The 11 Best Images of the Panama Canal Centenario

I saw so many incredible images of the Panama Canal and its 100 year history of serving as the shortest route between Atlantic and Pacific, that I had to share the best ones! Check these out and click them for higher resolution.

Estrella Online canal cake

A gigantic cake in the shape of the Panama Canal locks, this was snapped by Estrella Online during the celebrations taking place near the Panama Canal.

Alfredo Jimenez Clement

A view of the U.S. development on the banks of the Panama Canal, this photo was shared by Alfredo Jimenez Clement.

Panama Canal containers from Alfredo Jimenez Clement F

Containers stacked alongside the Panama Canal as seen from a helicopter. Alfredo Jimenez Clement.

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Costa Rica Photos from My Last Trip

By James Bloomfield

I’m heading to Costa Rica on Thursday for a short border run/friend’s wedding/insane photo trip and remembered that I had never posted any photos of my first short trip to San Jose. Enjoy the snapshot into Avenida Central circa 2011!

avenida central san jose

An old man in Avenida Central, San Jose, Costa Rica. He painted these tiny little pictures and, when I asked him if it was ok to snap a shot of him, he wished me luck. “Suerte”

avenida central san jose

Newspaper vendors in San Jose, Costa Rica. They were great fun – I’ve unfortunately lost all my other photos of them!

costa rica san jose

A street in San Jose, Costa Rica.

avenida central costa rica

A man pulling a loaded cart in San Jose, Costa Rica.

avenida central san jose

A man pushes a barrel with meats hanging from it. An odd sight.

graffiti costa rica

Graffiti in the suburbs of San Jose, Costa Rica. Lots of cool graffiti here.

buildings san jose costa rica

A building in San Jose, Costa Rica.

January 2014 Photos of the Month

By James Bloomfield

January has been a really busy month for me, with a bunch of travel and work dominating my time. I went to Colon a couple of times, travelled to the Portobelo National Park (images to come), and walked around the city a bunch. I’m always keen to get strolling around more and my new work arrangements should allow me to do this a lot more easily – meaning more images here!

I decided to include some of my Costa Rica images in another post and keep the bulk of my January images here.

Check out the pictures below and let me know what you think!

Casco Viejo, Panama

A battered red door in Panama City’s old town, Casco Viejo.

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Visit to the Mercado Publico, San Felipe

By James Bloomfield

Ah, the Mercado.

Hub of working class Panamanian life (especially in the early morning), this is one of my favourite places to spend an hour or so. I pretty much divide my time between shopping for vegetables and necessary household items (coconut oil, I’m looking at you!), chatting to stall owners, and eating at the insanely good value central cafe.

shopping in Panama

A typical interior stall at the Mercado Publico de San Felipe.

Inside, the mercado publico is divided into 4 or 5 main sections, each containing a separate type of food or product. Meat, vegetables, food stuffs like honey and coco rayado (shaved coconut), get their own sections, while a large food court dominates the center of the building. Continue reading

central america slang

Words that Piss off Panamanians and Why You Need to Stop Using Them

By James Bloomfield

Earlier this year, I asked my facebook chums to weigh in on something that I had been struggling to get to grips with properly. It was something that may seem like a non-issue for some, while for others it might be an everyday issue that frustrates and angers them.

I’m talking about words that we as foreigners use to label Panamanians.

Specifically, how slang and phrases can be interpreted or used as insults in everyday conversations held in Panama. You have to be able to criticize things to make correct choices, yet I sometimes think that the frequent use of these words is indicative of a rush to judgement. So why ARE they so offensive and why should we stop using them?

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porto diao panama 2014 salsipuedes rally


Tomorrow afternoon (Sunday 12th January) I will be participating in the Sal Si Puedes Rally event! Organized by Porto Diao, a cultural organization run by a pretty amazing small team, this is basically a series of mini-challenges spread around the entirety of Panama City. They’re going to be pretty bonkers apparently, with the list of must-have items on the list including body paint, trash bags, an intimate understanding of hashtags, and energy drinks.

This, plus a lock in bar in the evening?

It’s going to be madness. Thanks El Sitio Del Casco for making that happen!

I can’t wait.

porto diao panama 2014 salsipuedes rally
If anyone wants to follow the chaos on Twitter, please follow me at @JamesElwynB and our team handle at @ranasdoradas – we’ll be tweeting pictures, videos, and live commentary of all of our misadventures.

All of this while I struggle with intense, time driven Spanish in a large group? Sounds intense! And fun! And intense!