FUDCon LATAM 2017 - Panamá
Description of the City
Panama City (Spanish: Panamá) is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Panama and it is located at the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal Panama City is the political and administrative center of the country. Panama has been for 8 years one of the top 5 places for retirement in the world according to International Living Magazine.
Panama City is also an important hub for international banking and commerce. It has an advanced communications service, Internet use is widespread. It is important also because:
- Panama City was chosen to be the American Capital of Culture for the year 2003, what adds an incredible cultural center for our ambassadors.
- Panama City hosted the seventh version of the Summits of the Americas for the year 2015 that brought together leaders of the region to reflect on the difficulties faced by the peoples of the hemisphere, what adds an incredible political center for our ambassadors.
- Panama City will host World Youth Day in 2019, which is an event emphasized in the unity and presence of numerous different cultures, what adds and incredible spiritual profile for our ambassadors.
Weather and Climate
In Panama City the daytime temperatures are always around or slightly above 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) and the thermometer drops at night no lower than around 22 to 24 degrees Celsius (71 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit).
Nevertheless, the city experiences different seasons. Not four seasons as like in the northern parts of the world, but is has a dry season which runs from late December to late April. And a real rainy season which runs from May to early December. In this period, large amounts of rain fall in Panama City.
Airports, Lodging and Venue
Tocumen International Airport
Tocumen International Airport (Spanish: Aeropuerto Internacional de Tocumen) (IATA: PTY, ICAO: MPTO) is an international airport located 15 miles (24 km) from Panama City, Panama. In 2006, it underwent a major expansion and renovation program in order to modernize and improve its facilities. It is currently the only airport in Central America with two runways for use and is also the largest airport in the country.
Tocumen Internation Airport is a regional hub for commercial flights heading to and from The Caribbean, South America, North America and Central America. Also, the European cities of Madrid and Amsterdam are served.
Albrook "Marcos A. Gelabert" International Airport
Albrook "Marcos A. Gelabert" International Airport (Spanish: Aeropuerto Internacional de Albrook "Marcos A. Gelabert") (IATA: PAC, ICAO: MPMG) is a public airport located 1.5 km (0.93 mi) west of the center of Panama City. It is located on the site of the former Albrook Air Force Station.
Albrook International Airport serves local flights and international flights coming from Costa Rica and Colombia.
Air Panama offers daily flights to many cities in Panama from Albrook Airport. Its corporate headquarters are located on the airport property.
The price of staying in hotels depends on the category. The price range may vary from $25 to $250 per night.
Due to the category, location and price, we recommend on these two options:
- Lodging Complex (City of Knowledge)
- $76 per night
- Maximum 3 persons per room (3 twins beds)
- Includes breakfast
- Air conditioning
- Hot water
- Cable Television
- Free Wi-Fi Access
- Garden view balcony
- Housekeeping service
- Valuables safe-deposit box
- Common use kitchenette (microwave, fridge, coffee maker)
- Shared used of sitting room
- Washer and dryer machines
- Free bus service within campus
- 24 hour campus security
- More information here
- Country Inn & Suites Panama City
- $105 per night
- Maximum 4 persons per room (2 double beds)
- Includes breakfast
- Outdoor pool
- Free newspapers in lobby
- Fitness facilities
- Meeting rooms 2
- 24-hour front desk
- Multilingual staff
- Safe-deposit box at front desk
- Laundry facilities
- Dry cleaning/laundry service
- Television in common areas
- Air conditioning
- Premium TV channels
- Daily housekeeping
- Private bathroom
- Hair dryer
- Shower only
- Cable TV service
- Ironing board
- City view balcony
- More information here
If necessary, you can use services such as Airbnb to identify places of stay within the city. For example:
- Hostal Germar:
- $140 per night
- Maximum 1 person per room (total of 14 rooms)
- Wireless Internet
- Air conditioning
- Laptop friendly workspace
- Washer and dryer machines
- Smoking allowed
- TV with premium channels
- Daily housekeeping
- More information here
Option A: Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá
Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá (UTP) is the second largest university in Panama. It is a university comprising six faculties in seven campuses nationwide. The main campus is a 60-hectare piece of land located in Panama City, the country’s capital city. It is the state institution with the highest hierarchy in terms of higher scientific-technological education in the Republic of Panama.
