Cover Story

Around and about The Beaches

At the Beach, Jamuna rules

Jamuna Burry of Playacommunity.comJamuna Burry of Playacommunity.com will be bringing the best of the beaches to the pages of The Visitor.

Canadian expat Jamuna Burry knows how great the Beach-and-City lifestyle really is.

Coronado is 45 minutes from our world-class metropolitan Panama City. Between golf, beach and equine facilities, it’s tough to justify a place in Manhattan and another in Nantucket. For residents of Panama's Pacific beaches — no problem. The weather’s better here, too.

Just as Panama City and the republic enjoy The Visitor for events and news, Jamuna’s English-language website PlayaCommunity.com sets out to support her immediate and growing community – from up in El Valle to down in Juan Hombrón.

The Visitor welcomes you to Jamuna Burry’s Playa Community. She’s our inside connection on what's happening out on the beaches.

Beach business directory

Clinica Dental Coronado in Coronado Mall – 345-3610 (English Spoken)
Wanita Spa & Salon in Coronado Mall – 6395-9514
Optica Boyd Diaz in Corowalk Plaza – 240-1424 (English Spoken)
Downtown Living Furniture in Coronado Mall – 6671-6743
El Hortelano Nursery, San Carlos – 6612-6184
Coronado Real Estate Specialists – 6679-1663
Concept Panama Quality Rentals – 6679-1663

Community building at the beach

Over the past decade, Panama has seen the growth of foreign residents setting up homes and business in various pockets around Panama. As a result, Internet websites covering topics from Panama travel to real estate have emerged on the scene.

Jamuna Burry, a web developer, moved to Panama from Canada in 2005. “Starting out was difficult. I didn’t have any friends and my Spanish language skills were much worse than now,” says Jamuna. “Starting Playacommunity.com was a way to connect myself to other English speaking people in the Coronado beach area, where I live. It turned out that other people at the beaches were looking for the same thing.”

Today, Playacommunity.com reaches new comers and seasoned residents all along the Pacific Beach coast with local community-based information and event news. The website has become a popular English community portal. “Our content is community-based”, says Jamuna Burry, “Our articles are written by neighbors and we cover things like recipes from a friend’s kitchen and articles like how to survive a taxi ride in Panama City. We tell you what restaurants are in the area, what their price range is, and what types of things you can expect to see on the menu.”

Beach activities, events and specials

July 1 – Canada Day
Paraiso Bar & Restaurant in Las Uvas, 3km up the road towards El Valle. Begins at 4:00 p.m. with music by Bobby Henderson. $8 buffet. Also 2 for 1 cocktails daily from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sundays breakfast buffet from 9:30 a.m., $5.

July 4 – US Independence Day
Paraiso Bar in Las Uvas from 4:00 p.m., live music, $8 buffet.

Happy Hour
Picasso Bar & Restaurant in Coronado has 2 for 1 drinks everyday from 3 – 7pm. Open mic sessions on Sundays from 7:00 p.m.

Waterfront hotel
Solarium Hotel right on the beach in Coronado has weekday rooms for $89/night. Solariumpanama.com to reserve or call 340.9891.

Stay fit!
Sunwave Fitness Classes at the Solarium Hotel in Coronado cost $10 per class and are open to all: Beach Boot Camp at 7:00 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Zumba on Tuesdays at 9:00 a.m. Body Sculpt on Thursdays at 9:00 a.m.

Along the way, the site received criticism for being a ‘good-news-only’ site. In response, Jamuna launched the message forum, and article commenting. “This allows people to have their say, and offer a different perspective where they feel we might be leaving out the bad news. The interesting thing is, most people are reluctant to put their names behind their written words”.

Today, Playacomunity.com receives more than 20,000 visits in a month, with many visitors viewing the site from outside Panama. “People find our site when they are doing research on Panama. Then when they settle at the beaches, they use it to find out what is going on,” says Jamuna.

El Alcazar in CoronadoEl Alcazar building in Coronado overlooks the golf course with views of the ocean.

Not a real estate site

Many sites about Panama have a side purpose of selling property. “Everybody sells real estate here”, says Jamuna. “We have listing agreements with two real estate companies exclusively, Concept Panama and Coronado es Vida. They can use Playacommunity.com to list their properties; in exchange they pay us a fee.” Keeping in the community-building mindset, Jamuna hosts a monthly social gathering called the Playacommunity Mixer. The event is held on the 4th (not last) Wednesday of every month at different beach area restaurants. Jamuna says: “The Mixer is an opportunity for new people to get oriented into the community and for old friends to catch up. We always have prizes to give away from the local business community. Locations and dates of upcoming mixers are on the site’s events calendar”.

What’s in the future

“The beach areas are growing tremendously,” says Jamuna, “new commercial and residential developments are springing up all over the coast. We are excited at the prospect of reaching new audiences.” Part of that reach will be through The Visitor, and the launch of the “Around and About the Beaches” section, which will be covered by Playacommunity.com, which is also the new representative for Beach advertising in The Visitor. To place an ad in this section, contact Jamuna Burry at 345-3622, or by email at Jamuna@playacommunity.com, or visit the Playacommunity desk in the Concept Panama office in Coronado, loacated in the El Rincón del Chef Plaza.



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