October 30, 2009

Panama: Bridge of Life - Museum of Biodiversity.

     This is one of the most anticipated projects by Panamanians: The Museum of Biodiversity. It’s an architecture masterpiece, with a cost of $ 60 million, designed by the famous Frank Gehry, which will open in 2011. It will be located in a narrow land between the Panama Bay and the Panama Canal, known as the Amador’s Causeway. The site size is approximately 35,000 m2, from which close to 4,100 m2 will be occupied by the museum’s building, and the rest will be a landscaped park with trees and native aquatic plants of the country.

      The museum will be a journey to the past, where visitors relive the formation of the Isthmus of Panama, geologic event that separated the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Thus, as Frank Gehry, together with several collaborators from various scientific fields, professionals from different areas, and Panamanian academic institutions , have created a masterpiece on the natural and cultural diversity that has evolved in the Isthmus of Panama. In short: a fusion of science and art.

     The museum's mission is to provide an adventure of knowledge about the geological history and formation of the Isthmus of Panama three million years ago and the events that occurred in the global climate and sea to separate the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and land, the two continents together to form the bridge to the great American biotic exchange.
     The museum will feature eight galleries:
1. The Ramp of Life:  the origin, evolution and their classification.
2. Panamarama: ecosystems or  rich flora and fauna abodes visually presented through 14 screens.
3. The Isthmus’s formation: modeled sculpture of this unique geological event.
4. The encounter of Two Worlds: the animals’ migration from the North and South of the Americas after the formation of the land bridge that joined them.
5. Culture and Nature in the Isthmus: enclosure that collect human history in Panama and its interaction with the environment.
6. The Oceans Divided: two aquariums, one representing the Caribbean Sea and the other the Pacific Ocean products of the separation of the seas as the land barrier was erected between them.
7. The Interdependence Gallery: allegory and exhibitions whose contents express the interdependence of living organisms is an essential attribute for the preservation of life on the planet.
8. The Panama Gallery: exhibition will show visitors the location of our wealth: the seas and lands, ethnic groups, parks, recreation and entertainment places, museums, and other national offers.
     The responsible persons for the design of this magnificent museum are:

Architectural design by Frank Gehry.
      It is one of the world's most famous architects. He received the Pritzker Architecture Prize, the highest global recognition of architecture, and the National Medal of Arts.  Among his creations are the building of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, his most famous work, Vitra Design Museum in Weil-am-Rhein, Germany, the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis, Minn., the Experience Music Project in Seattle, Washington, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California.

Museum Exhibitions by Bruce Mau Designs.
     They specialize in graphic design and collaborated with some of the leading architects, artists, writers, curators, academics, investors, businesses and institutions in various projects that are recognized internationally for creating innovative designs.

Botanic Park Design by Edwina von Gal.
     She’s a landscape designer and has done several commercial and residential projects in various parts of the world. She has received merit awards from the AIA and the ASLA, and Quill & Trowel Award of the Garden Writers Association of America in 1998.

    The museum's offices are on Amador Causeway, known as "Cause Way", Duplex 147. The telephone numbers are: (507) 314-1395 - (507) 314-1396. Here you could see the scale model of the ambitious project and more detailed information. And look who visited the offices of the museum when they were visiting Panama:  Mr. and Mrs. Smith ... Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.


     I leave you with a video that explains better what will be the Museum of Biodiversity, Panama and knowledge to the world.

October 29, 2009

Crossing The Panama Canal

   The Panama Canal is considered the eighth wonder of the world. Why? Can you imagine sailing a boat 26 meters above sea level? This video is a journey through the Panama Canal, starting from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean. I found it on You Tube. Enjoy the landscape!

October 21, 2009

Panama: The path less traveled (3). Casco Antiguo.

     “El Casco Antiguo de la Ciudad de Panamá” (Panama City’s Old Town) is now Humanity’s Heritage, proclaimed by UNESCO. It’s the Panama City’s site that preserves the oldest buildings.  Its construction began, after pirates destroyed what is known today as “Panama La Vieja” (The Old Panama) in 1671.  During the military dictatorship, the buildings were neglected. But thanks to democracy that exists today in the country, governments have been invested in its reconstruction and maintenance for future generations.

October 20, 2009

"Fiesta Alrededor del Mundo 2009" - "Party Around the World 2009".

