Chiriqui Libre NewsMagazine
May 01 2009

The people of Panama overwhelmingly voted for change in Sunday night’s election. With a clear mandate from 60.4 % of the electorate, Martinelli has all the moral authority to take Panama to a new level. Was the crushing defeat of the PRD a sign that the ghost of Manuel Noriega has finally been put to rest? Like his North American counterpart, Barack Obama, President Elect Martinelli has to guide his nation through a period of world economic downturn and recession – many feel confident that he is the right man for the job. We wish him every success in this most difficult of endeavours.

Un derrumbe DE RICARDO MARTINELLI. El pueblo de Panamá votaron abrumadoramente en favor del cambio en la elección del domingo por la noche. Con un mandato claro de 60,4% del electorado, Martinelli tiene toda la autoridad moral para tomar Panamá a un nuevo nivel. Fue la derrota aplastante del PRD un signo de que el fantasma de Manuel Noriega ha sido objeto de descanso? Al igual que sus homólogos de América del Norte, Barack Obama, Presidente Electo Martinelli tiene que guiar a su pueblo a través de un período de recesión económica mundial y la recesión - muchos sienten confianza en que él es el hombre adecuado para el trabajo. Le deseamos mucho éxito en esta difícil labor.

By David Dell.
Chiriqui’s first Art Festival, was an unqualified success, so says organizer Linda Weldon. Held at the newly renovated Casa Grande Resort, some 36, local painters, sculptors, quilters and wood carvers displayed their crafts. I think the strongest impression anyone can have had from the festival was of the remarkably high standard displayed by the various artisans. It would be difficult if not unfair to single out any individual artisan but from my walk through the display I spotted several pieces that I would love to hang on my wall.

First and foremost was the graphite drawings done by organizer Linda Weldon. I had seen Linda’s work before, but here she was in a different medium and displaying her unique quality for precision and detail. Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci, to name- drop just two artists, have worked in this format before and the simple line drawings have a beautiful minimalist attraction all of their own. Nancy Rich is an artist that I have never seen before but her exquisite cameos of Panama’s tiny frogs were a delight to the eyes. Although Nancy is not a professional artist by trade, the quality of her work is equal to anything I have seen in any high-end gallery.

Maestro Chiru teaches art at the San Benito Art school, so it was no wonder that he had to show both visitors and students alike something exceptional – he didn’t disappoint. His style is vivid and unique. Every painting has the colors almost leaping off the canvas. He has been the inspiration and mentor for many local painters and in some way can be thanked for the high standard shown at this event.

Jose Pitti Del Cid, would have to be my favorite local artist. This 41 year old painter from Caizan is truly outstanding. At the moment he is concentrating on painting Ngobe women in their colorful enagua dresses. He told me was inspired by such greats as Raphael and Velasquez. It would be clear to anyone that this highly talented young man has mastered and possibly exceeded the techniques of the men who inspired him. He is a master of the highlight and he brings an almost photo-realistic touch to his work. If there was one local artist that deserved to be seen in the galleries of New York and London, it is the inimitable Jose Del Cid.

Plans are already being laid for next years festival and I am sure organizer Linda Weldon, will see that eventually Chiriqui artists will be known around the world.

Essential oils
What are they?

Essential oils, also called essences, are highly concentrated liquids that are extracted from plants and trees. The most common means of extraction is through steam distillation...these oils are extremely volatile and they will evaporate in open air. A single oil can help with many disorders and several contain properties such as anti bacterial...anti fungal...antibiotic...analgesic...antiseptic...decongestant and sedative.

Due to the small molecular structure these oils have the ability to be absorbed into the blood stream. The more common forms are through inhalation and direct contact with the skin. If using on the skin it is safer to add one to two drops into a carrier oil so as to avoid any skin irritation. Once beneath the surface these oils go intercellular and enter the blood stream. From there the oils properties can travel to your organs and lymphatic system jump starting the immune system. The EO's of Basil, tea tree and thyme can actually encourage white blood cell production. When you inhale E.O's they enter into your respiratory system as well as your brain. In the lungs, small molecules of the oils attach themselves to oxygen molecules. These molecules carry the oil molecules into the bloodstream and circulate them to every cell in your body. This activates the body's innate ability to heal itself.


