Category Archives: Panama Journal

FOR SALE – ATV Trailer 5×8 single four-wheeler trailer

I received a request to post the following

Hi Don, I was wondering if you would be willing to advertise an ATV trailer for sale on your website? There are photos on the link I provided. If you want I can send them in an email as well. They can call speaking English or Spanish.


ATV Trailer 5×8 single four-wheeler trailer

Price: $1500 or best offer
Year: 2014
Model: 5×8 ATV
Color: back/ gray
Rear opening: ramp
Condition: Excellent

Heavy duty cables
LED lights
Right & Left signals
Brake signals
13” rims
Registration papers & plate

Contact: Carlos Arjona
Phone: 66170940
City: David
Provience: Chiriqui

Premier Smart TV Box


I stopped in the Plaza Terronal Premier store and found an Android Smart TV Box for $39.00. It included the remote (no batteries), an HDMI cable, and the actual box.

The Premier catalog had it listed for $29, but they said it was a misprint. Still for $39.00 including the HDMI cable that was a deal I could not pass up.

I will tell you that it is not plug and play. It required some configuration. Basically it is an Android Linux system and comes with a standard assortment of Android apps. One of those apps is XBMC, which I wrote up here.

It will run on your Wi-Fi network or you can also connect it to your router by ethernet. I didn’t have a free Ethernet port, so I just configured it to my Wi-Fi router. That took about 15 minutes using the remote.

Premier also gave a one page of instructions for adding TV channels to XBMC. Configuring using the remote is a challenge, but I got through it. I will try connecting a keyboard and mouse one of the days, but for today, I decided to see if I could do it with just the remote.

I followed the store’s instructions to add TV channels to XBMC. As with many add-ons to XBMC, not all worked, but a lot did.

XBMC showed that 1Channel, which is a video site, was installed, but it was not set up and would not activate. Since I had previously set up XBMC on an Apple MacMini, I decided to set up XBMC my way.

I basically followed the same video instructions on the Internet that I had used for the MacMini, except this time, I went the Android route.

It wasn’t hard, but having previous experience helped.

I have seen a local company selling an Android TV box configured with XBMC for over $200. With about an hour of work, I have the same for about $42 including tax.

That may not be completely accurate because I don’t know the processor size. It has 1 GB of memory and 4GB of storage.

I just watched the Lazarus Effect, that is currently showing in David, and the video quality was good and I had full surround here. What I watched did not have Spanish subtitles. It was equal to my setup on the Apple MacMini.

Out of an hour and seventeen minute movie, There were two times when it paused to buffer. Again for this price, it is a super deal.

It has the complete Android App Store on its menu, but I haven’t looked at it. I was told that NetFlix should be there, however at present, I have no need to search for it.

If you stop into Premier, tell them you read about the Smart TV box on Chiriquí Chatter.

More lessons learned

I have learned a few more things from a current case with the U.S. Embassy.

I was contacted by the U.S. Embassy about this case approximately 3+ weeks ago. Until last week I had not been able to see the individual and obtain a PAW. His landlord was not returning my calls. Finally last week I had good enough directions to his rental that I was able to find him. It was none too soon.

It is my understanding that he had been denied admittance to Regional Hospital, but I don’t know the circumstances for the denial.

However, after I got the PAW (Privacy Act Waiver) signed by the individual and sent it to the Embassy, the Embassy was able to contact the Ministry of Social Development (MIDES). On Monday, MIDES went to the residence and after viewing the deplorable conditions and the individual’s ill health, they had him transported to Regional Hospital.

I visited him yesterday in the emergency area accompanying members of MIDE. We talked to him and the doctor assigned to him and learned that, given good care, he should respond and improve.

He had an IV providing nutrients and he needs to be turned regularly because of bed sores.

So what are the lessons learned. Some are not new, but need to be reinforced.

First. I will repeat that all U.S. Citizens, should register with STEP if you are traveling to or living in Panama. It took me almost 3 weeks to get a signed PAW and this time was wasted. A STEP registration on file would have prevented this loss of time.

Second. If you are a single individual, I would advise having a buddy that lives here that you communicate with regularly. In this case, the individual had family in the U.S. that he regularly communicated with and when they couldn’t make contact in February, they began trying to find out if anything was wrong.

Third. This individual has resident status in Panama and that helped the U.S. Embassy involve MIDE and get him admitted to Regional Hospital. Had he been a 180 day boarder hopper, I don’t know if it would have been as easy. Having resident status is becoming more important.

Forth. Living in Panama and not speaking any Spanish is a bad idea. At minimum, you need to know the parts of the body in Spanish, how to say “hurts” or “pain” in Spanish, so that you can convey a small amount of information to a doctor. The doctor I spoke to in the Regional Hospital did speak English, but not all doctors do.

