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Coronado: Panama’s First
Given that there are actually thousands of miles of Panamanian coastline, how is it that Coronado was the area developed before any others?
Back in the early 1940’s this area was basically untouched, just a few small fincas with beautiful land and a spectacular coastline with white sandy beaches. Roberto Eisenmann Sr. bought the land and named it after the famous hotel in San Diego California on Coronado Island. If you have had the experience of the Spanish flavor and architecture, expansive ocean views and easy elegance, you know that Hotel Del Coronado is a great inspiration.
Essentially, it was to be for the family’s use when he built Los Pioneros. Panamanians value family life beyond many cultures. Having enough land to house several generations is at first a dream, and for this family, Coronado became its reality. Now the whole family enjoys the original vision in this wonderful location. Offering to other families who shared this desire of an exclusive beach community, allowed this remarkable place to expand, making Playa Coronado one of the first of its kind, anywhere, not just in Panama.
The intention set forth at this time was passed on to Roberto’s children, especially to his son, Roberto, to continue on. ‘Creating from the heart, no matter what the cost’ was the last wish of Senor Eisenmann, and the torch is still being carried today by all of the descendants. Each now contribute in their own special way to the honor their ancestor and to Playa Coronado.
Only 45 minutes from downtown Panama City, this little oasis is extremely desirable for many as it offers so much. The Coronado Country Club is an outstanding course for duffers of all skill levels. You can stay in the hotel; enjoy the pool, tennis, fine dining, surfing, jet skiing and great beach activities. This is a gated community within the gated community as well, with beautiful homes all around the course. Since it has conference rooms and so many amenities, a lot of things go on here from church services to social functions. The people are the heart of the community, but this physical space is too in many ways.
Those with equestrian interests, there is also a club they can belong to, board their horses and ride at one of the best riding rings in the country. There is an excellent restaurant, La Carreta, that serves only the finest meals and friendly service. Being in the ring or watching outdoors is quite a site. It makes one feel like they have gone back in time watching the classic gate of the horses and the sombreros’ atop the riders. It is not unusual to see horses ‘parked’ on the streets of Coronado. Visiting does not require going by car, or two feet, riding a steed is much more fun.
A much-needed recent addition to Coronado is the San Fernando Clinic, which is affiliated with San Fernando Hospital in Panama City. Most services are offered here from blood work, to medical exams and treatments, x-rays, emergency care and if needed, ambulance service to their hospital in Panama City. The staff is well educated, highly skilled, extremely professional and fluent in English. Before this was here, you had to drive to the city to receive care. Now, Coronado is well equipped to serve its community and the neighboring ones as well. Anyone considering a visit or actually living in Panama definitely thinks about where the nearest health facility is, just in case. The residents here, as well as in the West Beaches, El Valle, and Altos del Maria and beyond, are all grateful for this clinic. Everything there is the most up to date, high quality equipment. The doctors and nurses are extremely well educated and capable at all that they do. In fact, all of the staff excels at professionalism, courtesy and friendliness.
The newest developments are the construction of 3 additional malls at the entrance of Coronado that will be completed in 2010. ‘The Rey’ grocery store has been there for a number of years already, and is surrounded by other shops and eateries. This is a very busy place as there hasn’t been any thing like it for many miles to service Coronado and the neighboring towns. Other than this there was no place to buy even the simplest things, you always had to ‘go to the city’. With these three new malls, there will be clothing shops, grocery stores, a pharmacy, real estate offices, attorney’s offices etc. Everyone is excited about this incoming convenience and service.
Also under construction are the Bern Corporation’s high-rise condominiums on the beach for weekenders or for permanent residents. The Bern Group is one of the biggest and best builders in the country of Panama, and one of the finest hoteliers. This high rise is beautifully placed on the beach so residents enjoy the breath-taking views, soft breezes, swimming and taking those long beach walks.
The Eisenmann’s have prepared a large number of lots for median and upper echelon homeowners. It is possible to either bring your own architect and construction crew, or have the security of a guarantee provided by the Eisenmann group to build your new home. Everything done by the Eisenmann’s is of the highest quality and workmanship, and the preferred way to build in this community.
The population here is relatively small, 4000 property owners on the 900 hectares, with 300 hectares left to be developed. As this community becomes more cohesive by strengthening the Home Owners Association, only greater things will come to pass. It is desirable to become an ‘independent municipality’, as Sr. Eisenmann said to me. To accomplish the goals of all residents to maintain good roads, water supply and excellent security. As always, there is strength in numbers. The Coranado Association has a very important role here to keep all of the residents up to date on what is going on in the area, as well as maintaining the security gate when you enter, the fire department and so much of the behind the scenes work necessary to maintain this community.
Since Coronado’s inception there have been many other gated communities that have sprung up along this coastline. None, however, offer the range of activities, medical care, Panamanian culture, social structure and convenience that Coronado does. As this was the first, it has a settled in feel to it, not like you have arrived in a resort newly constructed that could be anywhere, and is so big you need a map.
Playa Coronado still feels like a small town where everyone knows everyone and you can settle in.
Copyright© 2011, Pan Am Publishing S.A., Republic of Panama