October 4, 2021, Edition #5 — This Week in Bocas del Toro, Panama
Walking the streets of Bocas Town, it is actually starting to feel like pre-March 2020. COVID-19 cases are down (10 active) and at this point, most of the community has been vaccinated. We are still confirming the exact figure with Ministry of Health in order to make an official report.
This Week in Bocas del Toro
On September 30 we celebrated Bocas Forever with locally crafted art, poetry, music and gastronomy at Doña Mara Beach Hotel. Twelve year old local surfer Mini Mike Prada was featured in his very own surf video by Vamp TV. The video was premiered in La Buga Dive & Surf on Saturday October 2. Two local employees of the hospital were certified with new technician skills; thanks to a fundraising effort by the community. There will be fundraising opportunities at Tequila Republic on Saturday, October 9, to help fund the spay and neuter clinics of Papa Gato Animal Welfare who are targeting street cats and the pets of low-income families. The community honored local cacao cultivation and chocolate production with many amazing stops along the “ruta de cacao” for the 3rd Annual Showcolate Fair. Four hundred mangroves were recently planted by the students of School for Field Studies and volunteers from Mother of Corals and Bocas Hope Spot. On September 28, The Bocas Breeze published Jenn Parker’s most recent article, shedding a very important spotlight on Kelly Hernandez, a Bocatoreña who is helping to turn the tides of period poverty into privilege.
More on each one of these stories below.
On Sunday, October 4, the Bocas Brewery inaugurated their newly built stage and professional sound equipment. What a fine addition to our amazing community of musicians. The stage was christened by Chicha Fuerte and Natural Smile and great time was had by all.
What to do This Week in Bocas del Toro October 4-10, 2021
Monday October 4, 2021
12-7pm The Floating Bar – Lunes Loco (Family Day) – Kid meals for $3 like hot dogs with chips and kid size chicken or cheese quesadillas and specialty kiddie cocktails for $2 like Pink Flamingo Lemonade and Bocas YooHoo ChocoMilk made with local Citizens of Chocolate cacao. There are Happy Hours for the ‘Big Kids’ from 12 noon until 5 p.m. 1/2 off all specialty drinks and $1 beers.
12-10pm (or later) Tequila Republic – Margarita Monday – Classic $3 margaritas all day. Best enjoyed when washing down the bar’s famous Dirty Burger.
7pm Endless Breaks – Zayan & Heylis LIVE! Vintage selections with Caribbean flow. Street and ocean view seating on a floating dock. Healthy menu choices.
9pm Toro Loco – Live music with Lucio & Enriquismo
Tuesday, October 5, 2021
8:30am-5pm Super Gourmet – Delivery Day: fresh organic fruits/veggies and Mortons Bakehouse bread
12-7pm The Floating Bar – Beat the Clock Margaritas for Taco Tuesday! Order and drink your favorite margarita before 2 p.m. and it’s only $2! $3 until 3 p.m, $4 until 4 p.m, $5 until 5 p.m.
12-10pm (or later) Tequila Republic – Taco-rita Tuesday. Only $8 for two tacos and a classic margarita.
8pm Toro Loco – Kinky Karaoke ft. Tim Jones “Just lose your inhibitions”
8pm-12am La Neta Caribe – Alternative Tuesday with DJ Maria Malasangre
Wednesday, October 6, 2021
1pm The Black Magic: Featured DJs set the mood for a party on a pirate ship ($10 entrance, limited capacity)
5pm Skully’s – Bingo on the beach with prizes!
8pm Bocas Brewery: Enrioke karaoke sessions. Enriquismo is your legendary local karaoke guide.
9pm Toro Loco – Chicha Fuerte: The originators of Caribbean Rock 4 Dance
9pm-12am La Neta Caribe – Corriente Latina – Live music featuring the 8+ piece band, Los Impostores de la Salsa
Thursday, October 7, 2021
12-7pm The Floating Bar – Dollar Dinghy Thursday – “Arrive in a dinghy and get $1 off each and every drink you order! We also celebrate Taco Thursday, because Tuesday is just not enough! Choose any 2 Tacos for $5.00.”
5pm (until late) Barco Hundido – Latin Night – DJ Magic and DJ Harold playing salsa, merengue and a local blend of tropical music
8pm Bocas Brewery – Wasteless World Environmental Trivia – $2.50 per person to join. Drink craft beer, test your environmental knowledge, learn something and support Wasteless World’s efforts working toward the opening of a community-led plastic workshop that will take post consumer plastic and turn it into plastic lumber.