The delivery to the nation of professionals is given without interruption as of the 1981. Promotion. To date, this High House of Higher Studies has graduated 55,008 professionals who with their knowledge, skills and abilities contribute to the development of the Republic of Panama .
The synergy created with the government, private and social sectors of Panama, allows the UTP to maintain an up-to-date academic offer and contribute efficiently to the country's technological and social development. On the other hand, the link developed with prestigious academic institutions, research, organizations and companies from other countries, ensures their successful insertion in the globalized world.
Its educational offer, evidences the institutional growth. Currently, 127 courses are offered at the different levels, as follows: 4 PhDs, 69 Masters and Postgraduates, 1 Teaching staff, 21 Bachelor's degrees in Engineering, 21 Bachelor's degrees with intermediate technical qualification, 4 other Bachelor's degrees, 1 Bachelor's degree in Technology and 6 careers Techniques. As for demand, it has increased from 5,735 students in 1981 to 21,443 in 2015. It has a teaching staff of 1,549 teachers, 32% full-time and 1,852 administrative staff.
UTP is a national leader in engineering research; Serves as a reference center and expertise in technology.
Option B: Universidad Interamericana de Panamá
Universidad Interamericana de Panamá offers continuing education, undergraduate and graduate degrees in architecture, business administration, engineering and information technology, hotel management, human resources, law, maritime administration and tourism, and psychology.
UIP provides students an opportunity to enroll in dual-degree programs with other Laureate International Universities network institutions, including master’s programs with the Institute for Executive Development.
Universidad Interamericana de Panamá is accredited by the National Council on University Evaluation and Accreditation of Panama.
More than 10,300 students are enrolled at Universidad Interamericana de Panamá (UIP), which was founded in 1994 and merged with Universidad Latinoamericana de Ciencia y Tecnología (ULACIT) in 2014. UIP develops students’ personal and professional skills through a variety of programs on its two Panama City campuses.
Option C: City of Knowledge
Just a few minutes from downtown Panama City, City of Knowledge is strategically located across from the Panama Canal. Some 120 hectares and more than 200 buildings of what was once the Clayton military base are now home to a booming international community established for the purpose of business, academic, scientific, and humanistic collaboration. The objective is human and sustainable development based on knowledge.
City of Knowledge is a management platform that focuses on boosting the innovative and competitive capacities of the users who share the Campus. Integration, dynamic networking, and joint efforts facilitate the transference of knowledge.
This allows for an unusual concentration of innovative firms, international organizations focused on development, as well as academic and research institutions, resulting in a lively and successfully collaborative community. In order to strengthen these dynamics, City of Knowledge provides access to a series of benefits and services aimed at the needs of its users.
Distance Between Airport, Lodging and Venue
- Tocumen International Airport -> City of Knowledge: 38 Km, 50 minutes
- Tocumen International Airport -> Country Inn & Suites: 32 Km, 40 minutes
- Country Inn & Suites -> City of Knowledge: 8.2 Km, 12 minutes
- Country Inn & Suites -> Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá: 5.6 Km, 7 minutes
- Country Inn & Suites -> Universidad Interamericana de Panamá: 4.6 Km, 6 minutes
- City of Knowledge -> City of Knowledge: 1 Km, 3 minutes
- City of Knowledge -> Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá: 13 Km, 19 minutes
- City of Knowledge -> Universidad Interamericana de Panamá: 12 Km, 18 minutes
Panama has improved their transportation systems consisting of four important elements:
- MetroBus, the official public bus system.
- Diablo Rojo, the old public bus system.
- Panama Metro, the metropolitan subway system.
- Taxi, the common private transportation system.
Panama City yellow taxis do not use a meter to measure fares, instead using a zone system for fares that is published by the Autoridad de Transito y Transporte Terrestre, Panama's transit authority.
