I’m traveling to Panama to celebrate Carnival, but am worried about bringing my passport out at night.
Don’t bring your actual passport, but bring your passport copies with you to the Panama Carnival. Earlier this month the Director of Immigration issued a press release warning that all foreigners attending Carnival need to keep a copy of their passport on them. This means you need both your picture page AND a copy of the page with your last visa entry/exit. Immigration officials are going to be looking for people living illegally in the country during Carnival.
I’m a college student about to go to Central America, and there’re free vaccinations at my campus. Should I get them for Hepatitis?
I would recommend that you get these vaccines regardless of where you’re going to travel. Depending upon how much time you have before your trip, you might be able to get through the vaccination cycle completely before leaving. Generally, Hepatitis A and B are recommended, especially for college students. Even if you live in a developed area near ocean water, where runoff in the water is a common occurrence (think surfers in California/Florida), getting vaccinated is a smart decision. The CDC recommends them for anyone going to a Central or South American country with a high occurrence.
Has the recession hurt the Canal, or is business still good?
A total of 14,342 vessels crossed the Canal in 2009. This was slightly less than the previous year, down 2.4%, probably attributable to the decline in world trade due to the global financial crisis. But the first quarter of the 2010 fiscal already shows signs of a strong rebound, with the ACP reporting an 8.1% increase in traffic, to a total of 3,590 vessels.