Hector Pineda, sole maintenance technician and skilled operator of the Bocas del Toro diesel power plant, made the tough decision to relocate to the outskirts of David some time around February of 2010.
His relocation marks the beginning of what some have called the ‘Tiempos Oscuros’ on Isla Colón, and have been the subject of some controversy around the community.
Although electricity is important to some business owners and tourists, it has not yet been considered a priority among city planners, as Bocas del Toro’s main goal is to remain focused on construction.
Supermarket owner Wu Dian maintains a relaxed attitude regarding the refrigeration of perishable items in stores, reminding us that “There are plenty of fish in the sea.”
“I love taking the bus into Bocas del Toro from my home”, Pineda stated. “Especially when the people there are so eager and grateful to see me.”
Sometimes Pineda has to wait a week or so for his employer, McDonalds, to give him the weekend off, or for a colleague to agree to cover his shift.
“McDonalds has provided me a great opportunity to work on hamburgers, my second passion behind electricity,” commented the Chiriqui-based Bocas del Toro electric technician.
“When the power goes out, I feel so lucky to be able to plan another trip to Bocas del Toro.”
Pineda is the only trainee who remembers the combination to the bicycle lock which keeps the generator secure, making him a great steward of electricity for Bocas.
The plant’s single German-language instruction manual was accidentally used to soak up some spilled liquids during a dominos game in 2009, but Pineda has reassured The Breeze that “The info is all up here, in my brain.”
“The power plant is exactly like the McFlurry machine in many ways,” Pineda says. “There is a big lever and you must pull down to turn it on”
Luckily Pineda is still in good health and the roads from David seem to be holding up this season, giving the Bocas del Toro community a hopeful outlook towards resolution for upcoming power outages in 2023.
Article by Richard Mentira
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. If you want to read a real report about what is going on with the electricity in Bocas del Toro, check out our article about the massive electrical infrastructure upgrade that is taking place right now: “The Present and Future of Bocas del Toro Electricity.”