Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Fire update 1

I'm starting to get a headache from all the smoke blowing into my apartment from the fires outside the city. But I have to keep the windows open because if not I'll suffocate from the heat. My choice is suffocate from the heat or suffocate from the smoke!

Panama burning

The Panama City metropolitan area is engulfed in smoke and smog as parcels of land up to 50 kilometres away are going up in flames.

Reports suggest that the smoke and smog suffocating Panama's largest city are the result of campesinos engaging in slash and burn agriculture in anticipation of rainy season. Other reports suggest that one of the country's largest garbage dumps, Cerro Patacon, is also on fire.

The elderly and those with respiratory difficulties should avoid venturing outdoors.

¿Bienvenidos al Bank of Nova Scotia?

A major Canadian bank is taking advantage of Panama's "booming" economy. Scotiabank is the only Canadian bank operating in Panama and has increased their branch total to five within the last three years.

With good reason: Panama's economy is enjoying the highest economic growth per year, with an average of 8 per cent over the last three years. Canada's current economic growth rate, by comparison, about is 3 per cent.

But Canadian Scotiabank clients beware. Though you may be a loyal client, you'll still have to pay international withdrawal rates when using Scotiabank Panama's bank machines.