Panama, Casco Viejo
Casco Antiguo, San Felipe
While everybody is excited today about Beijing´s dramatic opening for the Olimpics (which, by the way, where simply amazing! wao), another bright sun shined this morning over the newspaper as they announced the bay cleaning project has been completed so far in 21%, with an investment of 35 million dollars so far. According to the note at La Prensa, they are currently working at the collectors at the main city rivers (Juan Díaz, Matías Hernandez, Rio Abajo, Monte Oscuro, Espavé and others). And the most exciting part is that they expect the project to be 90% completed by the ends of 2008, which would represent a total investment of $200 million dollars.
Why am I so excited? because we have waited almost 50 years for this to happen. Meaning, the city was never planned for its growth and now we finally had the good sense to fix the problem, plus create a nice park along the coast to cover all the pipes (Cinta Costera). As I´ve posted before, this will change the city and especially Casco Viejo profoundly. Panamanians lost the habit of going to the beach right in front of the city because it was contaminated. If everything goes well, in less than 8 years, we´ll be able to run around in bikinis and sunbathe right outside our doors without having to go to the country side.
For Casco Viejo this is huge, as we already have sand beach and although locals anyways bathe here and even surf a small wave at the point of Las Bovedas, I wouldn´t call it exactly the cleanest thing you could ever do. So there you go, even if the fireworks and amazing artists at the Olimpics in Beijing are today´s main event, I would say this one contributes more to my personal happiness and trully raises Panama´s lifestyle for the long term.