Afro-Centric Fashion in Panama: REMAP

AfricanFashionmod2014REMAP stands for Red de Mujeres Afro Panameñas, and these lovely, young women upstarts to the fashion industry in Panama are promoting their next African Fashion Festival during the month in celebration of Black Ethnicity as El Lado Afro de la Moda, the Afro Side of Fashion. We are very excited about this promising fashion offering and cannot wait to attend.  In a future post we will tell you more about the marvelous women of REMAP. Continue reading

Panama’s EXPOCOMER 2014- A Continuing Success

ExpoComer's brochure.

ExpoComer’s brochure.

Probably the most well attended International trade convention in the Western hemisphere, Panama’s Expocomer is, again, opening its doors to the world of international trade this week in Panama. Location: Atlapa Convention Center Dates: March 26 – 29 2014 (wednesday thru Sunday).  Times: March 26 – 28: 1 PM – 8:30 PM; March 29 11 AM – 7:30 PM. Continue reading

The Aging Population of Panama

Sr. Eladio Fernandez (80), outspoken leader for the rights of the, as he calls them, ignored jubliados of Panama.

Sr. Eladio Fernandez (80), outspoken leader for the rights of the, as he calls them, ignored jubliados of Panama.

I had the honor of meeting up with Sr. Eladio as he nd his group of protesters made up of Senior citizens moved swiftly towards Plaza Cinco de Mayo to begin yet another protest.

I had the honor of meeting up with Sr. Eladio as he nd his group of protesters made up of Senior citizens moved swiftly towards Plaza Cinco de Mayo to begin yet another protest.

It is no novelty these days that our worldwide populations are aging, and Panama does not escape this reality. Panama’s population, according to the INEC, the Instituto Nacional de Estadistica y Censo, our population is aging in a marked manner, especially in the last 6 years. Continue reading

Black Friday Panamanian Style

Holiday shoppers at Albrook Mall.

Holiday shoppers at Albrook Mall.  Image thanks to La Estrella.

“Black Friday” or, the Friday following Thanksgiving Day (this year 2013 will be November 29th), has been a commercial tradition since the 1950’s and the term was first coined in Philadelphia where it originally was used to:

describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic which would occur on the day after Thanksgiving. Continue reading

Panama’s New Metro- They Said it Couldn’t be Done

Here is the new Metro as it started its maiden voyage. Image thanks to La Estrella

Here is the new Metro as it started its maiden voyage. Image thanks to La Estrella

Panama’s newly inaugurated Metro made its maiden run last Thursday, November 14, 2013. Line 1 (Linea Uno) made its first run starting from Plaza Cinco de Mayo in the heart of Panama City’s Calidonia District and ended in the Los Andes District in San Miguelito. With Panama’s President, Ricardo Martinelli, beaming a large grin sitting in the conductor’s cockpit, the well attended event had a jubilant and festive air. The President wasn’t alone by any means as his VIP entourage knew they were part of Panama’s history in the making. Continue reading

The “Dubai of Latin America?” Part III

Protesters are desperate for an answer to the lack of water to prepare meals for their patients.

Protesters are desperate for an answer to the lack of water to prepare meals for their patients. Image.

Confucius once said, “In a well governed nation, poverty is a cause for shame. But, in a badly governed nation, a cause for shame is wealth.” This is especially true of Panama with a tiny population and an even tinier, super rich privileged class. In this one point is where Panama deviates from any comparisons made to Dubai; Panama’s majority of citizens live below or just above the poverty line, with a very small, struggling middle class losing ground every day. Continue reading

The “Dubai of Latin America?” Part II

The controversial hidro electric project at Barro Blanco (Panama) has prompted energetic opposition from the Indigenous Ngobe Bugle people who reside there with corresponding governmental repression.  Image.

The controversial hydro electric project at Barro Blanco (Panama) has prompted energetic opposition from the Indigenous Ngobe Bugle people who reside there with corresponding governmental repression. Image.

The Melting Pot

The geopolitical status and demographics in Panama and Dubai have few similarities. Both states have been naively labeled as “melting pots” but, as we may guess, this is an absurd and inaccurate term. The population of Panama since the last census is just over 3.5 million people, while Dubai is 2,103,177 million at last count and the greatest amount of growth has been seen in the last ten years. Continue reading

The “Dubai of Latin America?” Part I

F & F Tower, or “The Screw” (no pun intended), 6th tallest skyscraper in Panama.

Burj al-Arab in Dubai. Luxury hotel. Image thanks to jumeirah.com

Burj al-Arab in Dubai. Luxury hotel. Image thanks to jumeirah.com

These days in Panama as well as abroad, we are hearing the expression “The Dubai of Latin America” and I cannot help but smile and observe how most folks simply accept this notion without really questioning its veracity. First of all, many Panamanians of average intelligence and educational background cannot tell you where Dubai is and, secondly, they haven’t the foggiest notion as to how it is that Panama has come to be viewed as The Dubai of Latin America when a couple of years ago they never knew of the existence of this place. Continue reading

Noise is Bad for Business

Image thanks to ilm.com.pk

Image thanks to ilm.com.pk

Let me qualify that, excessive noise is bad for business and Panama- the city and the country- has been seeing a sharp increase in the levels of general noise pollution lately. Mark my words, although the tourist industry here seems totally unpreocupied about it, the excessive nerve wracking noise will eventually ruin business. Continue reading

Bancolombia to Purchase HSBC, Panama

The towers of Panama City as seen from the banking district via Calle 5o.

The towers of Panama City as seen from the banking district via Calle 5o.

Tower Financial Center before completion.  Construction of bank buildings is gong at fever pitch.

Tower Financial Center before completion. Construction of bank buildings is gong at fever pitch.

Upon logging into their computers on February 1, 2013, employees of HSBC Bank, Panama, were met with the official statement that in a few months the bank will have a new owner: Bancolombia. The buyer will pay two thousand 100 million for 100% of the capital stock of the English bank, being the largest transaction in the banking sector ever made locally. Continue reading