Uber, the rapidly growing, has been operating in Panama since March of 2014. In that time, it has grown from a niche luxury car service to a multi-option car service and legitimate competition for the taxis (just don’t expect them to admit that), that is the preferred method of travel for most expats and a growing number of Panamanians.
There are frequent traffic jams in Panama City due to the high levels of private transport ownership per kilometre of traffic lane. Normally this happens in specific roads and within an approximate timeframe:
- Morning - 6:00AM-9:00AM
- Afternoon - 4:00PM-6:00PM
- These values may vary -
|Country||Air Ticket||Bus Ticket|
Country Visa Information
The basic required documentation needed are:
- Valid passport
- Return ticket
- Economic solvency
Countries that require Tourist Card (TT-3)
Tourist Card (TT-3) can be bought at the flight company or at the Panamanian airport for $10:
- A: Antigua y Barbuda, Anguila, Antillas Holandesas
- B: Bahamas, Barbados, Belice
- C: Canadá, Colombia
- D: Dominica
- E: Estados Unidos
- G: Granada, Guyana
- I: Islas Caimán, Islas Vírgenes (USA)
- J: Jamaica
- M: Martinica, México, Montserrat
- P: Puerto Rico
- S: San Cristóbal, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent y Grenada
- T: Trinidad y Tobago, Turks and Caicos
- V: Venezuela
Countries that require Authorized Visa (VA-1)
Are required for those countries whose citizens, for issues related to immigration policy, require the prior authorization to enter Panama:
Countries that require Stamped Visa (VE-2)
The stamped visa does not require the prior authorization of the Migration Directorate and can be obtained either at the Panamanian Consulate or by bringing it already stamped from the country of origin of the tourist. The countries listed below must enter Panama with a stamped visa depending on the length of their stay:
- If the stay exceeds 30 days: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Colombia, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos and Venezuela.
- If the stay exceeds 90 days: Anguilla, Netherlands Antilles, United States, Cayman Islands, Virgin Islands (USA), Puerto Rico, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis and St. Vincent and Grenada.
Countries that do not require Visa (ASV-4)
For the following countries, the visa requirement has been abolished because they have reciprocal agreements with Panama:
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
Countries with Visa Waiver (EV-5)
The following countries do not need to present a visa to enter Panama, so the documents mentioned before are the only required:
Countries that require Tourist Visa
- Ecuador, if you have US visa and have visited US on the last year you don't need visa.
If your country is not here, please check the rules.
City of Knowledge
This is one of the most active sections in the City of Knowledge. With an auditorium that can seat 500 people and the most complete technological platform in the region for interactive development of new forms of learning in its Digital Classroom, the City of Knowledge Convention Center has plenty of possibilities for holding your event, meeting, seminar, graduation ceremony, congress, fair or videoconference, among other things.
The auditorium may be used as a single space or as three, because it can be divided into modules. It covers a total of 465 m2 (5,005 square feet) and can seat approximately 500 people. Rental of this auditorium includes central air conditioning, telephone access, Internet, basic furniture, and cleaning service.
This room is equipped with a Tandberg 6000 educator. VC speed is 128 to 384 kbps, with ISDN.IP communication. This room seats 90 people.
Meeting Room and Offices
As part of the comprehensive services and supplementary spaces at the Convention Center, we have a small meeting room for 10 people and three individual offices for support during events.
We can provide you with tables and chairs for your congress or seminar, as well as a fully equipped kitchen so that a catering team may work without any problems.
Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá
The auditorium may be used as a single space. It can seat approximately 550 people. It usage could be sponsored by Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá and includes central air conditioning, Internet, basic furniture and cleaning service.
The labs are equipped with workstations, projector and projection screens and electrical outlets. It can seat approximately 50 people.
Universidad Interamericana de Panamá
The auditorium may be used as a single or dual space. It can seat approximately 400 people. It usage could be sponsored by Universidad Interamericana de Panamá and includes central air conditioning, Internet, basic furniture and cleaning service.
The labs are equipped with workstations, projector and projection screens and electrical outlets. It can seat approximately 25 people.
Event Organizing Experience
We got the support from the local open-source meta-community, FlossPa.
