Dear Panama Home readers on this page you will find articles on all aspects of life in Panama, from which schools to choose from to what to do with your leisure time. Please feel free to browse through our articles.

Monthly Archives: February 2015

The academy is an educational institution dedicated to fulfil the needs of children, located in the Western area of Panama City. The Academy was established in May of 2004 in Panama-Pacific

The academy offers an Americanized style of education that goes from PK3 all the way up to middle school. Academy students represent a diversity of economic, social, and cultural backgrounds. The academy serves the international and Panamanian communities. The student body at the academy currently consists of more than 320 students, representing over 10 nationalities.

They are accredited by the Ministry of Education and we are proud to offer one of the best Full-English programs in the area. We are also proud to offer unique services such as day care, private tutoring, after-school education, and extra-curricular activities, all of these at an exceptional value.

This academy was founded in 1997 by a small group of missionaries, pastors, and other parents primarily from the United States. The school began with 29 students enrolled in grades Kindergarten through 8th grade.

Provides a quality, Christian education option to families. The school has grown from the original 29 to over 270 students in grades K4 to 12th grade. The average senior class is 16 students. 95% of graduates enter post-secondary institutions in Panama, US, Canada as well as many other places. The average class size is 23 and the faculty is primarily from the United States with the exception of speciality areas and foreign language classes.

Approximately 30% of our students have Panamanian citizenship. Approximately 45% of the student body would be considered non Panamanian although Panama is considered home. The final 25% would be families who are temporarily in Panama from a variety of countries for diplomacy, banking, humanitarian work, import/export and tourism. The student body is comprised of citizens from countries such as Bolivia, India, Jamaica, China, Japan, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Germany, Mexico, Sweden, Spain, Russia, Canada, South Korea, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, United States, Haiti and Venezuela.

Because the academy is not a bilingual school, students entering First grade through 11th grade must demonstrate a proficiency and fluency in writing, speaking and reading English. The academy does not admit new students into the 12th grade. Students in K4 and K5 may be admitted with a certain level of limitation in English usage. The Spanish language is taught to students in all grade levels.

The academy does admit students with various religious preferences although students and parents must be willing to participate in all aspects of the Christian school program. Parents and students do sign an agreement that they will adhere to and follow the Code of Conduct and understand that the Academy functions under a Biblical Worldview.

This school a is a part of King´s Group, one of the largest and most successful international school groups that deliver the National Curriculum of England and Wales. With over 40 years of experience, our schools create an environment that inspires pupils, giving them the confidence and enthusiasm to achieve the highest possible academic results.

The school follows the English National Curriculum, taught by qualified and experienced British teachers. From September 2012 entry has been open to children from Nursery (aged 3) through to year 5 (aged 9 and 10). After the first year the children in Year 5 will move into Year 6 and in this way each year the school will grow to include older children, right up to IGCSEs and eventually A levels.

Panama offers a very comfortable quality of life whether it is for retirement or for work, in part because the nation is much more developed than most visitors expect. Many are pleasantly surprised by the modernity of Panama and the skyline of skyscrapers that you see on your drive into the city from the airport. All of the amenities that you would find in any modern city are readily available here.

By moving to Panama, it is possible to enjoy the benefits of a developing economy where you can still take a taxi across town for a couple of dollars,  or enjoy dinner for two with a bottle of wine at one of the finest restaurants in Panama city for around $40.

No matter what your taste or budget, you’ll find that Panama offers plenty of quality options.

Here’s a sample monthly budget for two people:

Rental on a two-bedroom apartment in central Panama City): $900 to $1,700

Electricity, Water, Cleaning and Gas combined: $300

Household shopping: $300

Running a small car: $200

Going out (Cinema, Restaurants, Bowling): $150

Phone, TV and internet broadband: $100

There are two state banks in Panama:

The Banco Nacional de Panama with some sixty-six branches
Caja de Ahorros with slightly less at forty-two branches

Private banks are shown below:

BAC International Bank, Inc – 12 branches
Bancafé (Panamá), S.A. – 1 branch
Banco Aliado, S.A. – 1 branch
Banco Azteca (Panamá), S.A. – 7 branches
Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (Panamá), S.A. – 18 branches
Banco Citibank (Panamá), S.A. – 20 branches
Banco Delta, S.A. (BMF) – 1 branch
Banco Pichincha Panamá, S.A. – 1 branch
Banco General, S.A. – 59 branches
Banco Internacional de Costa Rica, S. A. – 1 branch
Banco Panamá, S.A. – 2 branches
Banco Panameño de la Vivienda, S.A. – 21 branches
Banco Trasatlántico, S.A. – 3 branches
Banco Universal, S.A. – 8 branches
Banesco, S.A.- 17 branches
Bank of China Limited – 1 branch
BCT Bank International, S.A. – 1 branch
BNP Paribas Wealth Management – 1 branch
Capital Bank, Inc. – 1 branch
Citibank, N.A. – 4 branches
Credicorp Bank, S.A. – 22 branches
Global Bank Corporation – 29 branches
HSBC Bank (Panamá) – 54 branches
Mega International Commercial Bank Co. Ltd. – 1 branch
Mercantil Bank (Panamá), S.A. – 1 branch
Metrobank, S.A. – 1 branch
MiBanco, S.A. BMF – 6 branches
Multibank, Inc. – 15 branches
ST. George Bank & Company Inc. – 6 branches
The Bank of Nova Scotia – 9 branches
Towerbank International, Inc. – 1 branch

Opening an account in Panama varies greatly from bank to bank. There are a number of banks in Panama that will only require two bank letters of reference plus two personal references from friends in Panama.

