Biodigestor at San Felipe Neri

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo

I am impressed. Finally, a biodigestor at the San Felipe Market! the Basura Cero program from the Major´s office has installed the first biodigestor as a prototipe to apply to the rest of the city´s markets. This is a huge step that took into account suggestions made from our community. The markets are known to produce a lot of organic garbage, that inevitably ends up on our streets.

This bio digestor is reported to have a capacity of 2.5m3 and can process up to 45 pounds daily.

We are glad that the Major´s office has taken Casco Viejo as the perfect place to try out this technology. This, along with a pilot program from the Garbage Authority that has raised the garbage recollection frequency is helping Casco get closer to the goal: Basura Cero – Zero Garbage.

HERE is the note from the Municipio

Historic photos are always fun!

Panama Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo

Historic photos are always so much fun! when you know the area, they are always interesting. These I bumped into the office of a friend who said that clients loved them. I was surprised by the beauty of the balconies of the buildings towards Plaza 5 de Mayo. If you notice, they are very much like the ones in Colón, where the arches extended over the sidewalk, offering shade and protection from the rain. So needed in this tropical environment. Apparently, a number of these buildings used to be this way, but they were cut back when the road was widened because of the increase on vehicles.  When looking back, it is always astonishing how cars have ended up shaping our cities, and cutting down beauty.

The question now is: how can we bring this back?

balcones Plaza 5 Mayo

Bank Financing in Panama

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo

This week, an interesting article came out in the newspaper about how banks are tightening up procedures to avoid money laundrying. This is a tendency everywhere, Panama is no exception.  I thought it would be a good opportunity to remind everyone about the basics of how to apply for financing in Panama. If you are travelling and thinking seriously to buy, it is worth while bringing these documents with you, so you can make the best out of your trip. It will serve you well with banks, lawyers and realtors, as they all have the duty by law to fullfill a strong due diligence.


  • Every bank will require a personal interview. Try visiting at least 3, so you have a broad understanding of what is being offered.
  • At this stage, if you are only gathering information, a simple copy of your documents would be fine, for just assestment. Once you start really the process, keep in mind that everything is required in original, notarized AND apostilled.

Basic documents:

  • 2 Bank letters of reference
  • 2 Commercial letters of reference
  • 2 Years of tax returns
  • Your last 6 months of your bank account (Statement)
  • If you are American, they´ll ask the 2 last 1040 and W2.

Of course, they´ll take a copy of your passport.

As a foreigner, you can get up to 70% financing on your home or apartment, and up to 50% if it is a commercial purchase. If you are already living in Panama, and have been here for more than 2 years, you´ll probably have access to more.

Depending on the bank, they might be faster or slower to open a bank account for you. Do ask the officer you are meeting about this specifically, what is required, and how long would it take.

Law 136 of 2014 for Casco Viejo provides a special 3% rate for purchases in Casco, so if you have a strong profile and are considering buying here, do know this is an option for you.

Fresh Fish at your Doorstep: Hope Seafood

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo

For my birthday, I got a fantastic gift: a certificate for Hope Seafood, run by our neighbor Juan Acevedo.  Fresh from his fisherman friends, Juan brings it to my door and it is fantastic.  You can just chat him and he´ll respond right away.  I ate the best tuna ever! With a bit of salt and olive oil!

He´ll do subscriptions as well, if you want “x” amount of dollars/ pounds of fresh fish a week, he´ll keep your supply coming.!

Here is his contact info:

Best: call him or WhatsApp him at: 6252-3869


juan fish


Ocean to Table Dinner: the Maramesa Challenge is here!

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo

What is the Maramesa Challenge? On September 26th, three chefs and two graduates from the Esperanza Program will go out fishing and cook together an amazing, super fresh, ocean to table dinner.  This event will fundraise for Esperanza, which helps young men in Casco Viejo create their own businesses.

