Posted by: thebluemusicblog | February 11, 2015



Waking up this morning I was still deeply into the history of the Canal and the history of Panama -it all made a profound impact on me. Fascinating. And in the middle of the Canal administrative area is the beautiful building of the YMCA, one of the historic buildings related to the construction of the famous Canal.

Panama has opened a biodiversity museum designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, his first project in Latin America.

The Biomuseo — a hodgepodge of bright-colored metal canopies swopping over the eight galleries inside — presents a tour of the Central American nation’s rich, diverse ecosystems.

The building itself “was designed to tell the story of how the isthmus of Panama rose from the sea, uniting two continents, separating a vast ocean in two, and changing the planet’s biodiversity forever,” the museum’s website says.



Darkness close in on Panama City as we are having a very friendly evening  farewell meal together with our friends from YMCA Panama.



And now the rhythm changes and we leave Central America to enter the world of Caribbean and the first portal to Caribbean is of of course the Dominican Republic and Santo Domingo where National General Secretary Andres Fortunato receives us at the airport under a tropical sun and beautiful palm trees very close to the Atlantic Ocean. Andres is an old friends, and he takes us straight to his National Centre, which is also the International YMCA Family Centre.


This is a photo of the country without palms and sun and sea, which takes away some of the charm, one would have to admit, but it is also helpful to get a clear overview of where we have landed just today.


It is late afternoon and the staff was supposed to have left, but they all decided to stay to welcome us in the most warm and hospitable Caribbean way, These are teachers and the headmaster of the YMCA school located in this centre. I am waving with my recently purchased Panama hat, of course bought in Panama!


The children from the pre school is greeting us. The centre is full of kids of all ages, playing basket ball and learning to swim in the pool, it is a really vibrant YMCA centre!


The promise of the YMCA is made very clear and transparent at the gate of the centre!


Since the centre is at the main road to the airport, Andres decided to make the biggest ever logo of the YMCA to attract the attention of bypassing tourists and business people. I think he has a point and it is very visible!


Another advertisement on the wall of the centre.


All ages are represented, and basket ball is popular, as well as base ball. During the week the swimming pool has only a few feet of water to allow the youngest kids to learn to swim, but in the weekends they fill the pool with sea water and open it up for members from the neighborhood. Very popular in the tropical heat, of course. And if you do not think you are sweating enough, there is also a full fitness centre included in the YMCA here.

IMG_5806Andres Fortunato at his desk in the National Office of the YMCA in Dominican Republic


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