Tiffany’s Thursday Tips Version 3.0 Sim Cards at the Airport

Today’s tip is going to be a pretty quick one! I read a lot of posts from people coming to visit and live that want to know what to do when they land here about cell phones and sim cards!

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My wonderful husband just so happened to take a picture of the kiosk at Tocumen airport the last time we were there (good work Todd). This machine is located just outside of baggage claim towards the car rental area. There is usually a very cute Panamanian girl working there that will help you purchase a sim card for your phone and get you going, at least temporarily. All you need is an unlocked phone that takes a sim card, pretty much that easy!

I think we paid about $30 for the card and a weeks worth of service when we first got here, then took it to the Movistar office and signed up for a monthly plan that gives me calling, texts (local), and about 3GB of data per month. I pay automatically by credit card and its just around $32 per month.

Since the roads here are poorly named and very difficult to navigate I would recommend having internet on your phone from the very moment you get here! Of course if you’re being driven and just want to get away from it all, then skip it and enjoy no Facebook alerts at 2 in the morning when you are sound asleep!! Lol!

-Tiffany

 

January 9th Martyr’s Day-Security Alert

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.
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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.

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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.

 

 

 

Bucket Lists For 2016 Instead of Resolutions

For 2016 Todd and I have decided that we would rather put together a list of amazing things we want to do during the year instead of things we want to not do, change or improve.

2015 was a big year for us! We sold everything that we owned and moved here to Panama. That will probably be hard to top for the rest of our lives, but we will keep trying.

So what do you add to a bucket list when you live in Panama? This country is so full of amazing places, locations and things to do.  Here is a Top 10 Bucket List Items in Panama. Some we have already done, but wanted to create a list for others so you can add them to your bucket list!

Top 10 Panama Destinations 

  1. Bocas Del Toro
  2. Pearl Islands-Contadora Island, Mogo Mogo, Taboga, Isla Del Rey 
  3. San Blas Islands 
  4. Gamboa Rainforest 
  5. El Valle De Anton 
  6. Boquete 
  7. Panama Canal & Locks 
  8. Panama City-Casco Viejo, Panama Viejo, Ancon Hill, Amador Causeway, Fish Market, Albrook Mall
  9. Colon Free Trade Zone 
  10. Isla Coiba 
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Ancon Hill View of the City
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Bocas Del Toro-Hotels located on the water

Continue reading Bucket Lists For 2016 Instead of Resolutions

El Valle’s Hidden Gem Crater’s Edge Brewery: Craft Brews With a View

Crater’s Edge Brewery is perched on a quiet 2 acre property overlooking the entire El Valle De Anton valley.The views are amazing, and the property is lush and sprawling. The owners are Mike and Deb Lunsford, and they have brought together elements to create one of the most unique breweries we have ever been to. Their small batch craft beers are full of flavor that will please a novice beer drinker, all the way to a beer aficionado.

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Producer Mike Lunsford and his wife moved from Colorado to El Valle in 2015. Mike has been home brewing beer for over 15 years and he is now sharing his passion with expats here in Panama. Their home is gorgeous and the grounds are full and lush.  Of course the backdrop of El Valle makes for a pleasant afternoon of beer tasting and conversation. Visiting with Mike and Deb was part of the fun of visiting. They are great people, with their own fun story to tell about how they ended up in Panama.

Before you start your tasting Mike will show you his impressive brewing equipment and give you a little education on the process. The Red Frog Zensual Ale is the base for all the flavors that we tasted on our trip. He took this based and infused it with mango to produce Toucan’s Delight, and another batch that had a coconut infusion. The products that Mike imports to produce the beers are all natural organic ingredients, and they are making sure to leave a small carbon foot.

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This is a private artisenal brewery and non-profit project that accepts payment in the form of a donation. Mike and Deb support local causes with more than 25% of sales donated to the Spay and Neuter program of El Valle and the Green Team.

We are so happy that we stumbled on to their Facebook page! Mike and Deb are really great people, making an amazing product! Add this to your must-do list!

They are on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Craters-Edge-Brewery-687065878062229/

Call ahead or message them for directions and to make sure they are open! It’s not hard to find, we included pics below to help you navigate!

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Todd enjoyed it so much he drank it all!
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Oh yes the goodness is in there!!
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Mike, Deb and Tiffany having a glass and enjoying the beautiful afternoon!

Continue reading El Valle’s Hidden Gem Crater’s Edge Brewery: Craft Brews With a View

Burning Of the Judas Dolls or “Muñecos de año Viejo” (Dolls of the old year)

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.

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Jose Raul Mulino Public Security Minister of Panama From 2010-2014
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Juan Carlos Varela Commander-in-Chief of the Panamanian Public Forces and Former President Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Berrocal
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Jose Raul Mulino Public Security Minister of Panama From 2010-2014
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This one isn’t Panamanian!! It’s Steve Harvey apologizing for his error at the Miss Universe Pageant
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A random group of Judas dolls including Ron Weasley which a character from Harry Potter movies
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Rodolfo Aguilera Minister of Public Security
El Chapo Joaquin Guzman a Mexican Drug lord

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USA to Panamá with 4 dogs

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