Traditional Panamanian Food – The Nomadic Boys

We travelled a great deal around Panama during our big trip in Latin America, from Panama City up to Bocas del Toro, and back. Along the way, we tried lots of different Panamanian foods and drinks.

Traditional Panamanian food has strong influences from Africa, Spain and its indigenous Native American population. There is a lot of similarity and overlap with the traditional foods of Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela, which is not surprising given that they once used to be part of “Gran Colombia“.

We’ve put together some of our favourite Panamanian traditional dishes we discovered during our trip, which we think you need to try to get a real flavour of this fascinating country.

Sancocho de gallina Panameño: the National dish

Sancocho is a delicious, light chicken soup with potatoes, culantro herb (similar to cilantro but stronger in flavour), yuca and plantains. Other ingredients often used include corn on the cob (mazorca), ñampi (a tropical root vegetable), hot sauce, chopped onions, garlic and oregano. The traditional recipe of sancocho is from the Azuero region, but other regions have their own variations. Due to the varied ingredients used to make a sancocho, it is often used as a metaphor for Panama’s racial diversity, showing that each part has just an important and equally important role to play in the preparation of this very yummy dish. As such it is considered the national dish of Panama.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Panama Gay Travel Resources

SPOTLIGHT: Mariposa Jungle Lodge – San Ignazio, Belize

JUNGLE ADVENTURE BY DAY, COMFORT BY NIGHT

Our boutique eco-lodge is nestled under the Belizean jungle canopy of San Antonio, Cayo. We have 6 comfortable cabanas with air-condition, en-suite bathrooms with hot showers, private screened porches with hammocks, room safes and relaxed sitting areas. Our cabanas also provide different configurations for your needs.

We have a Treehouse that sleeps 6 and has 2 bathrooms making for a relaxed shared space for friends. It has 1 King Bed, 1 Queen Bed and 2 Twins.

We also have a Couples Cabana with 1 King Bed, relaxed sitting area, private screened porch with Hammock and a private outdoor shower overlooking the jungle in addition to the full bath inside.

Our other cabanas are easily configured to accommodate solo travelers, couples, or 4 friends sharing. These cabins have 1 full bathroom and semi private screened porches.

See the Mariposa Jungle Lodge Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Belize Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

Gay Caye Caulker, Belize – The Globetrotter Guys

Gay Caye Caulker

Ask any backpacker travelling through Central America about Belize and they will tell you Caye Caulker is on their list.

Google it for yourself and you will see why. Bright blue skies, clear blue sea, palm trees lining the waters edge and colourful houses dotting the street give the island its iconic Caribbean feel. There are so many things to do in Caye Caulker!

Read moreGay Caye Caulker, Belize – The Globetrotter Guys

Eco-Friendly Costa Rica is Gay Friendly Too

eco-friendly costa rica - advocate

If there’s one thing Costa Ricans value above all else, it’s community. Pura vida is more than a friendly motto written on hats or T-shirts for tourists to buy at souvenir shops. Directly translated as “pure life,” it is closer to American ideas of the “simple life.” And in Costa Rica, the concept is part of their heritage and runs deep in the soil. The phrase is a reminder to not sweat the small stuff and instead focus on things that matter: friends, family, and most importantly, love.

In a country that’s home to five million people and nearly a thousand species of birds—including two of my favorites, the keelbilled toucan and the scarlet macaw — pura vida permeates through every experience you have. Whether you’re staying at a fancy resort or hiking on a crowded trail, you’ll find pura vida is a shared human language that transcends differences and unites those who embrace it.

For many LGBTQ people living in Costa Rica, social norms have noticeably shifted in recent years, thanks to wider visibility in smaller communities. While the country is widely known for its environmental efforts (embracing eco-tourism early) and lack of an army (the nation instead chooses to invest its money in agriculture) and Catholic traditions, citizens are still hungry for social progress.