Fifth. If you have a bank account in Panama you should have a beneficiary assigned to the account. If you don’t, then any money in that account will become the bank’s in case of death. Joint accounts should be “or” and not “and”.

Sixth. You should have a plan in place, if you become disabled, for someone to be able to access your account and pay your expenses. I do not recommend that being your landlord.

I advise a plan being in place prior to its need.

Buen Pastor Colegio School

I received the following from a CC reader. Good information.

Currently Panamanian Colegio Schools are competing against other Latin American counties in the British English Olympics, This is the first year that Panama has been invited to the British English Olympics. Two Schools are representing Panama, Buen Pastor from Boquete and Colegio Bilingue Manuel from Arraijan. There are nine students and one teacher in the Boquete group. It is a fifteen day trip and they started out March 28th and will be returning on Apr. 12h. I understand that they are holding their own in the competition against much larger school groups from much larger countries. A few of the students have prominent parents from the Boquete community.
The Panamanian group is assigned to the Bradfield College
and their pictures are listed under the Bradfield group
ps: I understand that they miss their Panamanian cuisine!!!

This and That

If you hadn’t realized it, the Summit of the Americas is underway. This may be one of the most important of these types of summits that has taken place.

Security is extremely high because of President Obama being here. It is my hopes that it is a productive summit. There is a lot of controversy about the easing of relations between the U.S. and Cuba. I for one, hope that the relationship improves. In fact, I would like to see the relationship between the U.S. and all Latin American countries improve.

Behind the scenes, or maybe not so much behind the scenes, China is trying to gain more control in the Americas. If the U.S. continues to snooze, then the direction that all of Latin America goes, may not be in the best interest of democracy.

If you haven’t tuned into CNN channel 3 or one of the Panama TV channels, you are missing out in history. Currently they are talking about taking Obama to Miraflores. I bet he hasn’t read The Path Between The Seas. Most likely he is aware that a canal was built here. He will know more after he sees it in operation.

On another note, I have taken some time lately watching some Car Cam videos on YouTube. Most have been car crashes in Russia, Europe, and some in the U.S.

When I watched some of the ones in Russia, it reminded me of driving to Volcan or Boquete. Of course the road to Boquete has improved, but the driving of many Panamanians hasn’t. Many of the crashes I watched occur because the driver decided to pass at a time when it wasn’t save and caused a head on accident.

I have seen so many people pass on curves going up to Volcan and I gritted my teeth each time.

I have been asked many times how it is driving in Panama and more specifically David and Chiriquí.

If you want to vicariously experience some Panama driving, watch the following YouTube video. While I don’t think any of these accidents were filmed in Panama, based in the driving, I can’t be completely sure.

Summit of the Americas in Panama City/ Sommet des Amériques à Panama

This was sent in from one of the CC Canadian readers who thought it might be of interest to other Canadian’s in Panama.

—–Original Message—– From:
Sent: Wednesday, April 08, 2015 12:50 PM
Subject: Summit of the Americas in Panama City/ Sommet des Amériques à Panama

(la version française suit)

Dear Canadian,

You are receiving this email because you are registered with the Government of Canada’s Registration of Canadians Abroad service. Please share the following important information with other Canadian citizens in your area.

Panama City will host the 7th Summit of the Americas on April 10 to 11, 2015. As a security measure, the government of Panama has declared a holiday in Panama City for April 9 and 10, 2015 and schools will be closed during that time. The government has also announced the partial or total closure of certain avenues near the Atlapa Convention Center, Calle 50, Panama Viejo and Corredor Sur, from April 9 until April 12, 2015.

Due to Summit of the Americas activities, the Embassy of Canada to Panama will be closed Thursday, April 9 at 12 p.m. and all day Friday, April 10, 2015. The Embassy will reopen to the public on Monday, April 13, 2015.

If you have already left and are no longer in Panama, please send an email to our Registration of Canadians Abroad email address at in order to end your registration in our system.

We encourage you to stay connected with the latest travel advice and advisories, via the web at, our mobile TravelSmart application, available at, and our RSS feeds at In case of emergency, contact information can be found at

For emergency assistance after hours, call the Embassy of Canada in Panama City and follow the instructions.

Panama City – Embassy of Canada
Street Address:Torres de Las Americas, Tower A, 11th Floor, Punta Pacifica, Panama City, Panama
Telephone: (507) 294-2500
Facebook: Embassy of Canada to Panama

You may also reach the Emergency Watch and Response Centre (EWRC) in Ottawa directly by dialing (collect call where available), +1-613-996-8885 or by email at

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada


Cher Canadien,

Vous recevez ce message puisque vous vous êtes inscrits auprès du MAECD à l’aide du système d’inscription des Canadiens à l’étranger. Nous vous saurions gré de bien vouloir faire part de l’information suivante à tous les citoyens canadiens se trouvant dans votre région.

