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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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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Featured on PermanentlyPanama.com

Featured on PermanentlyPanama.com

Meet Alice.

panama blogs

She’s a friend of mine. Coronado-based, this surfer/writer chick has recently set up a website titled “Permanently Panama”, which looks pretty awesome and is encouraging me to get myself a .com for this heap of bones!

Basically, she’s a travel-happy kind of girl and likes to write about the sometimes awesome and occasionally not so awesome things about choosing to live in Panama as a foreigner. Go there and give it a read if you’re interested in the following:

– Beaches
– Surfing
– Panama listicles
– Irreverent humour
– Pictures of scantily clad young lady(ies). No, not like that. You perv!

Go give her some love as she has added me to her list of awesome blogs and one good turn requires another!

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!


New Years and Looking Back

Happy New Year to everyone who reads my blog! I hope, wherever you are in the world, that you’re planning big things for 2014 and doing all the travelling, relaxing, lovin’, and socializing that you want to do!

New years panama 2014

Cheers to 2014!

I looked back at this year and realized I had come a long, long way since the beginning of 2013! This year I – Continue reading

December Photos of Panama

A busy month for me with work, Ayudarte, and socializing – plus Christmas! This was my first ever Panamanian Christmas, which will appear in another blog soon. For now, enjoy the photos!

jungle in panama city

Obarrio, the business district of Panama City, still has outcrops of verdant green.

This is one of the times I realise that Panama is a city in flux, as there are still large swathes of brownfield site even in the most developed parts of the city. It’s beautiful, with all those trees and reclaimed concrete structures overgrown by ferns and grass.

Panama City Sunset

Sunset over Panama City, stretching from Costa del Este to Punta Pacifica.

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Germany Loves Panama


Apparently I get a silly amount of traffic from Germany, followed closely by Panama and the UK. Not really a surprise as I have spent a fair amount of time in all of those countries!

Meanwhile the above picture is of the Bala Beach resort, the first of its kind on the Caribbean coast of Panama. Beforehand there had only been the tropical playground of Bocas del Toro. It looks pretty snazzy and is partially complete – the picture I took was for their corporate website. Can’t wait to see it finished and grab a room. Oh, and Beach facing restaurant? heck yes!


James Bloomfield