Page 1

april 2014 | Volume 12 | ISSUE 3 w w w.T h e B o c a s B r e e m

Waterspout in Bocas




60 Minutes with Dr. Joe

Every Day is Earth Day in Bocas del Toro

P4 P10

Editor’s Note

I would like to dedicate this issue of The Bocas Breeze to a woman I greatly admired, Susan Guberman-Garcia. After great struggle and painful sacrifice, Susan lost her long-time battle with breast cancer last month. She had been a terminal cancer patient since the first time I met her nearly three years ago. I remembered her because she had traveled from her home far away on Cristobal in the early morning to volunteer at my first spay and neuter clinic. We had never met prior to that event. She explained she could do very little lifting but would help care for the animals after surgery or whatever I needed. She volunteered at every single clinic I organized for the next 2 years doing what she could physically and being there to offer much needed moral support. There were many times I sought her advice and trusted her opinions, and like so many others, I will miss her. Susan was a valued member of the Bocas community; we could use many more like her.

Publisher Information / Información Editorial The Bocas Breeze is published monthly in English and Spanish with a circulation of 5,000 free copies distributed at airports, restaurants, retail stores, and local businesses throughout Panama (Bocas del Toro, Panama City, David, Boquete) and Costa Rica (Puerto Viejo, San Jose). The Bocas Breeze is also online at El Bocas Breeze es publicado mensualmente en inglés y español con una circulación de 5,000 copias gratuitas distribuidas en aeropuertos, restaurantes, tiendas y comercios locales en toda Panamá (Bocas del Toro, Ciudad de Panamá, David, Boquete) y Costa Rica (Puerto Viejo, San José). El Bocas Breeze también está en línea en Editor / Editora: Casie Dean Published by / Publicado por: Dean Enterprises, S.A. New office located in airport, look for the sign. Contact us / Contáctenos: 2005-2014 The Bocas Breeze all rights reserved.

Casie Dean, Editor

Simplify Panama Shopping & Concierge Services

Simplify Panama Simplify Panama

make life easier Shopping & Concierge Services Shopping & Concierge Services visit visit +507.6747.9677 +507.6747.9677 ●

Panama City Panama City ● property management shopping & concierge •shopping & services concierge services

•property management

The Bocas Breeze


make life easier



Nota de la Editora

Susan Guberman-García

Quisiera dedicar esta edición del Bocas Breeze a una mujer que admiro muchísimo, Susan Guberman-García. Después de una gran batalla y un doloroso sacrificio, Susan perdió su larga batalla contra el cáncer de mamas el mes pasado. Ella ha sido una paciente de cáncer terminal desde que la conocí alrededor de 3 años atrás. La recuerdo porque ella había viajado desde su casa en Cristóbal temprano a la mañana para ser voluntaria en mi primera clínica de esterilización y castración. No nos conocíamos antes de ese evento. Me explicó que podía alzar muy poco peso pero que ayudaría atendiendo a los animales después de la operación o con lo que sea que necesitara. Ella fue voluntaria en cada una de las clínicas que organicé en los siguientes dos años haciendo lo que físicamente podía y estando allí para ofrecer el tan necesitado apoyo moral. Muchas veces pedí sus consejos y confié en sus opiniones y, como muchos otros, la voy a extrañar. Susan fue un miembro valioso de la comunidad de Bocas; podríamos tener muchos más como ella. Casie Dean, Editora

Lon’s spot Open Late Night

Burgers, wings, and more! Just off Main Street Across from Sugar n spice Bakery, behind Boquete Fish House, Boquete District

Open 6:30pm-late night Located on 5th street look for the neon lights

+507 730-9360 3

The Bocas Breeze

by Staff Writer

60 Minutes with Dr. Joe

With elections just around the corner in Panama, the Bocas Breeze decided to sit down with Mayor Jose Anderson to take a look back at his 5 years in office. Mayor Anderson, or better known as “Dr. Joe”, has chosen not to run again. He will step down from his position in public service to return to the world of medicine where he has worked as a general practitioner and in the field

of forensic pathology. Dr. Joe is also a lawyer, saxophonist and the former director of the Red Cross in Bocas. We asked the current mayor what he considers his major achievements during his time in office. His proudest achievement is Dumpers. Nowadays, “Dumpers” is merely the name of a surf break about a mile before Bluff Beach and a not-so-distant memory of an environmental atrocity. For 25 years

it was the location of the town dump. As tourism on the island grew, along with it grew the amount of garbage and what was once a trash depository located some 100 yards into the jungle had become tons of waste spilling into the road and consequently into the nearby ocean. Surfers reported all sorts of health problems and it was quite the eye sore (literally in the case of the surfers). Dr. Joe entered office in July of 2009 and he made it his priority to put a stop to the pollution of Dumpers. Actually, Dr. Anderson claims it was the very reason he ran for office. In the end, the mayor was able to collaborate with the residents of Bluff, the local surfing community and other concerned citizens of Bocas to clean up Dumpers and relocate the trash depository to a piece of land on the road to Boca del Drago. Allene Blaker wrote an excellent The Bocas Breeze


article about the Dumpers clean-up in the September 2009 issue of the Bocas Breeze which can be found here: previous-issues/september-septiembre-2009.shtml Fast forward 5 years later and Dr. Joe is still working towards a solution to the garbage problem on the islands. What has been established is a “mancomunidad”, which is the combining of municipalities to work on joint public works projects (in this case, waste management). The municipalities of Isla Colon, Changuinola and Chiriquí Grande have aligned to provide a more permanent solution for the disposal of garbage in the province of Bocas del Toro. The current plan is to remove all trash deposits on Isla Colon and relocate them to a piece of land in Changuinola. This will be the new trash depository of the mancomunidad of Isla Colon,