8pm-2am La Neta Caribe – Reggae Night Bocas Party with DJ Fat and DJ Dillo
Friday, October 8, 2021
4-7pm La Buguita Ocean Lounge – Viernes de Mercadito ft. music by DJ Ivan Viña. Amazing products made from local producers: chocolate, bread, organic fruits & veggies, honey, teas, tonics, self-care, jewelry, artisanal crafts
5pm (until late) Barco Hundido – Sunset Reggae ft. Selecta Lion Vibes & DJ Leo. 2 x 1 beer & mixed drinks 5-7pm. No cover before 9pm.
6pm Calypso Cantina Friday Night BBQ with live music. Joe Latin Sound is in the house with calypso, salsa and typical Latin-Caribbean rhythms heard on the islands. Call +507 6616-6000 for reservations or a ride courtesy of the Marina from Captain Nacho (who graciously accepts tips).
6pm Skully’s – Karaoke: free shot for every brave soul that dares to sing
8pm-2am La Neta Caribe Caribbean Madness party with DJ Fat 8pm- 2am
Saturday, October 9, 2021
10:30 am – The Floating Bar – Float and Flow Yoga – Reservations are suggested because of limited space. The bar and restaurant open earlier at 11:30am for breakfast sausage, bacon, egg and cheese quesadillas and healthy Kombucha shots. Morning drinks like Fire Coral Cesars (The Floating Bar’s twist on a Bloody Mary) and Chica Choca-Tinis (made with local Citizens of Chocolate Cacao). Boat from Castillo’s dock at 10am and 10:15am from Buena Vista.
12pm – Toro Loco – It’s game day. NCAA style. College football all day at Bocas del Toro’s favorite sports bar.
1pm The Black Magic – DJs set the mood for a party on a pirate ship ($10 entrance, limited capacity)
4-11pm Tequila Republic – Fundraiser for Papa Gato Animal Welfare – Money will be raised for the next clinic for street animals and pets of low income family. Live music ft. 5+ acts, drink specials and a tattoo artist on site giving dog and cat tattoos for donations toward the cause (dog and cat-toos)
5pm (until late) Barco Hundido – DJ Rashing & DJ Melvin: Real Bocas style DJs on the controls. No cover before 9pm
6pm – Skully’s – Los Impostores de la Salsa. It’s intellectual salsa mixed with a beach dance party.
7pm – El Ultimo Refugio – Live music with Joe Latin Sound. Local music legends fill the air with calypso, salsa and other Latin-Caribbean rhythms.
7pm – 2am La Neta Caribe at Selina’s- Saturday Fever ft the stylings of DJ Melvin & DJ Fat
9pm- Toro Loco – Live music featuring Chicha Fuerte: rock, reggae, dancehall, reggaeton, special guests and always surprises
Sunday, October 10, 2021
11am-2pm – The Firefly – Southern Meets Caribbean Sunday brunch in Old Bank, Bastimentos Island with an AMAZING spread and cocktail specials. $20 per person
12pm Toro Loco – NFL games on all day with $1.50 beers and $3 wells at Bocas del Toro’s favorite sports bar
4pm Bibi’s on the Beach – Sunday Funday on the water. Always with fun bands during happy hour 4-7pm and then a tropical style DJ session when the sun goes down
6pm Skully’s – Sushi night!
8pm-2am La Neta Caribe – High or Deep Sunday. F_cking Josh ft. DJ Fat
Recent Bocas del Toro News
It was a wonderful evening at Doña Mara Beach Hotel who hosted its first artist residency as part of an art exhibition called Bocas Forever. Annick Hasaerts showcased ten of her impressionist-style paintings featuring her locally inspired subjects – the people of Bocas del Toro, wooden Caribbean architecture on the sea and beautiful island landscapes. The paintings are on display in the reception and rooms of Doña Mara and available for purchase until February 28, 2022.
Also in the house sharing his craft was Hasaerts’ husband, the esteemed Bocas wordsmith Raul Houlstan, sharing his poetry to a room of captivated community residents in Doña Mara reception. José Yau Hernandez played his original acoustic compositions which were written on here these islands and inspired by life in Bocas del Toro. Veteran musician Beto Saad also graced the scene with the traditional Latin-Caribbean sounds characteristic of the region. Receta Michila, Doña Mara’s sister restaurant, rounded out the artistic and cultural experience with their authentic Afro-Caribbean gastronomy for which the kitchen is known.
Follow the Instagram @donamarabocas to receive exclusive flash sale discount promotions for rooms at Doña Mara Beach Hotel.