     Fiesta Alrededor del Mundo (“Party around the World”) is an event that takes place every year, where the participating countries, led by their embassies in Panama, are assigned to a stand where they sell food of their region to raise funds for charity. It had been so successful, that now they are selling handcrafts and other products from all countries. In addition, the stands are decorated with folk motifs of each country.
     Jack was there and you don’t know what I ate: first, I ate a German sausage with bread, you could add ketchup and mustard, but I decided to eat it without sauces and enjoy the taste of the sausage itself. It was good. Then in Mexico’s stand, I got some “nachos”. It was a dish of white corn tortillas, with a bean sauce and an avocado sauce, and white melted cheese above. You can’t imagine it... you had to be there.
     I kept going about the place and devoted myself to taking pictures of all the possible stands, but there were so many people who stopped in front of the stands. I went to the Chilean’s stand to get a Chilean chicken empanadas and a "mil hojas” (thousand leaves), Chilean desert which consists of nuts and caramel layers. You can see it, it’s in the photographs.
     I can say that almost all best known countries were there. I remember: United States, Canada, Mexico, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Colombia, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Korea, Japan, Switzerland, Russia, Germany, Italy, Finland, Sweden, Holland, Ireland, Great Britain and many others.
     This event was organized by “Caravana de Asistencia Social” http://www.caravanasocial.com/ (Social Assistance Caravan), a nonprofit association composed of Diplomatic Corps and Consular ladies of Panama and Panamanian and foreigner residents ladies. The offices are located at 51th Street, Federico Boyd Ave., Edificio Pedreschi & Pedreschi and the phone number is (507) 223-6078.
     I can’t wait until the next Fiesta Alrededor del Mundo in 2010.

October 19, 2009

ATP's Museum of Biodiversity Ad.

This video is from the Panama’s Tourism Authority (ATP). I couldn’t get the English version, but I translated the content.

“Three million years ago, an isthmus emerged from the waters,
creating two oceans and joining a continent.
That strip of land is today the country with the most important biodiversity sample of the Americas.
That country is Panama, and only Panama
will be the home of the Biodiversity Museum,
designed by Frank Gehry.
A unique work in Latin America.
Panama, it will never leave you.”

October 16, 2009

Biodiversity Museum: Frank Gehry's architectural design.

In 2011, The Biodiversity Museum will be inaugurated, a Frank Gehry’s architectural design. But, who is Frank Gehry?  I leave you with these videos from You Tube.

October 15, 2009

Blog Action Day 09.

     Today, I join with the voice of thousands of bloggers who write about the same issue on the same day: climate change.
     Panama, perhaps, is not one of the major environmental pollutants that contribute to the greenhouse effect, but it’s a country that does not escape the consequences that is hindering the surface of our planet because of pollution from stack industries. The greenhouse effect causes energy emitted by the earth escapes to space, causing cooling in the area and the death of many animals.
     Climate Change ... reminds me of Science classes in school, models and slides from my classmates. But the climate is changing faster. Panama is a country that does not often have tornadoes or hurricanes as the Caribean Islands or Florida, or the center of United States. But between 2008 and 2009, we regularly had the presence of these atmospheric phenomena, causing damage in populated areas, where zinc sheets rooftops released by high winds and trees falling with their roots. You can imagine what could cause a larger phenomenon in Panama, a country knowen for its abundant plant and animal biodiversity, and a lush tropical rainforest, a haven for all these species.
     I hope tomorrow, when I will be old, can still contemplate the wonders that I'm enjoying at this time in my country. I wish to convey my message to ANAM (National Environment Authority) and the Foreign Affairs Ministry, who are going to the meeting that will have all world leaders to discuss climate change in December 2009, make their voices heard to those countries that pollute highest percentage in the world. Be watchdogs on project performance and pollution reduction agreements that are done by the countries.
     I urge everyone to cooperate with environmental practices so that our children will inherit and enjoy the natural beauty that offers our planet today.

Visit: http://www.blogactionday.org/

October 14, 2009

Margarita Henríquez

     Margarita Henríquez was born on April 17th, 1991, in La Villa de Los Santos, Los Santos province.
     She began her singing career with her father, Juancín Henriquez, and his typical music group.
     She won many prizes in folk song competitions in categories such as “saloma”, religious chant, “tamborito”, in the “Premios Zarate 2005” (Zarate Awards 2005). In the same year, she won "Proyecto Estrella 20-30”, a youth singing contest organized by the “Club Activo 20-30” of Panama, a non-profit organization.
     She was honored by her people as "Señorita 10 de Noviembre" in 2005, a patriotic celebration held at La Villa de Los Santos. Then, she joined MEDCOM, a local television network where she was co-host on a show called "Aires de Mi Tierra".
     Her greatest achievement was winning Latin American Idol 2008, a singing contest celebrated in Buenos Aires, Argentina, thanks to her talent and the support of all the Panamanian people. Each of Margarita’s interpretation was assessed by the jury as very good. We remember Jon Secada’s famous frase: "Bien canta'o, Margarita" (Well sung, Margarita). According to a local newspaper, Margarita won by 75.3% of the votes sent via cell phone to her competitor, María José Castillo from Costa Rica.
     Now Margarita has her first CD titled "Margarita" and has ambitious plans in the music industry. Good luck, Margarita!!!

October 11, 2009

Panama: The path less traveled (2).

     This video reminds me the Jurassic Park movie, where you could appreciate the beauty of the lush tropical rainforest. In Panama, there are protected areas called National Parks where tourists from all over the world make tours to get to know what really is a tropical rainforest: a place full of mystery, variety of exotic plants and abundant wildlife characteristic of the place. There are also many places where ecotourists can have an incredible adventure, and maybe visit places that have never been traveled.
     In Panama, there are ecotourism and extreme tourism agencies giving service to take people to these kinds of experiences and have contact with nature in its virgin state.

