A Piece of Cuba in Panama

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo

Casasola´s new art exhibition transports you to Cuba back in the 40´s.  They define it as a multisensorial experience, to understand Cuban life at the time by walking into a whole environment. Welcome to the Revolutionary Life and Work of Venancio Díaz Maique, el Maestro de la Leica.

Venancio Díaz Maique, was one of Cuba´s most important photographers.  During his 20 years as a photographer for the magazine Bohemia, he documented some of Cuba´s most important moments. His access to important people of the time, gave him the opportunity to photograph (most of them unpublished) them behind the scenes and on the scene. From Fidel Castro to Omar Torrijos, he had a prolific carreer.

Now, an important part of his collection is showing at Casasola, Casco Viejo.  Walls feature Venancio´s work, which will be up for 6 months. In September they´ll be part of a circuit including Panama´s Contemporary Art Museum. A second round of photographs will be shown.

For those interested in Cuban life and art, this is a great show. You can also schedule a private visit, either Miguel or the owner of the collection are available and can share with you stories behind each photograph.  Since I love ballet, the owner showed me the original negatives of fantastic Alicia Alonso photos during rehearsals. And then, of course, there are the more political ones. Photos showing the moment when they collected all the American pennies to exchange them for the local currency. With today´s historic perspective… you can´t miss it!

Where: Plaza Francia, next to Dodo

When: Mondays to Saturdays, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Email to schedule a private visit: info@casasola.cc

Casasola cuarto revelado  cuban venancio cigars IMG_1983 Mikie y Miguel portada

New schedule for Casco´s museums

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo

Casco Viejo has three public museums: the Canal´s Museum, Religious Art Museum and History Museum. The last two have announced an expansion on their schedule:

  • El Museo de Arte Religioso Colonial – MARC
    Tuesdays to Fridays: de 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
    Saturdays: de 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
    Sundays: de 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  •  Museo de Historia de Panamá
    Mondays to Fridays: de 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
    Saturdays: de 11:00 a.m. a 4:00 p.m.


Casco Viejo at Latin America´s Most Beautiful Neighborhoods

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo

Love it! the Mexican website “Mi Nube” has issued a list of Latin America´s  top 20 most beautiful neighborhoods.  HERE you can find the full article.  Panama´s Casco Viejo was listed side by side with Havana, Cuba. We have dedicated a couple of blog postings pointing out the similarities between both historic cities. Click on the article, and go to each one. The beauty of Panama is that is a hub, so it has direct flights from a bunch of places, making it an easy headquarter to visit the region. Want a tip? if you are flying COPA from your home country and you are going to a country in SouthAmerica (for example), they´ll give you a stop for free in Panama. That way you can stay a few days here, at no extra cost!

DSC02620 guayacanes Casco Viejo


Pilates Classes in Casco Viejo! Sariel Pilates

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo

I don´t know why, but all of a sudden I´m surrounded by conversations about back pain, ciatica and general injuries.  And just when I was trying to figure out how to include more stretching in our daily fitness routine,  Casco starts offering a solution: Pilates classes.

Welcome Sariel Pilates! it is located at Galería San Felipe, on 2nd Street. Dejavu moment: that office used to be Arco´s first office back in 2005! They do private and group classes, take a class or pay for a full package.  Matt or machines, you choose.

Here is the info:

Instructor: Saribel Maldonado Santos

Tel. 6672-6790

Email: sarielpilates@gmail.com

sariel pilates machine matt studio matt classes calle 2nda


Proyecto Esperanza gets featured in La Prensa

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo

One of the great things of living in Casco Viejo is that you can get involved in real solutions. Proyecto Esperanza is an initiative that has started to create opportunities for local at risk youth. Step by step, small businesses have started to open and it is exciting to see them getting featured. Here is an article by La Prensa on the latest Esperanza businesses:


If you would like to know more, please check out their FACEBOOK HERE:

Short Film Festival at Teatro Amador

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo

Festival de Cortometrajes | 9 y 11 de junio

La Alianza Francesa is organizing a Short Film Festival! Opening at Teatro Amador on June 9th. The Festival will be mainly at the movie theater from GECU at Panama´s National University, but the inauguration at Teatro Amador will be on the 9th at 7:30 p.m.

Free entrance!  This is the Aliance Facebook page and here are the details:

film festival short 2 film festival short 1

Central Avenue at its best

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo

Central Avenue is a natural. A wide avenue with spacious sidewalks and tons of activity. People buzzing from side to side all the time.  Occasionally, art groups have used it for small performances. However, this past weekend, in an event organized by Via Plural, almost 300 artist flooded what used to be Panama´s main artery. Poetry, theater, acoustic music, street dancing and art, even capoeira.  The easy access and parking along with the fact that is the only fully pedestrian street in Panama (not to mention steps away from San Felipe), made it absolutely perfect for such a high volume, high foot traffic event.  Rivers of people flowed back and forth, smiles everywhere. The same inside San Felipe might have resulted in chaos, but at Central Avenue the experience was simply perfect.

Here are some ph0tos, enjoy!

balloons capoeira Central Ave mimes poetry street art street dance


Colonial Religious Art Museum, Casco Viejo

Panama Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo

When visiting the Arco Chato you now can visit the Colonial Religious Art museum. This is where the 700 year old bell from La Merced went after being taken down from the church during the restoration. It is next to other similar bells from around the country. The museum tells the story of Panama´s religious art history, the symbolism crafted in the altars and the story behind the paintings, sculptures and ornaments.

Museo de Arte Religioso panoramica museo

Rainy season is here! Weekend photos

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo

Raining like crazy, finally. Panama gets so hot just before the rainy season starts, I´m glad to see big, thick  drops of water falling from the sky, clearing everything up, reminding us the natural cycle that allows us to have such a lush rainforest and splendid biodiversity. One more week of just “waiting” and I think we would have turned into popcorn. Maybe steamed rice would be a better comparison. No Yin without Yang!

Good time to post photos! here are some from this weekend´s race Ruta de las Plazas and from San Felipe´s patron saint day (May 26th).  Check out the beautiful light, perfect day. Rain in Panama might be powerful, but most of the time it only lasts a powerful 20 minutes. Just enough for you to try and look for your umbrella.

IMG_1606 personification San Felipe

Baluarte de Jesus or Mano de Tigre

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo

Everyday I learn something new. Today La Prensa published an article about one of the few pieces of the colonial wall we all know as Mano de Tigre. Initially it was known as Baluarte de Jesús and was part of a system of walls to repel the enemy that was supposed to come by land (crossing from the Caribbean).  It could hold up to 25 cannons.

Once the walls where not useful anymore and the city needed to grow, the city authorized its destruction (11 of October 1856). This piece was “saved” because the land belonged to the Train Company, which later became public land. The street next to it was basically built on top of the wall. You can see remanents at the back of Boyacá.  The wall was appointed National Patrimony back in 1954.

Here is the article at La Prensa: http://impresa.prensa.com/vivir/fortaleza-forma-diamante_0_4214578599.html

mano de tigre por delante Mano de tigre por detras