Changuinola and Chiriqui Grande. So far, 6.6 million dollars have been put away in Banco Nacional for this project. All in all, Dr. Joe doesn’t seem have exactly enjoyed his time as mayor. If you look at the photo of him in his office you will notice stacks and stacks of papers behind him. These are lawsuits from various interested parties, including the Catholic Church. He wishes he could take the politics out of government so that the elected leaders could better accomplish what the community needs. “I wish there could be a city hall where politics weren’t the most important thing, because here, unfortunately, it doesn’t matter what you want to do, the only things that matter are politics and the (national) government. You are here to serve the (national) government,” says Dr. Joe. He goes on to explain that Panama

termath of the earthquake and it was then that foreigners first set their eyes on the enchanted islands of Bocas del Toro from a helicopter’s view. “Tourism here did not develop because of the people in Panama City with money; it was because of foreigners. The Red Cross arrived in a helicopter with a group from Italy, from Spain and later on they discovered the island and many came back and bought here. If you take a good look at tourism in Bocas, it’s all foreigners and locals. There are no Panama City business owners like the rest of the country. So this community is no longer only made up of locals, but a mix of people. If Bocas del Toro is a melting pot of races, it’s a mix of

is the only Latin-American country without a decentralized government, meaning that in the other countries, a percentage (usually 10%) of the gross domestic product is given to the municipalities. This way each local government has resources for projects that can meet the different community needs. Mayor Anderson asserts that this is not the case in Panama- the taxes end up in Panama City and the municipalities are left with migajas, or “crumbs”. He says from the taxes that are charged locally and end up in the capital, the amount that comes back to the local governments is barely enough to pay its employees. His advice to the next mayor is to keep fighting for the decentralization of government. In fact, at the time of the interview he was preparing for a final meeting in Panama City where he was to address to the national government about the municipalities having the resources that they deserve. Dr. Joe gave a very interesting example as to the power the local government could have today if the Panamanian government were to have been decentralized over a century ago when, according to him, they had the opportunity to so: “In 1909, if the government had accepted the decentralization and had given 10% to the 75 municipalities of the Republic of Panama, and had divided it in equal parts, to us here [in Bocas del Toro] it would have corresponded to 19 million dollars every year. What municipality can’t work with 19 million dollars?” Dr. Joe also spoke about the development of tourism in Bocas del Toro and how it has changed the face of the community. According to him, tourism was born with the earthquake of 1991. The Red Cross came to help in the af-


Indians, Blacks and Latinos; and now many more groups because there are foreigners from all over the world. So, that is the community that I think needs to begin to work together.” Dr. Joe has made his advice clear to the next mayor and to the community as a whole: work on decentralizing the government so the municipality has the necessary resources to meet the community’s needs and put political agendas and racial differences aside in order to work together for the common good. With all that being said, the only question that remains is: Dr. Joe, are you going to retire to the beach or the mountains? “I’m going to return to my hospital.”

The Bocas Breeze

60 Minutos con el Dr. Joe Con las elecciones a la vuelta de la esquina en Panamá, el Bocas Breeze decidió sentarse con el Alcalde José Anderson para hacer una revisión de sus 5 años como tal. El Alcalde Anderson, o mejor conocido como “Dr. Joe”, ha decidido no volver a postularse nuevamente. Se hará a un lado de su puesto público para volver al mundo de la medicina donde ha trabajado como médico general y en el campo de patología forense. Dr. Joe también es abogado, saxofonista y el ex director de la Cruz Roja de Bocas. Le preguntamos al actual alcalde cuáles son sus logros durante su período en la alcaldía. El logro por el cual se siente más orgulloso es Dumpers. Hoy en día, “Dumpers” es simplemente el nombre de un punto de surf alrededor de una milla antes de Playa Bluff y un recuerdo no tan lejano de una atrocidad ambiental. Durante 25 años, fue el espacio del vertedero del pueblo. Como el turismo en la isla creció, de la misma manera creció la cantidad de basura y lo que una vez fue el depósito de basura ubicado 100 yardas hacia la selva se había convertido en toneladas de basura que caían sobre la carretera y consecuentemente en el océano. Los surfers reportaron toda clase de problemas relacionados con la salud y era una molestia en los ojos (literalmente en el caso de los surfers). Dr. Joe comenzó en su puesto en julio de 2009 e hizo prioridad que se detuvie-

The Bocas Breeze

ra la contaminación de Dumpers. De hecho, el Dr. Anderson asegura que era la razón por la cual se postuló. Finalmente, el alcalde pudo colaborar con los residentes de Bluff, la comunidad local de surf y otros ciudadanos preocupados de Bocas a limpiar Dumpers y reubicar el vertedero de basura en un terreno en la carretera a Bocas del Drago. Allene Blaker escribió un excelente artículo sobre la limpieza de Dumpers en la edición del Bocas Breeze de septiembre de 2009, el cual se puede encontrar aquí: previous-issues/september-septiembre-2009.shtml 5 años han pasado y Dr. Joe continúa trabajando en una solución para el problema de la basura en las islas. Se ha establecido una “mancomunidad”, que es la combinación de municipalidades para trabajar en proyectos públicos conjuntamente (en este caso, el manejo de la basura). Las municipalidades de Isla Colón, Changuinola y Chiriquí Grande se han alineado para proveer una solución más permanente para el desecho de la basura en la provincia de Bocas del Toro. El plan actual es quitar todos los depósitos de basura en Isla Colón y reubicarlos en un terreno en Changuinola. Este será el nuevo vertedero de la mancomunidad de Isla Colón, Changuinola y Chiriquí Grande. Hasta ahora, 6.6 millones de dólares han sido depositados en Banco Nacional para este proyecto.