October 09, 2009

EXPOMANUALIDADES 2009: XVI Art and Craft Fair.

     It's amazing what human hands can create.
     In Atlapa Convention Center, from Oct 2 to Oct 4 2009, took place EXPOMANUALIDADES 2009, the XVI Art and Craft Fair. This exhibition brought together several companies that promote handcraft products, were was highlighted Aileen Art World Company as the event organizer.
     I was impressed by the stand of Fundación Laboral de Jóvenes y Adultos con Discapacidad", where handicap people create craft products and these are sold. In the first pictures you can appreciate their stand.
     There were other stands showing painted wood art with child themes, handmade dolls, jewelry, paintings, "origamis", wooden birdhouses, painted aluminum buckets with ecological designs, hand wovens in great variety, ceramics, and as an exception , ornamental plants and flowers. In short, everything that can be considered craft was there.
     The Panamanian art were also stand out over the handcraft: the famous "Molas", multicolored fabrics highlighting panamanian flora and fauna , created by the Kunas, one of our indians tribes; feathers and ceramic potteries painted in pretty colors that seemed to become alive.
     Food stands with a variety of dishes were at the back of the fair. I was able to try “siu mai” (4 pieces per order). You may wonder, what is "siu mai"? Well, it is a pork and mushroom dumpling that is served at Dim Sum (Chinese breakfast). But you can order "siu mai" at any time in Chinese fast food restaurants in Panama.
     Before leaving the fair, I could see a Panama’s folk dance group interpretation, which the audience loved it.

October 08, 2009

Going down to Panama

The following video is from the song Going Down to Panama, written and composed by Alex Robinson (Slim) and David Seitz (Shorty). You can visit their website: http://www.shortyandslim.com/, where you can find other songs and cd’s inspired by their Panamanian roots.

October 07, 2009

Annie The Musical

     In “El Teatro en Círculo”, from 9 to 30 September 2009, Annie The Musical was on stage, book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin. This time, its production was conducted by Alida Gerbaud de Fábrega, direction by Bruce Quinn, and musical direction by Dino Nugent. I can tell you it was very good.
     The play is about an orphan named Annie who lived in an orphanage in New York. She shared, played, and also did all the building’s cleaning responsibilities with other orphans like her, led by Miss Hannigan, a evil woman in charge of the orphanage.
     On day, Annie had luck when Mr. Warbuck, a billionaire, decides to share with an orphan for a week at his home. In this way, Annie enters the life of this billionaire filling him with joy, like all who worked in Mr. Warbuck’s mansion, who considered the most important thing was making money.
     Finally, Annie is adopted by Mr. Warbuck, who falls in love with his assistant Grace Farrel, and spend together the best Christmas eve of their lives.
     Here I leave you with a photos video and original music from Annie The Musical in Panama. I hope you enjoy it...you will.

October 06, 2009

Our National Costume and Fantasy Dresses: Winners on Beauty Peagents.

   National costumes are indicative of the culture and folklore of the origin of the place. In Panama, the national costume of Panamanian women is called “Pollera”.
   Panama has excelled in many international beauty pageants by the laborious work of their artisans, expressed in every “pollera” or fantasy dress culture, folklore and history.
   Thus in 1986, the Panamanian delegate at the Miss Universe Pageant, Gilda Garcia Lopez won Best National Costume Trophy with a “pollera”, embroidered in black thread and flowers design patterns. Then, other Panamanian hopefuls to the universal beauty medal, have chosen to wear the “pollera” on future editions, leaving Panama prideful with each pollera’s flying on the Miss Universe runway. They were: Lia Victoria Borrero, wearing a sewn (“zurcido”)and embroidered pollera in red shades, with orchids and butterflies designs; and Carolina Dementiev, wore a cross stitch embroidered pollera, in red and orange threads.
   Panama has been awarded in beauty events by the fantasy dresses that delegates have worn, similar to those that are made for carnival, in which exotic birds feathers dominate. The artisans are inspired by art, culture and traditions of Panama, as well as flora and fauna. Among the successes that have been obtained making these original designs have been: Miss Universe 2004 Best National Costume, a creation inspired on Indians’ gold art, called “Huacas”, designed by Rogelio Gonzalez; Miss Earth 2008 Best National Costume, costume inspired by the Guaymi Indians’ clothing and pottery designs paintings; in Miss Universe 2009, designer Randol Chin wins best national costume, with a design inspired by Portobelo’s Devils, worn by Diana Broce, Panamanian delegate on that event.
   Finally, Liseth Diaz wins Miss Continente Americano 2009 Best National Costume, wearing a design inspired by the Native Indian princess Anayansi, who helped Vasco Nuñez de Balboa, The South Sea discoverer, now Pacific Ocean. The confection was conducted by Rafael Morán and the gold pieces details were made by Jose Alberto Sosa.