Back in the 1940s, Coronado was just a few sleepy ranches alongside an unspoiled stretch of blue Pacific and black-and-white speckled beaches. However, Coronado is now a highly popular beach town on the Pacific coast of Panama.
Located an hour from Panama City, it is on the ‘Arco Seco’ (‘dry arch’) stretch of coastline, so named because of the remarkably low rainfall it receives each year.
Panama has the most efficient ports in Central America, with a combination of the shortest turn-around time and the second-lowest cost of procedures, according to Doing Business of the World Bank.
Customs and other documentation cost $720, while the average time spent by ships in the ports of Balboa and Colón is 31 hours.
The cost of documentation in El Salvador’s Port Union is only $610; however, docking time is 51 hours.
The average docking time in the Costa Rican ports of Moin & Caldera is lower than in El Salvador, but formalities cost $1,027.
Puerto Cortés of Honduras is the least efficient in both categories, charging $1,839, with an average wait time of eight days (the ranking includes the total cost to the carrier, taking into account formalities and time value).
Ports In Ranking Order:
2 El Salvador
3 Costa Rica
Original Article Link: http://centralamericalink.com/en/Rankings/Panamanian_ports_are_efficient/
Martyrs’ Day is a Panamanian holiday, which commemorates the January 9, 1964 riots over sovereignty of the Panama Canal Zone. The incident is considered to be a significant factor in the U.S. decision to transfer control of the Canal Zone to Panama through the 1977 Torrijos-Carter Treaties.
The U.S. Embassy in Panama City advises all U.S. citizens in Panama that Martyrs’ Day will be observed this year on Saturday, January 9, 2016. The U.S. Embassy alerts U.S. citizens to possible street closures and traffic congestion due to scheduled marches and other events around Panama City. All U.S. citizens are reminded of the sensitivity of this day and urged to remain diligent in your personal security. For up-to-date information on security, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department’s Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov.
Further information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
U.S. citizens who travel to or reside in Panama are encouraged to enroll in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). By enrolling, you make it easier for the U.S. Embassy to contact you in case of an emergency.
Shortly before Christmas, dolls that resemble politicians, movie stars and even hoodlums appear along the Interamerican Highway from Capira to San Carlos in the Panama West province. These curious effigies disappear just as quickly on December 31, when they are burned at midnight.
They are called “Judas dolls” and represent the year that comes to an end. This somewhat bizarre tradition exercises in one big bonfire the baggage of the year that finishes. These dolls are usually made with old clothes and filled with straw or dry leaves, wood shavings and other materials. They are very similar to scarecrows. The tradition’s origin is unknown, but some said that started as a joke among the San Carlos’ residents.
The majority of these dolls have a skeleton made of wood or metal pipes. To make the combustion process more dramatic the Judases also have fireworks inside. For the head several types of materials are used such as coconuts, pumpkin, paper bags and even cans.
Although most of the Judas dolls are very simple, there are very creative and talented people around who manage to make their Judas have such likeness to their real life model that it is uncanny. The artist selects the most remarkable person of the year, being good or bad to represent the year.
The creation of a Judas can take 10 hours and cost between $30 and $50. Families and neighbors get together to make them. However, there are some artisans that are particularly good at their trade and sell their Judas dolls for up to $100, for the majority the creations are just a bit of fun.
This tradition is so popular that a competition between the communities of Chame and San Carlos takes place every year and on Monday, December 30 at the Jardin Popular of Sajalices in Chame, 4:00 p.m. the maker of the best Judas could win $300.
Burning a Judas is certainly a different way to welcome the New Year.