En términos generales, Dr. Joe no parece haber disfrutado su período como alcalde. Si ves la foto en su oficina, notarás pilas y pilas de papeles detrás de él. Estas son demandas de varias partes interesadas, incluyendo la Iglesia Católica. Él desea poder sacar la política del gobierno para que los líderes electos puedan cumplir mejor con las necesidades de la comunidad. “Ojalá pudiese existir una alcaldía donde la política no fuese lo más importante, porque aquí lastimosamente no importa lo que tú quieras hacer, importa la política y el gobierno. Estás al servicio del gobierno”, dice Dr. Joe. Continua explicando que Panamá es el único país latinoamericano sin descentralización de gobierno, lo cual significa que en otros países, un porcentaje (usualmente el 10%) del producto bruto interno es dado a las municipalidades. De esta manera cada gobierno local tiene recursos para proyectos que pueden suplir las diferentes necesidades de la comunidad. El Alcalde Anderson asevera que este no es el caso de Panamá – los impuestos terminan en la Ciudad de Panamá y a las municipalidades se les dan las migajas. Dice que de los impuestos que son cobrados localmente y que terminan en la capital, la cantidad que vuelve a los gobiernos locales es apenas suficiente para pagarles a los empleados. Su consejo al próximo alcalde es seguir peleando por la descentralización del gobierno. De hecho, al momento de la entrevista, él se estaba preparando para una reunión en Ciudad de Panamá, donde se iba a dirigir al gobierno nacional sobre el tema de las municipalidades y que las mismas cuenten con los recursos que se merecen. Dr. Joe dio un ejemplo muy interesante sobre el poder que hoy podría tener el gobierno local si el gobierno panameño hubiera sido descentralizado hace un siglo atrás cuando, según él, tuvieron la oportunidad de hacerlo: “En 1909 si el gobierno hubiese acep-


tado la descentralización y hubiese dado el 10% a los 75 municipios de la República de Panamá, y si hubiese repartido en partes iguales, a nosotros acá nos hubiese correspondido en 1909 cada año 19 millones de dólares. ¿Qué municipio no puede trabajar con 19 millones de dólares?” Dr. Joe también habló sobre el desarrollo del turismo en Bocas del Toro y cómo ha cambiado la cara de la comunidad. Según él, el turismo nació con el terremoto de 1991. La Cruz Roja vino a ayudar con las secuelas del terremoto y fue allí cuando los extranjeros se dieron cuenta de la existencia de las encantadoras islas de Bocas del Toro desde la vista de un helicóptero. “El turismo aquí no se desarrolló porque las personas de dinero de Panamá vinieron. Fue por los extranjeros. La Cruz Roja llegó después a ver en helicóptero con un grupo de Italia, de España y posteriormente se dieron cuenta del área y muchos llegaron entonces y compraron. Si se fija bien, el turismo aquí es de extranjeros y locales. No hay empresarios panameños como el resto del país. Entonces la comunidad ya no es solamente de lugareños, de los que tienen cédula 1, sino es una mezcla. Si Bocas del Toro es un crisol de razas, es una mezcla de indos, negros y latinos; ahora es mucho más porque hay extranjeros de todos lados del mundo. Entonces, esa comunidad es la que yo creo que necesita empezar a trabajar junta.” Dr. Joe ha puesto bien en claro su consejo al próximo alcalde y a la comunidad como tal: trabajar en la descentralización del gobierno para que la municipalidad tenga los recursos necesarios para suplir las necesidades de la comunidad y poner a un lado la agenda política y las diferencias raciales para trabajar juntos para el bien común. Habiendo dicho todo esto, la única pregunta que queda por hacer es: Dr. Joe, ¿usted se retirará en la playa o en las montañas? “Volveré a mi hospital.”

Bailarobics Hilde Meyers has loved dancing since childhood. She trained in classes of jazz, ballet, acrobatics, inline country dancing and dance aerobics. After she moved to Bocas years ago, she began to really miss dancing, so she started learning Latin dance aerobics. After a while friends told her she should organize a class for everybody so they could all dance together. The rest is history. She put some songs and


A Hilde Meyers le encanta bailar desde que era una niña. Se ha entrenado en clases de jazz, ballet, acrobacia, línea de baile y bailes aeróbicos. Después de mudarse a Bocas años atrás, comenzó a extrañar el baile por lo que empezó a aprender bailes aeróbicos latinos. Después de un tiempo, sus amigos le dijeron que debía organizar una clase para que todos pudieran bailar juntos. El resto es historia. Juntó un par de canciones y bailes y comenzó a enseñar clases de baile. Hilde dice que sus clases están llenas de energía amorosa y que todos son bienvenidos. “Nos divertimos muchísimo en clase; todos son amigables y bailamos para mantener una buena salud… Amo a mis alumnos porque son los que llenan mis clases de diversión y risas”. Si quieres probar algo nuevo o sólo quieres bailar hasta que tus preocupaciones desaparezcan, sacúdete en Bailarobics. Bailarobics se enseña todos los lu-


dances together began teaching dance classes. Hilde says her classes are filled with loving energy and that everyone is welcome. “We have a lot of fun in class; everyone is friendly and we dance to maintain good health… I love my students because they are the ones that fill my class with fun and laughter.” If you’d like to experience something new or just want dance your worries away, shake on over to Bailarobics. Bailarobics is taught every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6:30pm at Nicaragua Public School. Bring water and mat for extra floor exercises.

nes, miércoles y viernes a las 6:30 pm en la Escuela Pública Nicaragua. Trae agua y un mat para ejercicios extras en el suelo.