By David Artavia – Full Story at the Advocate

Costa Rica Gay Travel Resources

 

Lesbian Belize: Unexpected Adventure and Magic – The Seattle Lesbian

Lesbian Belize - The Seattle Lesbian

The howler monkey with her baby lazily laid on the branches high above us. They weren’t moving. It looked like I wasn’t going to see one up close that day. I was standing beneath the shade of the tree tilting my head upward peering through the broad leaves at the black face of the sleepy mother as the baby played hide and seek behind the trunk of the tree for about 20 minutes.

However, the tour guide Geraldine Fremin, was an expert. She got a banana and coaxed the mother down the tree calling to her in a series of grunts and howls, the sounds the monkeys use to talk to each other. The mother slowly and cautiously made her way down the tree to a branch in front of me where she ate her banana and modeled perfect images right out of National Geographic.

Geraldine has been with the local women-run nonprofit sanctuary, the Community Baboon Sanctuary, what the local Creole people call the black howler monkeys, protecting the monkeys for 18-years. Started in 1981, the sanctuary has been a model for saving the nearly extinct monkeys, that were estimated to be around a population of 400 at the time, and for private/public partnerships working toward sustainable tourism. The population increased to an estimated 4,500 monkeys by 2003, she said. The sanctuary is currently in the process of surveying the monkey population to get an updated monkey census.

This was one of the many incredible experiences I had in Belize. A country that is a hidden gem for travelers of all kinds. It has everything: outdoor adventure and nature, cultural to culinary experiences, archeological and historic sites, beaches and jungles, and even some nightlife on San Pedro on Ambergris Caye for partiers.

By Heather Cassell – Full Story at The Seattle Lesbian

Belize Gay Travel Resources

 

Villa Decary – Costa Rica Gay Inn

Villa DeCary

Hotel Villa Decary Bed & Breakfast overlooks the beautiful, pristine Lake Arenal and Costa Rica’s Tilaran mountains. Costa Rica’s Lake Arenal region is a remote, uncrowded area of Costa Rica – at 1,800 feet in elevation, the area boasts a unique temperate climate, with cool nights and warm days.

The property is surrounded by a middle-elevation tropical rainforest, including lush plant life, a rainbow of butterflies, over two hundred and fifty bird species. You’ll also find troupes of shy howler monkies.

Hotel Villa Decary is American owned and operated, and is a relaxing and affordable escape on a lush Costa Rica hillside, surrounded by a botanical garden of exotic tropical plants and palm trees. We’re close to the small Tico town of Nuevo Arenal, and just fourteen miles from the active Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs.

See the Villa Decary Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Costa Rica Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

 

Lesbian Belize: Adventure and Magic – The Seattle Lesbian

lesbian Belize

The howler monkey with her baby lazily laid on the branches high above us. They weren’t moving. It looked like I wasn’t going to see one up close that day. I was standing beneath the shade of the tree tilting my head upward peering through the broad leaves at the black face of the sleepy mother as the baby played hide and seek behind the trunk of the tree for about 20 minutes.

However, the tour guide Geraldine Fremin, was an expert. She got a banana and coaxed the mother down the tree calling to her in a series of grunts and howls, the sounds the monkeys use to talk to each other. The mother slowly and cautiously made her way down the tree to a branch in front of me where she ate her banana and modeled perfect images right out of National Geographic.

Geraldine has been with the local women-run nonprofit sanctuary, the Community Baboon Sanctuary, what the local Creole people call the black howler monkeys, protecting the monkeys for 18-years. Started in 1981, the sanctuary has been a model for saving the nearly extinct monkeys, that were estimated to be around a population of 400 at the time, and for private/public partnerships working toward sustainable tourism. The population increased to an estimated 4,500 monkeys by 2003, she said. The sanctuary is currently in the process of surveying the monkey population to get an updated monkey census.

