Ha mejorado el arte perdido del reciclaje en Panamá?

Escrito por: Terry Richmeier.

Traducido por: Generoso Guerra.

Aquí en Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast hacemos nuestro mejor esfuerzo para proteger el medio ambiente a toda costa. Nosotros reutilizamos, reducimos y reciclamos todo lo que podemos.

Cuando por primera vez llegamos a Panamá aterrizamos en el Aeropuerto Internacional de Tocúmen en la ciudad de Panamá. Habíamos ordenado un taxi para que nos recogíera y nos trasladaría hasta nuestro hotel. En el camino pudimos apreciar pilas de basura alrededor de la ciudad y aumentando al llegar a las barriadas de la parte noroeste de la ciudad. Cuando nos mudamos a Boquete, Panamá notamos el mismo patron de basura en el área. También nos llego la noticia de que en la ciudad de Panamá las playas tenían el mismo aspecto cubiertas con basura. Sorprendentemente, la mayoría de estas pilas de basura no existen hoy en día!, Así como la basura en camino a Boquete. Se aprecia un mejor futuro en relación al reciclaje y control de basura en las calles de Panamá. Hay mucha más conciencia y esfuerzo en marcha a limpiar los alrededores, están apareciendo programas de voluntaries cada día. Aquí les dejo un mensaje de nuestra ex huésped Joyce Kinnear:

En la mañana del domingo previo a Halloween, Me desperté a las 5:30 a.m. para unirme al grupo de reciclaje “Boquete Recycling” y comenzar nuestra tarea de “limpiar Boquete” a las 7 a.m.. El grupo entero se dividió en al menos 4 grupos. Recogímos basura por al menos 2 horas (7 bolsas con nuestro pequeño grupo), también una bolsa de metals reciclables y botellas de plástico reciclable. Pudímos quedarnos más tiempo pero teníamos otro evento al cual asistir.

 Boquete está intentando de que la “reutilización, reducción, reciclaje y limpieza” sea una parte más de la vida diaria. Ha sido difícil obtener el servicio de reciclaje en pueblo tan lejos de todo en Panamá. Siempre hemos dicho que en Boquete estamos al final de la línea de distribución y eso incluye el reciclaje.

 Fue muy alentador el ver muchas personas reuniendose tan temprano en la mañana para recolectar basura y reciclarla a lo largo de la vía principal del pueblo. Tuvímos muchas personas ayudándonos y agradeciendo; Una joven se quedó con nuestro equipo por una hora ayudando a recoger basura justamente antes de salir del pueblo y continuar con su travesía.

Ahora solo nos queda averiguar como devolver las botellas de agua y cerveza a su debida empresa para obtener una remuneración a nuestros esfuezos de reciclaje dado que sus productos son la mayoría de desperdicios. ¿No sería eso significativo?.

Otro ex huésped llamado Colin el cual vive en la Ciudad de Panamá, junto a un grupo de amigos han empezado a recoger basura de las playas. Dicho suceso fue descubierto por los ciudadanos y se ha convertido en un esfuerzo mutuo de limpieza. Las playas empiezan a parecer playas nuevamente.

Aquí en Boquete como podrás ver los esfuerzos están dando resultados. Quizás algún día tendremos nuestra propia compañía de reciclaje en acción.

El Gobierno Nacional de Panamá recientemente firmó una nueva ley que dará inicio en el año 2019, no habrán bolsas plásticas permitadas en los comercios de Panamá! otro gran avance.

Estamos aquí en Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast, continuamos con la reutilización, reducción y reciclaje con lo que podemos. Desde recoger la basura de nuestro jardín hasta la reducción de uso de recursos valiosos y reciclando al compartir con los programas de la comunidad.

 

 

Ven y hospédate con nosotros, dejanos saber que te gustaría que hicieramos para salvar nuestro medio ambiente. Detalles como dejar una nota en la puerta dejandonos saber que te gustaría reutilizer las toallas o dejar la señal de no molestar en la puerta. Cualquier manera que prefieras ayudarnos a reutilizar, reducir y reciclar.

 

 

 

Do I need vaccinations before my trip to Panama?

Blog by Debra Harwood

 

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Travelers to Central America from North America, Europe and Australia/New Zealand generally have more questions about what kinds of vaccinations, if any, they need to have done prior to their journey to Panama and other countries in Central America. Travelers are looking for a peace-of-mind, especially if their journey takes them to some remote regions. The best thing to do is to contact your local “travel clinic” first. They will most probably have the latest information about any kind of virus outbreak warnings and recommendations from agencies like the CDC (for the travelers from the U.S.). Here is what we have found in our own research from talking to other people and doing our internet searches:

Routine vaccinesThese vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot.  You should be up to date on these no matter even if you travel or not.