The Bocas Breeze


In a town like Bocas it’s hard to keep a secret, but there’s one we’ve recently uncovered that you may be interested in learning about. It’s a hidden little waterfront bistro, with a vegetarian flare, called Leaf Eaters Café. The soul child of Francesca, of the Island Traders Artisan Market, it’s proving to be an exceptional daytime place to eat for all of us who are just looking for a healthy alternative. Most of us didn’t even know there was another building behind her popular gift store, but with a little ima-

The Bocas Breeze

ginative vision the vacant space has been transformed into a very cozy and stylish lunchtime eatery that specializes in remarkably flavorful vegetarian dishes, whole food beverages, delicious snacks and her daughter Lana’s specialty cold brewed iced coffees complete with her signature coffee ice cubes. Having sailed to and explored the foods of over forty countries, before settling on dry land in Bocas with her husband and three daughters, Francesca has a depth of understanding of tastes and textures that delight the

photos Lana Petelle culinary senses. And added to incomparable flavors and presentations her extensive academic background in Holistic Nutrition brings a new level of well prepared and healthy food to Bocas’ lunchtime fare. “I’ve always had a deep passion for good food that’s good for you”, says Francesca, “but it’s always been more of an avocation, than a vocation.” Lana, who pretty much runs the place and who’s creative input is responsible for the refreshingly warm décor and friendly atmosphere says, “this is something my mom has always wanted to do. It’s really nice to see her having fun with it.” “But please note,” begs Francesca, “we’re just getting our feet on the ground with this. Having to juggle the storefront and prepare all the food for the café from scratch is a handful. We offer a varying and changing menu that always guarantees freshly prepared food from the highest quality ingredients available. And remember,” she adds, “you don’t have to a vegetarian to enjoy some-


thing a little different in a delicious and heart healthy lunch.” Located over the water, next to TAXI 25 boat taxi, two doors up from the police station and behind the big brown awning of Island Traders the LEAF EATERS CAFÉ is open five days a week, from 10:00 am to sunset. You’re invited to come in and join Francesca and Lana in one of the most pleasurable atmospheres in town for a truly unique dining experience.


En un pueblo como Bocas, es difícil mantener un secreto, pero hay uno que descubrimos recientemente que te puede interesar. Es un pequeño bistró escondido frente al mar, con el fulgor vegetariano, llamado Leaf Eaters Café. La creación de Francesca, de Island Traders Artisan Market, nos brinda un espacio excepcional para pasar el día y comer a todos nosotros que buscamos una alternativa sana.

La mayoría de nosotros ni siquiera sabíamos que había otro edificio detrás de la popular tienda de regalos, pero con un poquito de visión creativa, el espacio vacante ha sido transformado en un comedor muy cómodo y con estilo para el almuerzo que se especializa en platos vegetarianos con remarcable sabor, bebidas integrales, bocados deliciosos y la especialidad de su hija Lana, cafés fríos con sus hielos de café de su propia marca. Habiendo navegado y explorado la comida de más de cuarenta países, antes de establecerse en Bocas con su marido y tres hijas, Francesca tiene una profunda comprensión de los sabores y texturas que deleitan los sentidos culinarios. Y además de sus sabores y presentaciones incomparables, su extensa experiencia académica en Nutrición Holística brinda un nuevo nivel de comida bien preparada y saludable al almuerzo de Bocas. “Siempre he sentido una profunda pasión por la buena comida que es sana para ti”, dice Francesca, “pero siempre ha sido más un pasatiempo que una vocación”. Lana, quien prácticamente maneja el negocio y sus ideas creativas son responsables de la decoración refrescantemente cálida y una atmósfera amigable dice, “esto es algo que mi mamá siempre quiso hacer. Es muy lindo verla divertirse con esto”. “Pero, por favor, nota”, ruega Francesca” recién estamos poniendo nuestros pies sobre la tierra. Habiendo tenido que hacer malabares con el frente y preparar toda la comida para el café desde cero es complicado. Ofrecemos un menú variado y cambiante que siempre garantiza comida fresca con los ingredientes disponibles de la mejor calidad. Y recuerda”, agrega, “no tienes que ser vegetariano para disfrutar algo un poco diferente en un almuerzo delicioso y saludable”.

photo Leon Barros

Ubicado sobre el mar, al lado de Taxi 25, a dos puertas de la estación de policía y detrás de la gran tienda de Island Traders, el LEAF EATERS CAFÉ está abierto cinco días a la semana, de 10 am hasta el atardecer. Estás invitado a venir y unirte a Francesca y Lana en uno de los ambientes más placenteros en el pueblo para una experiencia culinaria verdaderamente única.


The Bocas Breeze

Every Day is Earth Day in Bocas del Toro

by Dr. Tamara Romanuk

Earth Day, the day the world (most of it anyway…192 countries to date) celebrates our home, the one and only Planet Earth, for its 44th year. Earth Day has grown from its grass-roots origins in New York City, to become a true global movement. Its goals? To demonstrate support for environmental protection, promote environmental awareness, and bring attention to how humans impact the environment. While Earth Day is celebrated officially on April 22nd, the Homo sapiens that live in Bocas del Toro (yes, that’s us) celebrate Earth Day 365 days a year (and so do the plants and animals just in case you were wondering). Environmental protection is not just the bread and butter of tourist destinations, like our fair archipelago, it’s the health of the world we live in. And down here, what a world it is. It is hard to remember a week that hasn’t gone by without some feat of heroic environmental activism and awareness. “Every Day is Earth Day”, literally, to so many of tireless residences in the Bocas community. These are the members of the community that lunge, not step, forward to give up their Thursdays to drive the recycling truck, head up dolphin and sea turtle projects, comb the beaches for garbage that’s detrimental to inhabitants of its nearby ocean, or protect the pygmy sloths of Escudo de Veraguas, the only island home for this endemic (ok, and adorable) species; they rescue mountain lion cubs, or organize and carry out volunteer spay and neuter clinics. These people remind us that caring about our world is not a choice one can make from day to day. We are all in it together, and it is a responsibility that transcends getting your favorite empanada for lunch. Caring for our planet is a commitment each and every day. Convenient or not. In the Bocas del Toro archipelago there are few (if any) who would disagree. From working to clean up the trash and recycle, to educating tourist boat operators on how to show off our resident dolphins with dolphin safety being the priority, environmental awareness is like getting your electrolytes from pipa water straight from the coconut. Normale. Worthy mentions for my very own “Earth Day is Every Day” award go to Marlon from the Bocas del Toro Station of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute for helping relocate a sloth from my deck last year back to a cushy mangrove swamp. Then there is The Bocas Breeze