By Heather Cassell – Full Story at The Seattle Lesbian

Lesbian Belize Travel Resources

 

Old Town Quito Suites – Ecuador Gay Owned Vacation Rental

Old Town Quito Suites - Quito, Ecuador

“Unparalled experience”

This slogan speaks for itself. With our team, experienced in the tourism world, we entered in the hospitality market with an innovative concept: we renovated a colonial mansion with a historical heritage and a strategic location, just behind the oldest church of Quito: the San Blas church. We restored it meticulously with respect for the soul of the house and reusing the beams, doors, windows, bricks. Combining a vintage style, artistic objects and antiques with modernity such as induction cookers, USB plugs, dishwashers, spacious refrigerators, netflix and internet with fiber optic we offer a comfort and easiness in an authentic colonial environment, thus creating a unique experience. We opted for the luxury of spacious apartments over the limitations of hotel rooms.

Completing our offer with a luxury service and the smile of our professional team we are convinced of giving an added value to the tourist market. “Stay in Quito as in a fairy tale”.

See the Old Town Quito Suites Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Ecuador Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

 

Gay Honduras – The Globetrotter Guys

Gay Honduras - The Globetrotter Guys

When we travelled Central America we were naturally a little bit concerned about our safety in Honduras and in El Salvador. We opted to join an organised tour to safely see and pass through these two countries. As a result, we did not get the time to explore ‘gay Honduras’ ourselves.

However, we did manage to get in contact with an LGBT local called Joshua to learn more about gay life in Honduras. Read the full interview below:

Firstly, please introduce yourself to our readers:

Hi, my name is Joshua. I am 37, from Honduras and I work as an elementary teacher.

I really enjoy travelling and meeting new people to learn about their culture and stories.

My favourite place to go is the beach. I love the ocean, the sand and the sun. I think the beach is the perfect place to rest, think, party etc, well to do anything!!

As a teacher I like Science and now after many years I am a first grade teacher. I really love working with young kids. I spend much of my time improving myself as a teacher to be up to date with matters related to education.

Also I am a couchsurfer, and I love to have people visit, to help them and to learn a bit about their country. I used to be a party monster but I am more relaxed now. I like beer, books and good conversation.

Full Story at The Globetrotter Guys

Honduras Gay Travel Resources

 

Gay Panama – The Globetrotter Guys

Gay Panama

If you have not yet been to Panama it is an absolute must. We only spent ten days in Panama and were pleasantly surprised to find gay owned hotels (like this luxury boutique in Bocas Del Toro) and a great gay scene in the Panama City itself.

We met up with Roberto Broce in Panama City to find our more about ‘gay Panama’ and find out if Panama is gay friendly. Here is our interview with him:

Hi Roberto! If you could introduce yourself to our readers first that would be great!

Roberto: Hi! My name’s Roberto Broce, I’m 26 years old and I work as a marketing analyst for the Innovation Centre of a foundation here in Panama called Ciudad del Saber. I’ve been travelling for 10 years living in almost every continent around the world, partaking in several social causes in places like China and Australia. I like kitesurfing, astronomy, and adventure travelling. I’m also single!

That sounds like you have seen a lot even at 26! Ok, so our first question – What is the stereotypical view of a Panamanian local towards someone who is LGBT (either local or tourist – is there a difference)

Roberto: It depends a lot on whether they were raised in an urban or a rural environment, their age, whether they were raised in a religious home, etc.

Let’s take a straight 30 something year old male raised in one of the suburbs of a satellite city outside Panama City in a catholic home. His exposure to LGBT people in the 90s and early 2000s was limited to TV characters that would exaggerate their mannerisms and were basically living cartoons, and to carnival queens that dress up in beautiful bright, feathery outfits and act in a very flamboyant manner. His vision is that gay people are flamboyant, cartoonish characters. Not necessarily reject them but also not completely accepting.

Full Story at The Globetrotter Guys

Panama Gay Travel Resources