Panama of Yesteryear Video- Casco Viejo

Panama Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo

Eldredge Muybridge was a photographer that visited Panama around 1886 (aprox). He took amazing photos of what “Panama” was like back then (now only Casco Viejo), an incredible testimony of the country`s humble beginnings. This video shows before and afters, a great moment to reflect on the advantages of modernity and the place that history could or should have in our lives or in our cities. Buildings are physical witnesses of ourselves, and not because we were, we are, or we`ll be. And yet, it is so fantastic to have those roots standing alive, vibrant today in Casco, this place to come back to – not to regress- but to find ourselves and find tools for a better future.

Thanks to Jennifer Hotsko from AVACA for finding it and circulating it!



New! Enjoy Shop Boutique Casco Viejo

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo

I noticed movement inside Los Del Patio and I`m glad I went in. New stores have opened! Here is Enjoy Shop, a boutique that is run by the owner who is also a fashion designer. Her brand is MoMIX, and she gets inspiration from the fabric wore by the Guna indians, and makes them into modern shirts, skirts and dresses. She also does jewelry with bottle caps and has a bit of a collection from other designers as well. Phone: 6378-0866   They also has a Facebook page: Enjoy Shop and MoMIX

Los del patio Enjoy Shop Enjoy Shop1 Entrance

Dressing Casco Viejo Style

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo

A few months ago I challenged myself to wear at work “made or bought in Casco Viejo”.  I am no fashion designer and very far from setting any trend anywhere. But I thought it would be fun, a “visual proof” of how Casco is growing to accommodate retail in a meaningful way. Designers here have taken stuff I took them (upcycling shirts, fabrics) and done very cute things out of it. There is talent, and I`m excited about updating my closet where every piece “matters”.

Mamitas: Shirt bought at Gisela Sanchez store located at 6th street and A avenue, next to the yogurt place. Skirt done by Gisela, from an old guayabera shirt.

Mamitas Casco Viejo

And today!

Pants: Mamita`s, made by Gisela Sánchez, Shirt: Guayabera by No Me Olvides (at calle 4ta and A Avenue), Accessories (purse and necklace) by Papiro y Yo. Dog Model: Chispa. Location: Arco Properties!

Copia de IMG_7599



Beauty services in Casco Viejo

Casco Viejo, Panama

Little by little, small beauty salons are opening doors in Casco Viejo. Yesterday I decided to make a brief list of both local and high end services.

Dorina Szabo: She has been a neighbor for some years now. Here is her Facebook Page. English speaking and knowledgeable, she attends at Montefiori (next to American Trade, on top of the Bistro restaurant).  She does fashion shootings, movies, special events, weddings and hair cuts (specially if you are thinking on changing your look).  She saved our lives when we needed to dress up to a 20`s themed party, we were gorgeous after her intervention! For appointments: phone 6253-2663


MimaTe: brand new, just opened this month.  Beauty salon at Casa Diez, next to the National Theater. Full beauty salon with manicure, pedicure, etc. They also sell swimming suits. Ask for Karen or Sharon. The place has a peaceful feeling, you can relax with the view and sounds of the pool at Casa Diez. Nice! Tel. 399-8019 and 6705-0566

Karen y Sharon Beaty Casco Viejo beauty Salon Casco ViejoLooking more of a local flavor? If you`ve started to wander around Calle 12, you`ll notice the area is changing. The new Fortaleza tours have brought activity to the area, and soon Flor de Lirio will open with new commercial activity. By the pink house there is Salon Shalom, a local beauty parlor with all time classics: cut, blower, hair treatments. Manicure and pedicure tend to include fun designs!

Salon Shalom 2 Salon Shalom Salon Shalom 1

You will also find Elements Barber Shop, which has now expanded to include Actualisa, for the ladies. Eurice is there from Monday to Saturday, usually 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

element barber shop actualisa 1 actualisa 2 actualisa 3


AVACA and Pro Mar Beach Cleaning

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo

Last Sunday, Pro Mar , a local ngo that focuses on the oceans, helped organize a big beach and river cleanup in Panama City. Thousands of people went out to sites like Panama Viejo and Costa del Este. In Casco Viejo, we had our petite version with members of AVACA, cleaning up Santo Domingo Beach. Here are the results!

st marys bags beach cleaning clean cleaning Copia de IMG_7548 playa results


In the Golden Light

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo

Walking early the other day, I was lucky enough to have my camera. Amazing!