the tireless energy of the turtle police squad (seriously, when do they sleep?). Perhaps during those few months of the year when we don’t have four species of turtles laying eggs on our beaches. There is also a need to mention Captain Marcell of Bocas Sailing for saving a castaway (featured in January’s issue), a couple of pirates who work with the local police to find and fine clueless idiots who try and drive ATV’s on the beach, the many artisans who create their remarkable pieces from recycled materials, and B.E.L.O and BESO for participating in beach clean-ups, basura banishing, and educational environmental initiatives for local schoolchildren. Hold on, Gaia? Is that you? The coconut telegraph works in mysterious ways on our little rock. She just asked me to add a few more special mentions. Gaia (aka Mother Earth) would personally like to thank anyone who has ever picked up trash, saved a red frog from getting its picture taken, or chased an anteater while gently shouting “shoo shoo” and directing them towards a nice tasty ant hill. Earth Day is Every Day in Bocas del Toro and well, the truth is, it should be every day everywhere. We have one planet. Come and celebrate with us!


El Día de la Tierra es todos los días en Bocas por Dra. Tamara Romanuk El Día de la Tierra, el día que el mundo (la mayoría por lo menos… 192 países hasta la fecha) celebra nuestro hogar, el único e irrepetible Planeta Tierra por su 44º año consecutivo. El Día de la Tierra ha crecido desde sus raíces en la ciudad de Nueva York hasta convertirse en un movimiento verdaderamente global. ¿Sus objetivos? Demostrar el apoyo a la protección del ambiente, promover la conciencia ambiental y atraer la atención sobre el impacto que provocamos los humanos en el ambiente. Mientras que el Día de la Tierra es oficialmente celebrado el 22 de abril, los Homo sapiens que viven en Bocas (sí, nosotros) lo celebramos los 365 días del año (y también lo hacen las plantas y animales, en caso de que te estuvieras preguntando). La protección del ambiente no es sólo básica en los destinos turísticos, como nuestro archipiélago, es la salud del mundo en el que vivimos. Y aquí abajo, ¡qué mundo que tenemos! Es difícil recordar una semana en la que no haya ocurrido alguna hazaña de activismo y conciencia ambiental heroica. “Todos los días es el Día de la Tierra”, literalmente, para tantos laboriosos residentes de la comunidad de Bocas. Estos son los miembros de la comunidad que se lanzan, no se mueven, para dejar lo que tienen que hacer los jueves y manejar el camión de reciclaje, estar frente a proyectos para la salvación de delfines y tortugas marinas, limpiar

las playas de basura que es perjudicial para los habitantes del océano o proteger a los pequeños perezosos del Escudo de Veraguas, la única isla para esta especie endémica (ok y adorable); ellos rescatan cachorros de leones de montaña u organizan y realizan clínicas voluntarias de esterilización y castración. Esta gente nos recuerda que el preocuparnos por nuestro mundo no es una opción que uno puede tomar día a día. Todos estamos en esto juntos y es una responsabilidad que trasciende el comerte tu empanada preferida en el almuerzo. Preocuparnos por nuestro planeta es un compromiso de todos los días. Sea conveniente o no. En el archipiélago de Bocas del Toro, hay un par (si los hay) que pueden estar en desacuerdo. De trabajar limpiando la basura y reciclar a educar a los operadores de botes para turistas sobre cómo deben mostrar a nuestros residentes delfines de manera segura para ellos como prioridad, la conciencia ambiental es como recibir tus electrolitos del agua de pipa directo del coco. Normal. Una mención merecedora a mi propio premio “el Día de la Tierra es Todos los Días” a Marlon de la Estación de Bocas del Toro del Instituto de Investigación Tropical Smithsonian por ayudarme a reubicar a un perezoso de mi muelle el año pasado a un cómodo barrizal de manglares. También tenemos a la policía de tortugas con su inagotable energía (en serio, ¿cuándo duermen?). Quizás durante ese par de meses del año cuando no tenemos cuatro especies de tortugas poniendo huevos en nuestras playas. También necesitamos mencionar al Capitán Marcel de Bocas Sailing por salvar a un náufrago (presentado en la edición de enero), un par de piratas que trabajan en la policía local para encontrar y multar idiotas despistados que manejan vehículos todos terreno en


la playa, los tantos artesanos que crearon piezas increíbles con materiales reciclados y B.E.L.O. y BESO por participar en la limpieza de playas, sacar basura y por las iniciativas de educación ambiental para los alumnos locales. Espera, Gaia, ¿eres tú? El telégrafo de coco trabaja de maneras misteriosas en nuestra pequeña roca. Ella me ha pedido que haga un par más de menciones especiales. Gaia (Madre Tierra) quisiera agradecer personalmente a todos los que alguna vez han recogido basura, salvado a una rana roja de ser fotografiada, o perseguido a un oso hormiguero mientras se le grita delicadamente “shu shu” dirigiéndolo hacia una cima con deliciosas hormigas. El Día de la Tierra es todos los días en Bocas del Toro y bueno, la verdad es que debería serlo en todos lados. Tenemos un solo planeta. Ven y celebra con nosotros.