When is the event? September 26th

Where? at Maito Restaurant

Donation: $200 (dinner and drinks included)

Chefs: Mario Castrellón (Panama), Manuel Núñez (Spain) and Pablo Pérez del Pulgar (from Spain)

What is Esperanza? it is a social reintegration program that tackles at risk youth by giving them the tools to be able to work or create their own business.

How can I learn more about Esperanza? Go to their Facebook Page HERE.

detalles maramesa challenge que es esperanza


PRISMA Dance Festival 2015

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo

This year, the PRISMA dance festival will be from Oct 13th to 19th. Unfortunately, we won´t have the National Theater working, as it is closed for repairs. But the Anita Villalaz will host several performances, and at most of the nights they´ll have talks after the presentation.

Groups this year will include: Colectivo CLA (Costa Rica), Collective 605 (Canada), Cuenca Lauro (Germany, Italy, Colombia), Periferia (Colombia), Los Innato (Costa Rica), Hur y Can (Spain), Dinamo Danza (Spain) Wim Vandekeybus (Belgium), Shin Eun-Ju Dance Company (South Korea) and Cie Burnout (France). From Panama: Milvia Martínez and Omaris Mariña.


This is Milvia at Teoría de Vuelo


CieBurnout (France)

Cuenca Lauro (Italy – Colombia)

Amazing Oceans at Your Reach

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo

We went to Iceland a while ago, and thought was how incredibly beautiful the Blue Lagoon was. Every photo and add showed it exactly the way it was.  This is how I feel about Pearl Islands, it is every bit of amazing as you see it in the video posted below. Now, with Casco Charters, this experience is only 45 minutes away from you. You can take a trip on their Maramesa from Flamigo, or straight out from Casco Viejo if you book the smaller boat and go to Taboga (this takes only 20 minutes).  Fishing, whale watching, island hoping, you name it!

Check out their website: Casco Charters HERE

But their Facebook has these amazing videos you need to watch: FACEBOOK

Casco Charters 1 Casco Charters 2 Casco Charters 3


Entrepreneurs For Development

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo

On September 19th, from 12 to 8 p.m., a special event will be held at the Arco Chato, Casco Viejo: it is an Entrepreneurs Festival. Organized by several organizations including SENACYT, Cambio Creativo, Voces Vitales and others, this event looks to provide with a space of interaction and connection among entrepreneurs, and an inspiration point for to be entrepreneurs.

If you want to learn more about the festival, check out their website HERE.

Banistmo´s inauguration at Plaza Herrera, Casco Viejo

Panamá, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo Last weekend was also the official inauguration of Banistmo in Plaza Herrera. What an event! Aside from the concert, what we loved was how they really took the effort to reach out to ngo´s and make them part of the event.  Dances where presented from children at Aprojusan and the Enlaces program at Calicanto. Food included the boys from the Fortaleza tour of the Esperanza program.  Young rapper Jacobo, the son of Nico from La Vecindad had the chance to share stage with one of the oldest reggueton singers in Panama (Nando Boom), back when the genre was being invented. They have also open their doors to internships, one of Aprojusan´s young graduates is already working with them.  And they even recycled! which was very much appreciated! recycling interns Fortaleza comida dancers Banistmo people Aprojusan bailes

Wayne Shorter, Danilo Pérez, Danni Clovis… stage on fire!

Panama Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo

Sunday morning we woke up and we couldn´t believe the weekend we just had. What a historic moment for Panama! international music stars, legends like Wayne Shorter in our own backyard, playing amazing music, having fun. From the Danilo Perez Jazz Club special night with Wayne Shorter, to the Percussion Festival at the Anita Villalaz with musicians such as Danni Clovis and Jimmie Morales. We enjoyed every single moment, and everyone stood up to the challenge.  Still speechless for local new young talent coming out of the Danilo Perez Foundation: Richard Santamaría.  What a kid… remember that name!

But the absolute best was to see them all together, when Danilo took the piano for a last jamming with everyone. The stage was on fire!


Danilo y Jimmy Morales Danny Clover marcopignataro nathali campbell patricia zarate richard santamaria wayne and danilo wayne shorter panama