IMG_7516 IMG_7464 IMG_7468 IMG_7471 IMG_7490

Musical Sunday, Casco Viejo

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo

A classic Casco Viejo Sunday: walk my dog early around 7 ish, and down the street two neighbors singing and dancing.  They were so funny improvising I had to take a video and upload it to Facebook. But then, in the afternoon, a friend called me “hey! concert in Plaza Catedral,!”. So I run there and a group of students from La Chorrera had their band playing. After, the SPI band followed with tons of salsa, and the whole plaza became a dancing floor. The kids were fantastic, their spirit got contagious, everyone started dancing after them.

And you know what is the best about this? that this type of stuff happens all the time here. You wouldn´t be able to plan ahead for this. You can only live it by living in it. Awesome.

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Casco Viejo Kids enter National Dance Competition.

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo

Danza Activa is a dance competition that has been around now for about 5 years in Panama. Last year it had about 300 participants including dancers from Mexico, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and the United States.

“Enlaces” is the dance program from Fundación Calicanto, that through dance opens doors to a different world and in doing so prevents crime with children from high risk areas. It is all about education and prevention, a big component on self esteem.

The program now has a couple of years running with quiet success. Some of their students have already participated in performances such as Nutcracker shoulder to shoulder with professional dancers from Panama`s National Ballet. Having a group of them competing this year with other dancers at Danza Activa is an amazing achievement.

Our congratulations to the Enlaces team at Fundación Calicanto!

Danza Activa Casco Viejo



Parking in Casco the Easy Way

Casco Viejo, Panama

Have you ever heard: “can´t find parking in Casco”, “had to park on top of a sidewalk”, “parked on a corner and got my car scratched” (if not more).

Every day, visitors in Casco jump through hoops to get parking. And yet, there is a full parking building in the old town. What`s the catch? absolutely nothing: just no one is aware that it even exists. When pointed, most people go “ahhhh!” . So I`m hereby sharing the secret spot: Plaza Herrera.

How to get to the parking building: if you are coming from Cinta Costera and going up the ramp into San Felipe, just keep to your right and drive straight towards Plaza Herrera. Do not deviate. Keep straight. You`ll see a yellow building on the corner, fully restored. Behind it, you`ll see a very shy blue sign with a big “E” which in Spanish stands for ESTACIONAMIENTO (a.i. parking).

Right now is for free, so no excuses. Fully guarded, brand new, parking building.  You don´t need to pay anyone here. Can´t promise it will be forever “for free” as taxes pay only up to so much. But even once you start paying, you`ll car be off the street, well situated and secure. Easy to reach, easy to leave from.

Now you know!!!! so please, please, don´t park on the streets on top of sidewalks and corners. And if you are coming for events, don´t forget there is also Casco Parking. This is a private company that also has secure lots inside Casco.  More on Casco Parking HERE.

Here is a map with a bonus on how to get to Arco Properties:

how to get to Arco Properties

Panama Photos 1941 National Geographic Magazine

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo

Coming back to Panama from a recent trip, we stopped at Albuquerque and hit some antique stores. You won´t believe my surprise when I found in a pile of old National Geographic magazines, an article about Panama. The year was 1941. I simply loved it. Since today we are celebrating the foundation of “Panama La Vieja”, I thought it would be a good moment to put these out there!

Plaza Santa Ana

Santa Ana 1941 National Geographic Magazine


Aerial photoaerea 1941 National Geographic Magazine


I think this is at Las Bóvedas, the surf wave: Olas Las Bovedas 1941 National Geographic Magazine

Plaza Arango, also known as the “Lottery Plaza”

Plaza Arango 1941 National Geographic Magazine

Plaza Francia: loved that the park used to be larger! when did we take that away????Plaza Francia 1941 National Geographic Magazine