had seen photos of my grandfather dressed up in full jungle gear: boots, big hat, long sleeves. Think early explorers in Africa. He used to tell us how they would go up and down mountains in the middle of the forest. The team would include engineers, workmen, and – of course- someone who played the guitar. Fighting boredom was as important as fighting mosquitoes. At night, only the sounds of the jungle, and the sounds of the guitar, under that amazing sky filled with stars.

The other challenge, believe it or not, was coming up with names for the hills and places they were marking.  He would laugh at how creative they were at the beginning, really thinking things through. But at some point, after weeks of jungle, animals, insects, sweat and carrying all the equipment, they just started to name things after the first thing that came to mind. Yes, that´s the true story of how and why Panama ended up with a number of hills called “lizard” and “white stones”. Not to mention “flat creek” and “fat sugar cane”.   Now, I know that  other countries have faced similar challenges and met them with a similar approach. How else could you explain Greasy Creek? It´s in my bucket list, have to go see it!

sextante sextante1nonno

Infinite Series at Lupa

Panama Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo

As a realtor, I often meet clients who are moving in and out of apartments. Buying furniture is a major concern. Some don´t mind it, while others are worried that they won´t be able to take it with them when they move out. That is why I was so glad to bump into Serie Infinita at Lupa: a modular series of tables that can be used in a number of ways and can fit almost any corner and style. You can change tops and colors. And they seem pretty easy to ship!

Take a look, and call Ingrid at Lupa if you are interested.

serie serie infinita furniture IMG_7005 Lupa Store Casco Viejo

El Machetazo: everything nearby

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo

This past weekend was a holiday in Panama. As usual, everything closed, and a lazy mood around with the rainy season finally here. I needed to do my grocery shopping, and was anyways walking down central with a friend,  so got into El Machetazo to get some basics. Usually this is my “to go” place for diy crafts and beach cleaning projects.  I was pleasantly surprised! they´ve been updating their food products, I ended up with a full cart of veggies, fruits, cheese, yogurt, salmon, and more.  $42 later, I was set for the week. Here is a photo of what I bought (but after using a bunch of stuff for a really good stew)



A Mercadito For Everyone

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo

Different venues in Casco are starting to have regular mercaditos.  I love how each one is developing its own identity.  I walked into Villa Agustina´s mercadito the other day, and it was exactly Villa Agustina. Incense greeting you as you walk in, inside full boho… with great jazz music!

full mercadito villa agustina little market villa agustina mercadito villa agustina musica villa agustina villa agustina mercado