The Bocas Breeze

Waterspout in Bocas

Touchdown! It’s called a waterspout. The swirling tornado-like column of water, made up of water droplets formed by condensation, rather than by sucking up water from a lake or the ocean as it is commonly thought, appeared quite suddenly near Bocas Town on April 9th, around 10:30am. Waterspouts, which occur mostly in the tropics, need a lot of moisture to form, and anyone who was out and about that day can attest to the rainforest-like humidity. The waterspout,

The Bocas Breeze

which was seen offshore near the Bocas Marina traveled South for approximately 10 minutes. Luckily, no damage was reported, as waterspouts are a serious marine hazard. Of all the pictures snapped of the waterspout that day, and there were some great ones, a special mention goes to a picture taken in Tenille Dinon’s yoga class (featured last month). As her students lay silent at the end of class, they witnessed Mother Earth’s invigorating energy.

Un tifón en Bocas ¡Es un tifón! La columna de agua turbulenta tipo tornado con gotitas de agua formada por condensación, más que por la succión de agua de un lago o del océano como usualmente se cree, apareció repentinamente cerca del pueblo de Bocas el 9 de abril alrededor de las 10:30 am.


Los tifones, que ocurren en su mayoría en el trópico, necesitan mucha humedad para formarse y los que estuvieron de un lado para el otro pueden dar fe de la humedad tipo selva. El tifón, que fue visto en la costa cerca de Bocas Marina, se dirigió hacia el sur por aproximadamente 10 minutos. Afortunadamente, a pesar de que los tifones son un peligro marino serio, no se reportó ningún daño. De todas las fotos tomadas del tifón ese día, y hubo unas muy buenas, hacemos una mención especial a la foto tomada en la clase de yoga de Tenille Dinon (presentada el mes pasado). Mientras sus alumnos se encontraban en silencio al final de la clase, ellos fueron testigos de la estimulante energía de la Madre Tierra.

Tupac is Alive! And Spotted Dining in the Ultimo Refugio

by Staff Writer

Ever since the gangster-rap singer Tupac Shakur was allegedly gunned down in Las Vegas, Nevada (USA) on September 13th, 1996, there has been much speculation into the idea that he faked his death and is actually alive today. Many reports place him in Jamaica living under an assumed identity. Well it looks like the conspiracy theorists are not that far off after all; they just happened to have picked the wrong Caribbean island. On Monday March 31st, the Bocas Breeze received reports that a rather Tupac-esque figure was spotted on the main island of Isla Colon, seated in the Ultimo Refugio with a small group of friends, mowing down a filet mignon with purée and ordering copious amounts of Hennessy, Moet and Alizé for his “homies”. Mr. Shakur did little to conceal his identity: “This is thug life in the Caribbean, [expletive]!

You think 9 bullets could stop me? I been in Bocas since two-thousand-fo’ (2004)!” The highlight of the night was when Tupac gave the patrons and staff of Ultimo Refugio an impromptu performance. Aldo Lobo and Rose happened to be performing live music that evening and Tupac stormed the stage, grabbed the microphone and proceeded to freestyle rap and perform verses of “Thugz Mansion”, “Ghetto Gospel” and “Changes”. Bocas del Toro is known as a place that attracts colorful expatriates from all over the world. I wouldn’t be surprised if other notoriously rumored death fakers like Cher, Pablo Escobar and Walt Disney were also living somewhere in the archipelago of Bocas del Toro. *This article was produced for April Fool’s Day and contains no actual facts.


The Bocas Breeze


ARIES March 21 -- April 19

Doing things on your own terms is not an option but a necessity. As a leader and self starter you often find it difficult to bear up under the inadequacies of those that are there supposedly to assist you in your endeavors.  This causes you to be, what some consider withdrawn, but you know you are simply independent.  Travel is your passion although you don’t have the opportunities to do so as much as you would like.  Don’t allow your feelings to be hurt by those that consider you manic, the truth is you’re both lively and energetic,  and those that don’t see this don’t deserve your company or efforts.

TAURUS April 20 -- May 20

Your independent nature often leaves you alone and wondering why. You can be a loyal and patient friend but often find yourself disappointed by those you choose for that purpose.  This stems from your independent nature and desire to get things done your way, or the highway regarding those around you.   People are drawn to you for your dependability, but often put off by your inability towards flexibility.  Your self- indulgent and materialistic side often causes rifts between those you profess to care about and your ability to do so.  Although you would prefer love over success you tend to allow your possessive/jealous side to take control, sabotaging what could be a good thing.  Straight up Taurus, no one needs the grief, and if you don’t start to moderate your rigid style, no one, is exactly who you’ll have.

GEMINI May 21 -- June 21

Hey sailor, looking for a good time, look no further than a Gemini. No one in the zodiac is more energetic or imaginative, and it’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye.   Your impulsive/devious side, has on more than one occasion made an end run around your good sense, leaving you closer to disaster or arrest than in retrospect now seems appropriate.  Keep in mind that the best stories are told over drinks with friends, not to police officers or cellmates.  Remember there is no crime in letting a lie enhance a good story.  Your wit is your greatest gift, and like a wire whisk properly used, can turn a single egg of a thought into an omelette of entertainment.

CANCER June 22 -- July 22

Question, how many Cancers does it take to change a lightbulb. Answer, all of them.   Poor you, cancer, so many options, so much insecurity.  Even on a good day you feel so short of self-actualization that you wonder how you managed to dress yourself and get out of the house.  You could be one of the coolest signs in the zodiac except for your constant need of support from others.  You could make someone a great partner if only your crippling oversensitivity and moody nature could be placed in perspective.   Come on Cancer, don’t you deserve love, of course you do.   Corn on the cob, you’re loyal, caring and dependable, who wouldn’t want you as a partner?  Keyword, partner, not support system.  Get right with your insecurities and get ready for great results.