The ancient Egyptians are credited with the first use of aromatic oils. Even though they did not have distillation knowledge at that time they would add plant material to vegetable oil or rendered animal fat. Setting it in the sun to cook for several weeks. They are also known for their embalming of the dead. After cleaning out the cavities of the dead they would fill the cavities with plant material and ointments. If the deceased was from a wealthy family they would use oils such as myrrh and cedarwood. The bodies of the common were preserved with cinnamon, elemi, sandalwood and/or thyme.

Other cultures that also used aromatic plants were Ayurvedic Indians-Hindu worshippers that would anoint themselves to ward off evil spirits and wash their sins away. The Hebrews burned incense in their temples. There are numerous mentions of using E.O.'s in the Bible...specifically cedarwood, cinnamon, corriander, cypress, frankincense, juniper, mint and many others. Of course the Romans, Greeks, Assyrians, Chinese, Japanese and also some of the African countries have records of using plant material for health and beauty. During the medieval period juniper, thyme and pine were used to ward off illness including the plague. Old drawings of doctors during that time depict them with cones over their noses and mouths. These cones were filled with E.O.'s. Today's modern aromatherapy can be attributed to a rise in people wanting to take control and responsibility for their own health...physically and emotionally.

To find out more about essential oils call Jeanie @ 6446-8962

By David Dell

In 1954, when salesman Ray Kroc dropped into the San Bernadino hamburger stand of the McDonalds brothers, there was an historic epiphany for the restaurant industry. Ray Kroc started the world’s greatest fast-food industry by insisting on consistent, quality, service, cleanliness and price. Keep those facts in mind when I tell you about a restaurant that so far isn’t franchised – but should be.

As you drive into the idyllic mountain community of Volcan one of the first places you see will be a converted Texaco gas station now running as a restaurant. Welcome to Dalys’s, “Panama’s Best Little Family Restaurant.” I think most food and travel writers don’t spend enough time checking out the places they write about – I have been eating at Dalys’s for over a year, sometimes as much as three times a day.

Don and Dalys Miller run this family restaurant, Don is an American from Hawaii and Daly’s is a local woman from the nearby town of Caizan. These must be the hardest working restaurateurs in all of Panama. From my home I can see the lights go on and Don baking as early as 4 a.m. After a day serving breakfast, lunch and dinner to almost a hundred people, the couple mop the floors, clean up and try to close around 8.30, some nights the crowd doesn’t thin out until after ten.

This begs the question why they are so successful. First let me put this little town into perspective for you. Volcan has over 40 places to eat. True, most are small and affordable “typico” type eateries but with a small gringo population of about 250+ people, you have to be good to stay in business.

Secrets of Success. Last Saturday morning, there was a table outside with about 30 expats having breakfast. This is a regular feature at Daly’s as Don and his wife have built up a strong and loyal following among both the expats and local Panamanians. I asked a few customers why they kept coming back here – some like me up to three times a day. The comments were an echo of Ray Kroc’s founding principles. There is a consistent high quality to the food. The service is first-rate, the restaurant is always clean – all staff wear a hairnet – and the price is cheaper than you can cook at home.

I asked Don could he pass on the secret of how he kept things so consistently good. He did explain the spices for his Thai, Japanese and other oriental dishes were carefully weighed and put into numbered packets. That way any cook could make up the same dish with the same flavor as he could. Don does not allow anyone to deviate from his strict recipe codes – and they must only use olive or sunflower oil.

If you order a glass of wine it will cost you $1.35. But I promise you it will be the most generous size you have ever had – most restaurants don’t even serve a water glass this full. Coffee is 40 cents for a tall mug and refills are free. A double cheeseburger is just $3.00 and if you are really hungry try the Pasta Revuelta for $4.50. Again the serving is so generous you can most probably split it between two people.

Don would love to take Dalys to the USA and start a business there. Everyone I know will hate to see them go but not if some enterprising businessman takes this great little success story and franchises it across Panama and maybe the world. Remember Ray Kroc, he died of old age in 1984. The company he started from one small hamburger stand was worth over $4 billion at his death. If you would like the same opportunity call Dalys Miller at: 6539-2964