These are some of the events we organized on the last years:
- MiniDebConf 2010
- FUDCon LATAM 2012
- TrisferaConf 2013
- Hardware Freedom Day 2014
- FLISOL 2009-2016
- Software Freedom Day 2009-2016
- Document Freedom Day 2011-2012
- Meetups: Python, Docker, PanamaJS
- Fedora Release Parties 14-25
Internet Connectivity Option
- City of Knowledge has excellent telecommunications, IT and educational technology services.
- Country Inn & Suites Panama City has free Wi-Fi connection within all the hotel, suitable for low workload tasks.
- Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá has Wi-Fi connection within all the campus and wired Internet connection in all labs.
- Universidad Interamericana de Panamá has Wi-Fi connection within all the campus and wired Internet connection in all labs.
Outline of Proximate Entertainment
City of Knowledge
- La Plaza which is an urban planned project; it's a space where more than 400 people can gather to enjoy the grand food court that is connected to interior patios and exterior terraces creating the perfect setting for gatherings, meetings and gastronomic enjoyment.
- Bolos El Ñeque which is a differentiated space for the bowling game in Panama City. The use of a large pre-existing facility, the use and development of the technological component and adherence to principles and values that contribute to the integral education and improvement of the citizenship of its users.
- Albrook Mall is a large shopping mall and leisure complex located in Panama City, Panama. As of August 2015 it was the fourteenth largest mall in the world, the largest in the Americas and the largest shopping mall outside Asia.
- Altaplaza Mall is a new point where entertainment and good times are assured. A point where to find a wide variety of services for you. But most importantly, a point where you can live, dream, enjoy, share, know, live, imagine, conquer, love and give away.
- Dorado Mall is near one of Panama City’s newer Chinatowns, El Dorado also has restaurants, shops and a cinema. It's located near Corredor Norte and Parque Natural Metropolitano.
- Casco Viejo is the historic district of Panama City. Completed and settled in 1673, it was built following the near-total destruction of the original Panamá city, Panamá Viejo in 1671, when the latter was attacked by pirates. It was designated a World Heritage Site in 1997.
- Causeway is a narrow land-bridge, built with rocks excavated during the construction of the Panama Canal, that connects the continent with four islands next to the Pacific Ocean entrance to the Panama Canal.
- Due to its strategic geographic position and economical importance, services are really cheap tending to be an attractive destination.
- All Central America countries have easy access to Panama. Most of them could travel by bus, helping us to decrease the traveling budget allowing us to bring more people to FUDCon.
- City of Knowledge has a huge list of alliances that can represent a benefit to our community. This list includes all Panamanian universities, several governmental agency, Alliance Francoise, Smithsonian Research Institute, Science and Technology for Development Iberoamerican Program, Latin American Social Sciences Institute, National Association of Universities and Higher Education Institutions of Mexico and others. See the complete list here.
- People have experience with FUDCon organizing, event organizing and have links with local news media.
- Bringing people from South America might be too expensive.
- This is just an estimation -
Option A: City of Knowledge
|Venue||1 auditorium, 2 medium-rooms, 3 medium-rooms, 3 small-rooms||$3500.00|
|Lodging||7 rooms (3 persons/room) for 4 nights||$2400.00|
|Food||3-day lunch + 1st day dinner||$1000.00|
|Swag||T-shirts, booklets, badges, pens||$650.00|
|Travel||Bringing 20 regional contributors||$9000.00|
Option B: Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá
|Venue||1 auditorium, 2 medium-rooms, 3 medium-rooms, 3 small-rooms||$3720.00|
|Lodging||8 rooms (3 persons/room) for 4 nights||$2675.00|
|Food||3-day lunch + 1st day dinner||$1200.00|
Deadline for Event Reservation
The sooner the better.
|#||Name||$$$||Vegetarian||Size||Share Room?||Comments||Hotel Booked||Extra Line for Badge||Country||Team|
|1||Abdel Martínez||No||No||S||No||No||Yes||Event Owner||Panama||Ambassadors, QA, L10N, LATAM Treasurer, ex-FAmSCo|