LEO July 23 -- August 22

“A Leo without a project is like a prophet without an investment”. This cryptic gem is from the remaining uneaten half of a fortune cookie.  As further proof of the accuracy and insight of the statement, the three

The Bocas Breeze

numbers remaining for the pick six Lotto were dead on, and in correct order. Only an idiot argues with a cookie. Balance is paramount this month, as you will find it difficult to focus on your ambitions rather than dwelling on exercising dominance over another.  Now is an ideal time to plan and execute an event which includes as many of your friends and acquaintances as possible.  But remember, it’s important not to let your desire for dominance over others cloud your plans.

VIRGO August 23 -- September 22

This month you find your work wearing you down, and skepticism is causing you to consider another employment direction. You may be over-thinking the reasons for your unhappiness.  Consider the possibility you set your goals too high, and your skeptical assessment of your coworkers may be clouding your otherwise reliable judgment.  Consider a trip to the pharmacy for the purchase of a giant chill pill and perhaps a beginner’s guide to mental flexibility.  The past is not necessarily prologue, so consider less dwelling on it as a step in the right direction for a happier future.  Take a minute to pull your eyes away from the details of your life/work and look out the window, now don’t things look better already.

LIBRA September 23 -- October 22

Don’t be surprised when both friends and strangers seek you out for advice in the very near future. Why not, after all, you’re diplomatic, hospitable, and easily accessible by others in need of advice. Be aware their desire for assistance is no indication of your ability to provide it.  Libra, a smart move regarding these people would be listen patiently and do your best to guide them to others more skilled to address their problems.   Be on guard, as your vanity may guide you towards providing advice you are not properly qualified to provide,  or have you forgotten recommending the razor blade museum to that hemophiliac?

SCORPIO October 23 -- November 21

Step back Scorpio, your suspicious nature is about to rupture a relationship so potentially perfect it makes the universe dizzy to consider the loss. Sadly, with all your good points, your excessive jealousy is about to derail a love interest that you know through patient observation could for you, be perfect.   Your uncertainty and paranoia will undoubtedly lead you toward badly executed attempts at manipulation regarding this soon to be either lost, found or abandoned relationship.  Your passion is what most draws this person towards you, but your inflexibility is what will ultimately, given a chance, destroy their willingness to continue their pursuit.  Here’s a thought to court success, try looking more and speaking less.

SAGITTARIUS November 22 -- December 21

Hello Sagittarius, star wise it looks like a real coin toss for you this month, plus a serious side of uncomfortable introspection to boot. The details are unclear, as I mentioned, due to your independence and introspection.  Your basic nature is to seek wisdom, and of course with wisdom comes change.  This leaves others at a loss for how to approach and connect with you.   Although you crave stronger connections with others, don’t let your overall desire for truth deter you from your path.  This is not the easiest course, but it is the one you were meant to take.  For you it all comes down to the degree of freedom your choices allow.  This may be difficult for others to accept but for you it is not only right but mandatory.


This monthly horoscope column in no way endorses recommends suggests or in any other form infers actual fact. And under no circumstance should be considered valid information for the purpose of life decision making. Should you have any comments or suggestions regarding this column, please feel free to keep them to yourself. This column is created and written by John Schneider. Mr. Schneider is currently assuming no responsibility whatsoever.

CAPRICORN December 22 -- January 19

Looking for a friend, look no further than the Capricorn. But of course Capricorn you know this, as you find you have no choice in your life but to help those that you consider friends in whatever way possible.  Beware of this particular trait, as it can sometimes lead you into situations where those you help, consider it your responsibility instead of your pleasure.   This can also lead to unwanted physical relationships due to your lack of imagination when confronted with the possibility of inter-personal relationships.  Don’t be so naïve, if it walks like a duck, looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck it’s probably somebody misconstruing your loyal friendship as an overture to potential hanky-panky.

AQUARIUS January 20 -- February 18

Aquarius, do you remember that really long percussion note at the end of the Beatles Magical Mystery Tour album? The one that when you turn the volume up as far as it will go seems to just continue as a vibration until the hiss of the speakers, no matter how good your sound system might be, overtakes it?  My point is, your search for that unseeable vibration/sound, is pushing you to the point of depression.  This makes you appear to others as aloof, and when questioned, sarcastic ,rather than your true nature , introspective.  Try playing to your strong suits, especially any humanitarian opportunities that may present itself.  Re-focus, rethink, recover.

PISCES February 19 -- March 20

Hi Pisces, well it looks as if your impulsive nature has at least two of your four emotional wheels stuck in a relationship ditch. Had you not been so impatient this probably would not have happened.  There is bound to be some fairly major expense involved regarding this situation.  Play to your higher qualities and be generous and optimistic for a positive resolution of this situation.  Both Benjamin Franklin and Justin Bieber were Pisces.  One is, we all know, an independent thinker and an enthusiastic lover of both life and women.  Whereas the other is eye candy for self-involved mental defectives.  Each guy sought to succeed in his chosen endeavors, sadly both did.  My point, you Pisces are the most likely to control a situation through sheer force of will.  Some find this charming others not so much.  Therefore wisdom dictates you choose carefully when exercising your highest aspirations, as this can affect others, then and only then proceed.


Anyone familiar with astrology will be happy to tell you that astrology, like the universe, the cosmos, and a little closer to home, interpersonal relationships and life choices are complicated. They tell you this for three reasons, the first is, it gets them off the hook should they make a lousy astrological prediction, secondly, their Internet has been down for a day, and they have no idea what’s going on in the world, consequently no current events to mindlessly regurgitate to cover their lack of social skills and a clearly definable philosophy that speaks to experience instead of doctrine. Thirdly, they are right.  Freud said life is metaphor, I say sit down, re-up, think right, get back, strap on and turn off, oh, and for the third time no starch.  Just forget the preceding, and for that matter, the present and the yet to be determined unwritten future.  Here’s your monthly, thank God for it.  All of you signs know pretty much what your character traits and flaws are, and since I can’t speak specifically to your personal situations just accept this metaphoric cautionary tale instead.

