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    Good Sh*t Fancy Dress Is Optional for This Cheese-Lover's Festival By Allison Yates OZY.com Why you should care Because these tasty S-shaped fritters are a ray of Panama sunshine. For most of the year, Dolega is a stopover for tourists heading to nearby Boquete or David. But for five days each January or February, the smell of frying dough overwhelms the fresh country air. Thousands head to this small town in Panama’s Chiriquí province for the Festival Folklórico Internacional del Almojábano con Queso to venerate regional, national and international dance, music and of course, the fried favorite, the almojábanos con queso. The fritters — often called almojábanos or almojábanas — are found in many parts of Latin America, but it’s the Panamanian version that brings an estimated 5,000 daily visitors. (For some, the 310-mile drive from Panama City is worth it.) Said to have originated in Chiriquí when peasants fused Spanish and indigenous ingredients, this variety differs in ingredients and shape. Cooks knead corn flour, add chunks of white cheese and a dash of salt and then roll the dough into a thick stick. Then they pinch the ends in opposite directions creating an S shape that mimics the outline of the map of Panama. Next, the dough is tossed into frying oil and kept still for a few minutes. As soon as they are firm on the outside, the almojábanos are ready to serve. Almojábanos are a staple in any traditional Panamanian breakfast, but during the festival, they’re consumed all day long. And the producers claim these are some of the best you’ll ever try. “The almojábanos at our festival are the most delicious in the whole country,” boasts Merardo Gante, a festival employee. Keithy Bernúdez, a former festival volunteer, says she eats almojábanos nearly every day of the year. She can’t put her finger on why they’re so mouthwatering — it might be the combination of the corn and cheese, or better yet “the love they [the cooks] put into making them,” she hypothesizes. Bernúdez isn’t alone in her love. To get a sense of just how many almojábanos con queso are sold at the festival, Seferino Miranda, almojábanos producer and owner of Productos Aineth, says that his business usually sells around 4,800 of the fritters daily. During the five days of the festival, he sells around 40,000, almost double an average five-day period. And he’s not the only supplier. The savory almojábanos are eaten hot: deliciously gooey on the inside with just enough crunch on the outside. Your obsession with the Panama-shaped savory snack will only grow when paired with tasajo (smoked beef) or eaten alongside sancocho, a traditional stew found in many Latin American countries. The queen of the festival travels in an ox-driven cart. Source Erick Castillo S. and Castillo Photography After filling your belly, you can then focus on the dancing and music competitions featuring performers from across Panama and Latin America, and even from as far as Romania. There are a fireworks show and a final parade, and every year a queen is crowned (unclear if her prize is a lifetime supply of almojábanos con queso). Folklore artist and festival founder José Armando Corella Rovira wants attendees to value culture. “For me, the most important part is to give my province and my country a firm cultural legacy and keep young people in positive things — and loving their folklore,” says Corella Rovira. But you can’t celebrate the culture of Chiriquí without its most famous bright yellow “S.” “The almojábanos are really important for the festival because it’s a typical vianda [food] exclusive to our province, and in honor of all the people who get up every day to prepare these almojábanos so they’re at the stores and supermarkets across the country,” explains Corella Rovira. It isn’t just about enjoying yourself and satisfying your need for ooey-gooey goodness; eating almojábanos con queso means preserving and honoring culture Go There: Festival Folklórico Internacional del Almojábano con Queso Location: The festival is held in Dolega, Chiriquí, Panama, in the “Recinto del Almojábano,” the basketball court behind the Dolega Health Center. From Panama City, you can bus to nearby David and take a local bus to Dolega, or by car head west on Highway 1 until David, then toward Dolega on Highway 41. Dates: Feb. 13–17. No entrance fee. Accommodations: There are several hotels and bed-and-breakfasts in Dolega for around $30 to $50 per night, or stay on the coast near David, Panama’s third-largest city, or inland in Boquete, both around 30 minutes from Dolega. Pro tip: Stay a few days in Boquete to tour coffee plantations, walk through forests and waterfalls and hike Volcan Baru. https://www.ozy.com/good-sht/fancy-dress-is-optional-for-this-cheese-lovers-festival/92325?fbclid=IwAR2EWdPJ72QKM-nLFnMs6pvAbQORNLbZ3npw9w_xq7FkzMh1lKW4jg1KOT4#
  2. There will be some good baseball being played in Dolega starting on Friday, as that will be the Chiriqui team's home stadium this year in the National Championship tourney. This is the schedule for the first round.