More Accommodations in Bocas del Toro
Mini Mike Prado Vamp TV Surf Video Premiere at La Buga
The surf community came together to support of 12 year old “Mini” Mike Prado for the premiere of his very own surf video, produced by Vamp TV. The viewing was held in the restaurant La Buguita Ocean Lounge, part of La Buga Dive & Surf. The video is filled with the young surfer absolutely killing it, riding all his favorite Bocas del Toro waves. Prado is interviewed throughout the film where he expressed the bliss of surfing and the blessing that it is to grow up in the world class surfing paradise of Bocas del Toro. Fellow members of the Bocas Surf Crew were in attendance to share in this amazing accomplishment for the 12 year old surfing prodigy. The video will be available soon on YouTube for all to see and when it is, The Bocas Breeze will be sharing the link. Mini Mike would like to thank everyone who attended the video premiere in La Buga.
Tours & Fun in Bocas del Toro
Community Members Rally for Bocas Locals to be Trained with New Medical Technician Skills
When government funds were short in sending two Bocas del Toro locals to be trained in a new medical skill, the community rose to the occasion to fund this venture. As a result, Joel Alexis Pineda Baker and Virgilio F. Leonard Garcia visited Panama City to learn new technical skills for the hospital operación de calderas. The hospital’s machines which disinfect tools and filter the air while disinfecting it. The technicians received training and certification on the operation of this technology. According to the hospital, this technology is especially important for the surgery ward. Many thanks to everyone who made this possible; Give and Surf, Steve Bender, Sean Trainor and others. Congratulations to the hospital technicians on their new certification.
Essential Services in Bocas del Toro
First “La Feria Mercadito de Bocas” at La Neta Caribe
Where else in the world can you find alfajores, vegan hygiene products, handmade jewelry, recycled treasures, lionfish ceviche, kombucha and a raging good time on the sea side – all under one roof? La Neta Caribe at Selina in Bocas del Toro, Panama! Stay tuned to our Instagram @thebocasbreeze for upcoming events in Bocas del Toro, including the next artisan market La Neta Caribe. La Neta Caribe open everyday 8am-11pm at Selina Hostel.
New Boat for Sale (Almirante)
400 Mangroves Planted!
Kudos to the amazing people of The School for Field Studies, Mother of Corals and Hope Spot Bocas del Toro, who recently planted 400 new mangroves. Great job!
Mangroves strengthen biodiversity, providing nesting, feeding and breeding habitats for many species. Their dense root systems help mantain better water quality by filtering and trapping sediments, heavy metals and other polluntants. In regards to climate change, mangroves represent another plant system that is able sequester carbon from the atomosphere. Mangroves are also the first line of defense for costal communities as they are able to stabilize shorelines by slowing erosion and provide a natural barrier serving as protection from increased storm surge, flooding, and hurricanes. (source: Ecoviva)
Map of Featured Businesses in Bocas del Toro
3rd Annual Showcolate Fair 2021
October 1 is World Chocolate Day and every year since 2019 in Bocas del Toro celebrates cacao cultivation and cacao production with a chocolate fair: Showcolate. This year’s fair included many fun and enriching activities and stops along the “ruta de cacao,” which will be highlighted in our next issue.
Congratulations to the winner of this year’s competition, Buena Vista restaurant! Buena Vista for years has been known for their delicious chocolate brownies, so it’s no surprise that the judges selected Buena Vista’s chocolate confection as the winner of the competition. Second place prize went to Charneille Daley. Though you could say that all of the contestants were winners because their participation directly supports local cacao producers in the region. This is an industry that provides opportunity Bocas del Toro’s indigenous communities and women in the field. A great big thank you to all who enjoyed and supported this year’s edition of the Showcolate Fair.
Special thanks to the sponsors: The Darklands Foundation, Citizens of Chocolate, Pirate Arts Experience, Panapluma, Red Frog Deli Gourmet, Isla Colon Super Market, Distribuidora Isla Colon and Finca Flora.
Welcome to the Community, La Sala Familia!
On Saturday, September 30, La Sala Familia celebrated its opening. What an amazing transformation of a previously empty lot on 3rd street! A little but more about the concept of La Sala Familia:
Our home is your home at La Sala Familia or the “living room”. La Sala is a unique, inclusive community space for events, donation based classes, activities and a bar/restaurant that showcases global and local gastronomy with curated one of a kind drinks to go with each our chefs different cuisine in the food truck.
Welcome to the world, La Sala Familia! Congratulations to Nicole and Richie on the opening.
Featured Article: “Turning the Tides from Period Poverty to Privilege in Panama” by Jenn Parker
Kelly Hernandez is the local ambassador for “Days for Girls.” Read about her work distributing washable, reusable, menstrual pads and empowering local women through informative sexual education talks.