Most travelers should check into the following before travel:

 Hepatitis AThis vaccine is recommended because you can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in Panama, regardless of where you are eating or staying.

 TyphoidYou can get typhoid through contaminated food or water in Panama so this vaccine is recommended for most travelers, especially if you are staying with friends or relatives, visiting smaller cities or rural areas, or if you are an adventurous eater.

 

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Some travelers should check into the following:

 Hepatitis BYou can get hepatitis B through sexual contact, contaminated needles, and blood products, so this vaccine is recommended if you might have sex with a new partner, get a tattoo or piercing, or have any medical procedures while on your trip.

RabiesAlthough rabies can be found in bats and other mammals in Panama, it is not a major risk to most travelers. Rabies vaccine is recommended for only these groups:

  • Travelers involved in outdoor and other activities in remote areas that put them at risk for bat bites or other animal bites (such as adventure travel and caving).People who will be working with or around animals (such as wildlife – professionals and researchers).

Yellow FeverYellow fever is a risk in certain parts of Panama, so depending on what areas of Panama you plan on exploring you may need to have a yellow fever vaccine.  For example, remote areas of the Bocas del Toro, Darien Region or San Blas Islands.

MalariaWhen traveling in Panama, you should avoid mosquito bites to prevent malaria. You may need to take prescription medicine before, during, and after your trip to prevent malaria, depending on your travel plans, such as where you are going, when you are traveling, and if you are spending a lot of time outdoors or sleeping outside. Bringing some mosquito repellent with you is a good idea.

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Remember some vaccinations involve a series of shots over several months so spending time researching in advance is wise.  In addition, ask your doctor what vaccines and medicines you need based on where you are going, how long you are staying, what you will be doing in that country. Don’t let the fear of a little needle scare you, it only hurts for a second!!!

Most seasoned travelers know to pack a few meds such as Ibuprofen, Imodium, and Antihistamines along with bug repellant, sun block and band aids. It is always good to be prepared for your trip so you feel relaxed and ready for the journey!

So come explore Panama! We are a country of beautiful beaches, breathtaking cloud forests, dense jungles, a world class city and of course the Panama Canal which is one of the man-made wonders of the world!

Remember when in Boquete come stay with us at Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast where we will treat you like familyJ

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Celebrating our one-year Anniversary at Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast

Blog by Terry Richmeier & Manzar Lari

 

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            January 10th, 2015, marks the one-year anniversary of Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast! We have had a joyous and productive first year that has been full of growth and pleasure in having guests make Casa de Montaña their home away from home.

            It all started with our open house just days before we opened. We had around 350 people attend over a 5-hour period – it was mind-boggling! Our first guests, Panamonte Estates residents, wanted to stay with us to check out the rain shower and see how it worked and the open floor plan of the bathroom. This couple was looking at possibly remodeling their home to incorporate something similar. Along with our local guests, we had a lovely couple from Amsterdam that joined us and a couple from the Chiriquí region. This turned out to be a very successful opening night!

            Just days after our opening, we were lucky enough to have the ex-president’s staff and right hand man and his family stay with us. They were here during the flower festival and had rented the whole Bed and Breakfast. It was an incredible compliment to have them here during that time.

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            We sponsored several events and organizations last year that included Amigos de Animales (friends of the animals), Buenos Vecinos de Boquete (good neighbors of Boquete), Boquete Knitters Group, Boquete Jazz & Blues Festival and Bid 4 Boquete. Sometimes we provided our time and skills and other times we offered resources and money. We are proud that we have become part of a community that really cares about its people and gives them a helping hand if they need it.

Our staff has been with us since almost the beginning and we have enjoyed tremendously working side by side with them. They are working as if they owned a share in the company and they are what has made us successful is such a short period of time! Although not hired to do multiple tasks, they have all stepped up to the plate to begin to learn kitchen duties, small maintenance, gardening and office tasks that go beyond their comfort level. They do this seamlessly, out of their own initiative and without complaints. We are truly blessed. All of this hopefully results in our guests having a comfortable and pleasant stay!

We had started out by hiring a landscaping company to put in flowers, shrubs, trees and grass since the land around our home really needed to “come to life”. Recently we hired a proper gardener with many years of experience to work part-time for us. Our goal is to continue to create and maintain the garden so that it gives our guests a feeling of serenity and beauty throughout our compound.

