Bocas News

A Smile for the Community

A Smile for the Community

October 26, 2016

Bocas del Toro is getting ready for its next high season. From December, tourists from all around the world will be visiting the Islands, and yes, we can say from all over the world! More and more often, we happen to sit at a restaurant and have people next to us from Australia, Norway or Switzerland, and also people from Japan.

For this reason, the Island needs to be prepared and learn to recycle more. We need to teach those who do not know, that you can re-use plastic or other organic products, and not throw them on the floor, as this does not give a good image to the Island.

In regards to this topic, has already addressed the news (read above the village of bottles) Learn more in the “Recycling” section

In order to resolve this issue, the population of Bocas joins in groups, associations, and exchanges their experiences, so that through small steps you can achieve goals.

Solinge Tatiana Iglesias de Merrill, better known as “Soli”, is one of those people who is involved in the Bocas community. Soli is Panameña, born and raised in David, graduated in Public Relations, but she confesses to us that she is more interested in Psychology and observing and studying people.

Soli used to come to Bocas on vacation for so many years, and most of her family is from the Island. She fell in love with the Island and decided to move to Bocas. Here, she had a great job and found her real love and now husband, Tyson, and together have two children. Today, you can find Soli busy with her own business and active in the Bocas community, while maintaining a big smile for everyone!!!

Soli participates, listens and moves in many groups. You can find her in the middle of the road with her golf-cart talking and listening to Europeans, Americans and local friends, and not caring that behind her there is one of our famous Bocas taxi ready with the horn. This shows that she always makes time for everyone.

So, in one of this “casual meeting” we had the occasion to exchange a couple of words and learn more about the next event will be held at Park Bolivar on the 30th of October called the First International Gastronomical and Artisans Festival between 11am and 9pm.

We always like to ask our friends what they think about Bocas and why they selected Bocas as their home? Soli’s response was, “The tranquility of the place, the easy life with which one lives like a king, surrounded by nature and of course the best therapy for a person of peace, being near the sea. The island has changed a lot, infrastructure and mass tourism has been the main changes. Before we had a third street as beautiful pedestrian street, surrounded by palms and gave the characteristic touch of a Caribbean island, as we were told the Mayor has a project of the Old Town Bocas to recover those structures that give honor to this Bocatorian culture; We have however improved greatly with the streets in better condition, increased tourism has been progressive, placing us as one of the best destinations in Panama and the world, improvements in the area of water, light, the cultural part. We see a Bocas more focused on your customer, provide better service, authorities putting a little more care on the island.

You say “we “ because a group of people and you created a group called EL GRUPO UNIDO POR BOCAS and “yes” she promptly answer me, “I have participated in countless groups throughout this time in Bocas, GRUPO UNIDO POR BOCAS, born by the need to thank our friends, 100% Bocatoreños the power to welcome us and support our businesses.
We want to be the difference in talk less and do more, do not complain daily on social networks; if they do not provide immediate solutions to our problems. Everyone here depends on tourism and if we do nothing we endanger the heritage of many.

Education, health are the main pillars of a community. A people that is not bound to do good things, will sink.

It is important that every foreign or local are aware that this island has been fed and have such corporate social responsibility that should be put into practice with community projects.



We want clean Bocas and give tourists a better face, educate our children and adults with the theme of recycling and solid waste.

“ In other words, let’s give people who live in Bocas permanently, or those who live here just for seasons, a good place to stay, good memories, as this is what Bocas would like to be!

Bocas del Toro has a great history behind it, starting with Christopher Columbus to the cultivation of bananas. This means that Bocas had more than five Embassies in the island at the beginning of the past Century and its naturalness and its beauty has also contributed to the rest to become what is now. We need to keep this Island magnificent but there is still a lot of work that has to be done to preserve it.

Why did you decide to organize a food festival and who are the people who accompany you in this project??

“Well, for us the food plays a very important role in the island, is one of the main reason by which many tourists choose us as a destination, our Caribbean dishes with Caribbean Afro delicious recipes are very popular. We decided to make this First Gastronomic Festival of Art in Bocas Town with the aim of raising funds for the purchase of 100 special wastebaskets; which is placed in the main tourist areas of the island. We have the participation of Mrs. Marjorie an American Cuban, a distinguished lady who works with several NGOs and is willing to collaborate with us with their experience to help for a better island, we are a group of 22 people between foreign and local hoteliers are supporting a lot, mainly Tortuga Hotel manager, Mr. Dave and his wife are full assets and anonymous people who want to donate money to any community project to do. Sterling Hopman is one of our member and never give up until the Project is done.”

So lets give all of our friends a schedule of where, when, and the cost of the event?

“Trash cans will cost for each one the amount of $ 120. Other Helpers will contribute to build and decorate the trash can for each people will contribute with this business or private donator.
The event will take place on October 30th from 11am to 9pm. We will be selling food and there will be a crafts fair. In addition, there will be music, dancing, artistic presentations, games for children and many surprises!!!

We will have an auction of awards given by several hotels in Bocas, as well as restaurants and other tourist services.
This will be our first Festival but we hope will be the first of a long series!!!

If you would like to participate with donations or food or more please contact us at

It is time to let the traffic move behind us, and have Soli drive away with her golf-cart promising that we will definitely attend the Festival!!!!!
Bocas are you ready for the First International Gastronomical and Artisans Festival?