  3. our house ad.docx HOUSE FOR SALE Due to health issues we are forced to sell our home. Situated on three quarters of an acre near Dolega, Chiriqui, Panama, it has a huge kitchen/dining room, living room, two bedrooms plus office, and two bathrooms. All the rooms are large, bright, and airy. We have a 900 square foot covered terrace facing our yard which boasts a creek as well as many fruit trees, coconut palms, and flowering bushes. There is an attached garage and an extra water tank. Refrigerator and hot water on demand new. We are included in the property tax exemption so our taxes are $100.62 per year. We are on a bus route and close to both David and Boquete. House to be sold furnished. Asking price: $159,900.00 Contact: newellgl1@hotmail.com if you have questions or would like a showing.
  4. Dolega Residents oppose Mayor in Park Remodel The remodeling of the central park of Dolega, has a number of residents and members of community and social organizations in conflict with the Mayor Rafael Rivera, considering that their concerns have not been taken into account. Ernesto Cubilla, of the Colibri environmentalist organization, stated that the municipality aims to build a park where the central square would disappear, something that they do not accept, because this is a place used by many groups for their outdoor activities. For Rosa Uribe, another of the spokespersons of the civil society of Dolega, they have already submitted the plans to build a new park, that makes it possible to respect their designs of yesteryear and that in addition it appropriate to the current times. For complainants, the idea of restructuring the park is not bad and they are not opposed, but it must be done in the face of population and without affecting the distinctive style of the village, in addition that the field is a historical heritage of the district. "We need that in addition to the park is to settle other serious problems on the sports fields, roads and other municipal infrastructure," said Delia Angulo, another of the residents of Dolega. In both, the mayor indicated that are seven individuals who were opposed on the grounds that the place is a colonial area, when at the town hall are certified by the National Institute of Culture (INAC) that the place is not the historical heritage of the district.
  5. https://booksr4reading.wordpress.com/
  6. https://booksr4reading.wordpress.com/2016/03/10/a-business-opportunity/ As everyone knows, I’ve been trying to sell the BookMark for a number of years now. To recap, $25,000 for 35K(+/-) books, shelving, furniture, and the goodwill of Panama’s most famous used English bookstore. Retail value for the books alone come to around $250,000. Years ago, we had listed on Alibris nearly 500 books for sale online, the individual value of those books were from $5 to $100, plus we were allotted $10 (paid by Alibris) for shipping, so, if a book only cost $5 to ship, we made an additional $5. There was also a provision for over-sized books. I haven’t kept it up because that was Harold’s thing, plus my motivation was extremely low at the time so I couldn’t be bothered. In any case, since then, I’ve acquired a large number of books from different sources that I have discovered are worth significant money, with a number of them worth over $1000 each. Unfortunately, right now they are sitting in boxes, I don’t recall exactly the titles (they were text books, historical series, etc), but at the time I had checked out the prices on E-bay, and there’s a small fortune to be made. Which goes back to the point, since I’m a lazy, terrible procrastinator…If anyone is interested, they could re-establish the Alibris business, the BookMark receives 50% of the sale. In addition to that, those higher-end books would be sold on E-bay(I’ve seen some of those bidding wars, you’d be surprised), for those books, the seller would receive 25%. The best part, this is something that can be done from the comfort of your home. Of course, at this point, I’m just punting around ideas. We could do a trail balloon and see how it works out. In any case, the person would have to… Have an E-bay account. Have a PayPal account.(?) Perfect English speaker. Have a love and understanding of books. If interested, please contact me and we could work out the details. Ellis_m_1@yahoo.com
  7. Hello everyone, Just recently joined the site and wanted to inform you about The Bookmark. The BEST used English bookstore in all of Panama All details concerning location, emails, and telephone can be found on our website, see the link below. https://booksr4reading.wordpress.com/2015/10/31/spooky-stuff/
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