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We have added a small store featuring coffees from different coffee fincas and even bags of Geisha coffee that our guests can conveniently purchase and take with them after their stay. We also have some snack items that our guests can purchase. We have developed a tour (Boquete Overview Tour) designed for those who are looking to relocate to Boquete. This tour gives our guests an overview of the neighborhoods around Boquete, including some planned and gated communities.

One thing that we did right, at least in our eyes, is our Social Hour in which we have a chance to get to know more about our guests, their travels and their personalities. Social Hour has created a space where our guests have had a chance to share what they did earlier in the day, compare notes, and just relax and get to know each other. It has been amazing to realize that we have many different countries represented during most Social Hour gatherings, making the world just a little bit smaller and a more wonderful place for all of us!

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We began the process of keeping our guests informed with newsletters, emails, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Our goal is to inform our guests about what to expect when they come to Boquete, Panama, as well as what tours and adventures are available to them.

This has also been a year of growth for Boquete as well with a new president and a new mayor coming into office and a new vegetable market being created with apartments and stores above it. Copa Airlines reduced fare flights have started as of January 15th, 2015, direct from Tocumen instead of the international travelers having to drive over to Albrook Airport.

The new mayor has begun to remodel the park and several new restaurants have opened such as “Nikitos”, “Mi Jardin Coffee Bar and Café” and “Stop & Go”. There is a beautification project all throughout the town with stores being painted and sidewalks being fixed. New stores and have opened up such as “Chox Chocolates”. Several stores have been remolded, expanded or relocated such as “Video Club”, “Sandwich Factory” and “Sugar and Spice”.

It has been a year of some wonderful changes in Boquete and Panama in general. We are excited about the upcoming changes for the coming year. We will continue to make our guests a number one priority. At Casa de Montaña, we are looking forward to our future guests coming to visit and make our Bed and Breakfast their new home, at least for a short time!

Helping Others!

Blog by Terry Richmeier

Helph OtherYes, our main job is to take care of you while you are staying here at Casa de Montaña. We want to make sure that you have the best experience possible and that includes the people that we partner with to set up tours, breakfast and our social hour.

And, with that said, we also want you to know that we are involved in our community as well. Our entire team is dedicated to spending our time, talents and money working with different non-profit organizations. If you are interested in volunteering for a day or two (or more?) while you are visiting Boquete, please let us know. Here is a current list of what we are involved with:

1 Amigos de Animales (Friends of the Animals). This program raises money that is used to spay and neuter dogs and cats in Boquete and the surrounding Chiriquí regions. With many of the animals, they do not have homes or owners and are still a part of our surroundings and neighborhoods. Amigos de Animales has a staff of veterinarians who will volunteer their time to spay and neuter these animals. They also provide this service for furry friends of our local Panamanians and Ex-Pats alike. When possible, they ask for a $10.00 donation to cover the costs of supplies, anesthesia and all other expenses. Over the past several years, the quality of life for our four legged friends has increased dramatically! We have attached the website here to learn more: http://www.fadab.org/

2. A partner to Amigos de Animales, ARF (Adopt, Rescue, and Foster), it does an amazing job in finding the owners of their new pets. We witnessed a motherless kitten that was less than three weeks old that was rescued and fed every two hours for several days straight. The end results were astonishing! We’ve attached their website to learn more: http://www.arf-boquete.com/

3. Another area that we are involved in is Buenos Vecinos de Boquete (Good Neighbors of Boquete). This program is similar to a food bank. Money is raised to buy food from a local vendor at a largely reduced price. This food consists of very basic staples such as rice, beans, oil etc. Several of the locals do not have a stove to cook on and will cook on an open wood fire. Others are handicapped and are in need of more support from the outside community. This program connects with another program called “The Handicapped Foundation of Boquete” (which also receives donated food from Buenos Vecinos de Boquete). Casa de Montaña has volunteered to fill bags of food and our staff has helped deliver the food donations to the people who are in need of it. Many of our staff, being raised in Boquete, are familiar with the families and feel that this is a great way that they can support their community. Casa de Montaña is also going to be part of the efforts to raise money for supporting Buenos Vecinos de Boquete. The cost for providing monthly food rations is currently at $360.00 per family per year. Here is the website for Buenos Vecinos de Boquete with more information: http://www.buenosvecinosdeboquete.com.pa/

Side Note: Here is an article of thanks that goes out to those who support the Handicapped Foundation of Boquete. http://vive-boquete.blogspot.com/2014/05/news-boquete-fwd-thank-you-from.html

There are many more volunteer opportunities in Boquete and as Casa de Montaña strives to deliver an even better experience for you during your stay, we could help arrange for some volunteer opportunities for you if you have an interest. Our community would welcome your support and you could become a part of our community during your visit, leading to a much richer and fuller experience of Boquete!

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