Monthly Archives: November 2008

Universidad Latina Photo Album Created

I have added all of the photos, that I took during the Universidad Latina Thanksgiving program, to the Chiriquí Chatter Albums. You can find the photos HERE.

UPDATE: I guess I should update this post. Unless you read the previous post, you may get confused and think that Panama celebrates Thanksgiving Day. They do not celebrate Thanksgiving Day as a national holiday.The program that Universidad Latina put on, was done by their English School, and was a cultural awareness program teaching the students something about the background and cultural ties that this day has with the USA. It is done so that the students understand Panama’s northern friends better

Drive and Walk Defensively

I have been thinking about writing this for a while and the Saban’s accident, a while back, moved me to do it. If there was ever a country, where you need to exercise defensive driving skills, Panama is it.

I find Panamanians to be some of the nicest, most courteous, most friendly and most thoughtful people I have ever met. However, when you put them behind the wheel, they are more like AJ Foyt on steroids, after someone had just cut him off in the turn.


Crossing the street is taking your own life in your hands. There are many crosswalks, but crosswalks are interpreted a little different here. Crossing in a crosswalk means you have less chance of being run over. Drivers will not automatically stop for you. There are no “Walk” or “Don’t Walk” lights to help you. Be extremely careful crossing the street, especially if the is a taxi coming withing 50 yards. If you watch most Panamanians, they never trust anyone when they cross the street. Most wait until a car signals that they may cross in front of it. Continue reading Drive and Walk Defensively

Aid For Bocas del Toro

Yesterday, I went out to the airport to take some photos of the workers supporting the people in Bocas. A large staging area has been set up on the left side of the airport. The only way to get items to and people from Bocas, at this time , is via air. The US is providing two large helicopters, one of which I saw, but didn’t capture in a photo.

Colombia was providing large cargo airplanes. When I got to the airport I took this photo of one plane taking off to go to Bocas.
Continue reading Aid For Bocas del Toro

Service With A Smile

I love to get emails like this. I received the following follow up email from a couple that had contacted me for a recommendation for someone to act as a guide and assistant when they visited Panama City. I thought of my blogging buddy, Omar, who lives in Panama City and suggested that they might contact him. Camila’s email follows:

Hi Don,

I’m Michael’s wife and I believe you’ve chatted with Michael in the past since that is how we came to know Omar Upegui.

First off all, let me thank you for having made it possible for us to meet Omar. He is a true gentle- man. A wonderful person that we are only too happy to have had the pleasure to meet.

Once you directed us to him Omar was always helpful and his advice and aid made our trip to Panama much better than it would’ve otherwise been. Omar met us at the airport, one day later than expected since we’d been bumped off our original flight, and he waited for us so patiently as we were 1 hour late in exiting since our luggage had not arrived and we’d been held back while filing a claim. Most people I know would’ve left figuring we could take care of matters ourselves but not Omar, there he was with a cheery smile holding up a sign with our names on it. We were the last people to exit customs and we were so relieved to see Omar was still there, we were exhausted and ready for someone else to take over. Continue reading Service With A Smile

Update From The Chamber of Tourism for Chiriquí

I just received the following update from Cámara de Turismo de Chiriquí.

Hello people:
Tourism Chamber of Chiriqui reminds everyone that we are leaving our office in David at 8:30am to get the donations we have received during the week to the Municipal offices in Boquete. Anyone who would like to come with us, should be in Prestige Panama Realty offices at 8:15am. Candelario Vargas will provide us the transportation.

Thanks to Viajes Travesias, that will provide us with another bus, we will get the donations to Cerro Punta probably by the afternoon.

Thank You very much, to all the people that have donated something for this cause. We will keep receiving more donations the next week, starting on Tuesday Dec,2nd. Please keep in mind the most necessary things are: bottled water (preferably gallons or liters), diapers (preferably fabric diapers), infant milk, warm clothes for kids, blankets, canned food (something that can be ingested immediately or after short-time cooking), rice, soups, grains, etc.

Best Regards,

Raquel R. de Fung
Cámara de Turismo de Chiriquí
Tel: 775-0253 / 6676-2269

More Help Arrives from the US

Yesterday, I received a call from Tom McCormick. He had told me months ago that he was sending two 40 foot containers to Panama from the US. The containers had clothes, hospital equipment and many items that are difficult and expensive to get in Panama. He had spent a good bit of time in the US obtaining these donations.

Yesterday morning around 7:00 AM, I met Tom at Panama’s new Emergency Operations Center in David hoping to take some photos.
Continue reading More Help Arrives from the US