Classifieds PROPERTIES FOR SALE TITLED WATER LOT IN BOCASTOWN Large Lot, 324m2, 18m frontage, $200,000 facing Bocas Yacht Club On Calle Sur @ Calle 5 Call Buena Vista Realty 67477738 3 SEAFRONT HOMES-ISLA CRISTOBAL 15 min to town, also avail 9 acres Undeveloped land http://bocasislandparadiseforsale.weebly. com, 6977-0255 380m2 property over water 4 apartments and dock. Good income. $250,000 Call 6218 3219 TITLED BEACHFRONT LOT Next to the best hotel on Bastimentos. Build on land or sea. Contact John 6561-9462 BEACHFRONT VILLA TITLED HOUSE On the windward side of Bastimentos island. Surf, fish or dive just steps away. City water and electric. Beautiful inside and out. Contact John 6561-9462. TITLED LOTS ON BASTIMENTOS 500 to 1200 sq mts. Incredible sea and mountain views. Located above Bastimentos town.

Financing available. $38 TO $49K Call JB: 6583-0037 www. BOATS & ACCESSORIES 35FT HOUSEBOAT Completely Rebuilt, 90hp Yamaha 4 stroke, complete duerhaul, asking $18,000, Inquires call Ricardo at 6478-6765 NEW 22’ SELFBAILING CENTER CONSOLE Your engine or mine. Call for Photos and specs. 6480-6325 earlmeck@ NEW 15’ NANACORE PANGA Self-bailing with console, Call for photos and specs 6480-6325 22’ X-WIDE CENTER CONSOLE US built, 150HP, Bimini top. Call for photos and specs. 6480-6325 INFLATABLE FOR SALE New inflatable with or without 15HP motor. Call 6480-6325 earlmeck@ FISHING BOAT FOR SALE 27FT Boston Whaler set up for fishing. Boat available with or without engines. Call 6480-6325 30’ eduardono, 115 Suzuki (800h) Call for photos and specs 6480-6325 23’ panga, 75 yamaha (march ‘13) Call for photos and specs 6480-6325 18’ sport boat US built Center console, 85hp yamaha Call for photos and specs 6480-6325 PANGA FOR SALE

20 foot wooden panga very good condition. Always kept under boat house roof. Very stable and quiet in rough water. No fiberglass slap. Locking front hold. will handle 30-70 hp motor. $1000 6690-0766 18FT CATAMARAN FOR SALE Twin 4-Stroke 50HP Yamaha, low hours. Contact Earl Meck 64806325 21’ EXQUISITE PANGA 140HP Suzuki, Call for photo and specs. 64806325 FOR RENT APARTMENT FOR RENT

1BR, 1Bath, Newly furnished, wifi, satellite TV, A/C, La Cabana area. $800 per month long term. Call Barry 64996317 APARTMENT FOR RENT Fully equipped, $400 per month Call 6246-2105 house over the water FOR RENT Available for $700 per month. Call 6218-3219 For rent long term Cabin 2 miles from town road to Bluff. Across street from beautiful beaches. Call: 6713-7310 no smokers. $600-month HOTEL LULA’S BED & BREAKFAST $50-60 per night; Private Bath, Air Conditioning / WIFI Hotspot 757-9057 EFFICIENCY APARTMENT Excellent security, WIFI, Private bath and kitchen, $350 per month. 67250429 or kroutkw@yahoo. com LONG-TERM RENTAL ON PRIVATE ISLAND In Bahia Honda. $600, single - $700/couple per month plus electric. 2 units available. Adults only. Wifi, A/C, hot water, dock. Call 6915-2040 or email Cayodelsolbocas@aol. com


MISCELLANEOUS SAFE HOME SECURITY SYSTEMS OF PANAMA www.safehomepanama. net GSM Wireless Systems, no monthly fees, no land line. Calls up to 6 numbers with built in cell phone, siren, panic button. Also have GPS Tracking Units, Video cameras, Alarms for Elderly.

Nature Air tickets to San Jose Costa Rica--Bocas. Normally priced at $215 one way , for sale for $160. Contact Carmen or Sasha at Hotel Palma Royale or call 757-9979 Bugged? It doesn’t have to be this way! We can insect-proof (chitras included) your whole building or just your bedroom. No job too small. bocasironcurtain@ 6835-6683

Important phone numbers - Bocas del Toro Fire (Bomberos)


Bocas Hospital


Almirante Hospital

758-3745 / 758-3286

Changuinola Hospital


Port Authority




Bocas Marine Tours


Electric Company


Cable & Wireless


Direct TV


Banco Nacional


Directory Information


Air Panama






Police (Policia)

104 / 757-9217 / 9485

The Solar Biz


SGT. Díaz


Cpl. Sánchez




The Bocas Breeze




Bocas island receives over 100,000 visitors per year

• 1 visitor stays on average 5-8 days • 1 visitor consumes on averages 5-8 drinks per day • 1 visitor can produce up to 64 bottles and/or cans during their stay




THE RECYCLING PROGRAM CANNOT CONTINUE WITHOUT DONATIONS We need your donation to cover the costs of labor, collection, compaction and transportation.





2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20




• Grouping together, we all pay a fraction of what we would pay for our own container. • Delivery right to your door or dock! • Each space 40’’ x 40’’ x 80’’ with a


maximum load of 2.000 pounds for ONE LOW PRICE!


2121 Sixth Street, Bocas Town, Isla Colon 507-757-7233 or 507-6949-3389 or

The Bocas Breeze April 2014  

Every day is Earth Day in Bocas del Toro. Sixty minute interview with the current mayor of Bocas, Dr. Joe Anderson, before he leaves office....

The Bocas Breeze April 2014  

Every day is Earth Day in Bocas del Toro. Sixty minute interview with the current mayor of Bocas, Dr. Joe Anderson, before he leaves office....