Also the time to open an account varies greatly, some banks being able to open an account directly or others where the process can take anything from a couple of days to a month. If the process does take time you will need to be persistent. Make sure that the bank sees you as an important customer and to have the odds on your side the ideal is to make sure that you have all the documents required by Banco Nacional de Panama with you before approaching the bank of your choice. Don’t forget that the documents will expire in ninety days.

It is a good idea to open all the accounts that you are likely to need at the same time, current account, saving account etc

Documents:

For a complete list of all the documents that you will need to open an account plus some detailed guidance please feel free to contact us by email at info@panama-vida.com

Tántalo

Tantalo is an eco design hotel, restaurant and bar located in the heart of the old town, Casco Viejo. Less than a year old, the hotel boasts the only rooftop bar area, drawing locals in with its stunning views of Panama City’s skyline. Much more than a hotel, Tantalo has also cultivated the only ‘green’ wall in Panama City.

Take it up a notch to Encima, the rooftop bar, and sip in the incredible view of the ever-expanding Panama City skyline dotted with skyscrapers in one direction and historic church steeples and roofs on the other.

The Hotel hosts all types of special and private events, as well as local and international entertainment, several nights a week. The Lounge downstairs and Encima are open to all, leaving no excuse not to visit on a regular basis.

Tantalo

The Punta Culebra Nature Centre is a non-profit initiative of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institure that relies on the support of the Smithsonian Foundation of Panama and international institutions. Here you can visit an open-air museum focusing mainly on marine science and education, conservation and interpretation of marine coastal environments.

At the centre individuals can increase their awareness and appreciation of coastal and marine environments in Panama and nearby regions of South and Central America. The aim is to increase public understanding of Panama ’s past and present coastal environments, promoting their conservation. It is also meant to show how scientific discoveries improve our understanding and deepen our appreciation of the natural world.

With breathtaking views of the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal, the Marine Exhibition Center of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute is located at Punta Culebra, approximately 3.5 km from the entrance to the Calzada de Amador and 15 minutes from the heart of Panama City. The area has great natural wealth and the appropriate infrastructure so that locals and foreigners of all ages can take part in an enriching experience, as they enjoy the scenic views.

Punta Culebra

The Fish Market

The Fish Market introduces a new concept of serving up honest food from a food truck in the ruins of a colonial building.

White picnic tables topped with navy parasols on a raw concrete floor with ceilingless columns help to create a casual, fishermen’s-wharf-style setting. The rotating blackboard menu of fresh seafood fuses flavours of Southeast Asia and the Mediterranean and might include fish gyros, gazpacho with prawns, thai green fish curry, Vietnamese sandwiches, furikake tuna steaks – all for under $10.

Friday is Fish ‘n Chips day, a tribute to the chef’s British roots. Originally from Manchester, United Kingdom, Michael Thompson, age 32, landed in Panama in 2005 after living in Indonesia, Thailand and Greece, and ran the Lemongrass restaurant in Bocas del Toro for five years.

In 2011, he and business partner Maurice Cohen launched The Fish Market in the City of Knowledge’s Patio del Sabor food court before setting up their own shop in Casco Viejo.

Open from Monday to Saturday for lunch, hours are extended until midnight for Thursday acoustic music sessions and Friday hang outs with $2 local beers, $5 Lost Coast Brewery craft beers and $3 wine by the glass.

The Fish Market

 

Da Vinci Deli Pastas Gourmet

The Da Vinci offers great homemade pasta and drinks. Everything is made with very fresh ingredients and that alone makes the simplest dishes superb. For example, for drinks, the mojitos (three kinds: strawberry, coconut, and passion fruit) are all made with fresh fruit. The pasta is extremely fresh and light nothing is overly done with the cheeses, even the gnocchi that is stuffed with cheese is fantastic. They even had alfajores for desert as well as tiramisu and a passion fruit mousse- all fantastic.The service is excellent and the staff are very kind and helpful.

Da Vinci

Diablicos

The Diablicos restaurant is a place to sample different foods and drinks, and at the same time enjoy music and shows which change daily, both during day and night hours. Inside, the atmosphere is very colourful, and cheerful wist rustic details in the décor. There are exciting folkloric shows with live presentations for you while enjoying a delicious meal. As an example of local dishes try roast pork rinds with boiled cassava; seafood stuffed plantains; Panamanian stew; Diablicos chicken;
Diablicos burger with bacon and American cheese; fillet of sea bass seafood sauce; jumbo prawns in passion fruit sauce; or Angus beef steak. And why not finish of the meal with a desert option, like rice pudding or chocolate fondant.

Diablicos

 

sante restaurant

Sante Restaurant 2

 

You will find the Sante restaurant not far from the yacht club. This restaurant has a largely American based menu with classic American food. The food is well presented and nicely prepared and along with the friendly and helpful staff makes this an ideal restaurant for a meal out.

Map Sante Restaurant

 


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