La ville de Panama sera l’hôte du septième Sommet des Amériques, les 10 et 11 avril 2015. Par mesure de sécurité, le gouvernement du Panama a déclaré que les 9 et 10 avril 2015 seraient des jours fériés dans la ville de Panama; les écoles seront donc fermées pendant cette période. Le gouvernement a également annoncé la fermeture partielle ou complète de certaines avenues à proximité du Centre des congrès d’Atlapa (Calle 50, Panama Viejo et Corredor Sur), du 9 au 12 avril 2015.

En raison des activités liées au Sommet des Amériques, l’ambassade du Canada au Panama sera fermée le jeudi 9 avril, de 9 h à midi, ainsi que toute la journée du vendredi 10 avril 2015. L’ambassade reprendra ses activités le lundi 13 avril 2015.

Dans l’éventualité où vous auriez déjà quitté et ne vous trouveriez plus au Panama, veuillez envoyer un courriel à l’adresse (inscriptions des Canadiens à l’étranger) afin de désactiver votre inscription.

Nous vous encourageons à rester branchés aux plus récents conseils aux voyageurs, aux dernières mises en garde et à nos coordonnées d’urgence sur le site, aussi disponible via l’application mobile Bon Voyage, au, ou en s’inscrivant aux fils RSS sur Vous pouvez aussi nous suivre sur Twitter à ou nous retrouver sur Facebook à

Pour obtenir une aide d’urgence en dehors des heures de bureau, téléphonez à l’ambassade du Canada à Panama et suivez les instructions qui vous seront données.

Panama – Ambassade du Canada
Adresse: Torres de Las Americas, Tour A, 11e étage, Punta Pacifica, Ville de Panama, Panama
Téléphone: (507) 294-2500
Facebook: Ambassade du Canada au Panama

Vous pouvez aussi appeler le Centre de surveillance et des interventions d’urgence (CSIU) à Ottawa en composant (à frais virés lorsque offert) +1-613-996-8885 ou par courriel à

Affaires étrangères, Commerce et Développement Canada

I’m Still Here – Are You?

I am still here, but have just been too lazy to post anything. Sometimes, I just get in the “I Don’t Wanta” state of mind and would accomplish nothing if it weren’t for Lilliam’s “Yes, you’re gonna” frame of mind being stronger.

Maybe it is the heat and lack of rain. We were talking last night and I can’t remember the winds being so high this time of year. When you couple that with the lack of rain and the heat index causes me to just affix myself in front of the TV and veg out.

Thank goodness for NetFlix. I did watch the NCAA finals over the Internet the other night. USTVNOW was acceptable for free, but not sure I would want to pay for it.

Sure, we have eaten out several times and I have photos to post and will one of these days.

My granddaughter had a great trip to Nicaragua and I have photos of her excursion (also on my “to post list”).

My grandson submitted his paper, justifying a graduation gift. He beat the June 1st deadline and is now in the process of answering my followup questions.

I have had a couple Embassy related activities that have moved me out of my chair for short periods of time.

I have continued my daily pool exercise. We did move the time from the morning to the evening, because the sun is hitting too much of the pool to early in the day and the evening being cooler.

I have also been doing some reading about Panama, specifically the Panama Canal. Obviously the importance of Panama was established when the Panama Canal was created. I have intended to read the book by David McCullough entitled “The Path Between the Seas“. For what seems like forever.

I came close to buying it several times and even considered getting it as an audible book. Each time I got distracted by living and it never happened.

On one of Lilliam’s and my trips to the U.S., a good friend gave me a copy. Unfortunately, when we returned to Panama, Lilliam took the book out of the suitcase and put it somewhere.

Several times, I asked about the book and Lilliam didn’t remember where it was. Two days ago I decided to make a thorough search and low and behold, I found it in an unlikely place. It was on a shelf with several other books of mine. Sort of like hiding in plain sight.

If you are planning on living in Panama, this is almost required reading. It is one of the best written books I have ever picked up. When you begin this book, you are immediately transported back into the mid 1800s. The descriptions are vivid and the politics of the era give you a glimmer of the importance of what will follow. David McCullough has a style that keeps you turning each page.

You feel as though you know each individual as you travel with them. This is more than a history book. If you live here, it will be pure entertainment.

I think I have about written all the words I have in me for today. Time to turn on iTunes Radio and see where David McCullough takes me today. The French are just getting underway with their ill conceived plan for the canal.

Thanks to my friend for this wonderful gift. It has been perfect for the current “I don’t wanta” mood that overtook me.