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You got detention for that? - Reasons for getting in trouble during the Conference

Leticia Usberti & Isabella Pirro


             Everyone gets in trouble once in a while during school. It might be for talking too much during class or being tardy multiple times. With the start of Panamun, many people are excited for the debates. However, we can imagine how some of you are worried about detention. Here in ISP, detention happens during lunch, where the student doesn’t have the free lunch hour and has to stay in a classroom with a supervisor. During this time, you could do your homework or even research. But why would you want to be in detention? Isn’t the whole point of Panamun to debate with each other in a friendly manner and eventually find ways to solve the world´s issues, and then rest and have fun during lunch time with other delegates? We are sure that you wouldn’t want to miss this just because of a behavioral misconduct that could lead you to detention. So here are some things that you surely must avoid doing during this PANAMUN conference.

            First let’s start with the most usual infraction: clothing. If you have already been in a PANAMUN conference or any other debate conference before, you are probably already familiar with this one. For PANAMUN everyone participating in the conference has to follow a specific dress code. It is a formal conference so your clothes should not look like if you just went to the mall or to the movies. Think about it as the clothes that your parents would go to their meetings with. But, of course, you can play with it and add your style to it. During the conference, boys must wear tuxedos and when in a debate or when approaching the podium to speak, they must always wear their jackets. Sports shoes and flip-flops are not allowed at all times.  The girls´ dress code is more broad but it obviously still has its limits. Girls skirts must approach the knee when stood up and shirts can’t be transparent. Girls shoes can’t be open toe. Girls can wear heels, but they shouldn’t be so high. Remember girls, you are going to be walking and standing so you should preferably wear shoes that are going to be comfortable. Girls are allowed to where “no sleeved” shirts as long as most of the shoulder is covered and if it is a spaghetti strap, it has to be covered at all times with a blazer.  Other than that you’ll be able to dress as you want without any trouble, just remember to keep it formal and that student officers have the right to deny delegates the privilege of participating in the committees if they don’t follow the dress code norms.

Some other ways in which you could end up in detention would be by being late multiple times, by using your phone during debates, or by being disrespectful to anyone specially in your committee. This is a formal conference and being present and on time matters. This includes being present in the start of every day and after each break and lunch. You’ll have enough time in breaks to mingle around, have a snack, go to the bathroom, maybe talk to a friend and come back, so being late shouldn’t be an issue. You can use your phones during break, but just make sure that when you go back into your committee room you turn it off and keep it in your bag. It is really important the you do not use your phones during debates, because it might be distracting for you and for other delegates.

            I guess the most uncommon way in which you could end up in detention this PANAMUN conference is by declaring war at the wrong time at the wrong place. Yes, by literally declaring war within your committee. In some committees it is allowed but you just have to remember that many delegates are flying here and the last thing they want is to see someone ruin the conference because they were trying to be funny.   This is something that we all know that we shouldn’t do but someone always ends up doing it. Just make sure it’s not you who ends up cracking this joke and ending up in detention. Believe me, it’s not worth it.

            To help the flow of the debate, note passing is allowed because that helps the communication of ideas and questions between the delegates. Just remember that the notes passed should not be of a personal nature and that if it is not related to the debate, the note may be read and intercepted by the administrative staff present in the committee. If the note contains inappropriate messages offending someone or being disrespectful, that may bring you serious trouble.

            With the start of the conference, we just wanted to remind all of you that many people are coming here from far away to actually participate in the debates and have fun, so please don’t do anything inappropriate that might kill the conference for many and especially put you in trouble. And on top of all, enjoy this amazing opportunity and do your best to have a very successful conference.

Our Guide to Spending the Perfect Sunday in Casco Viejo

Gabrielle Aisa & Erika Kempf


Being the historical city of Panama, Casco Viejo offers many cultural attractions from cute cafes to charming plazas. Erika and I decided to spend a Sunday afternoon in Casco and had a great experience. With this, we created a guide which we hope will allow you to have well spent Sunday.


  1. Brunch at ‘Las Clementinas’


Las Clementinas, a cozy Bistro, offers a wide range of international and Panamanian foods, and happens to be an awesome place to have an absolutely mouth watering brunch. Apart from indoor seating, the café also has outdoor seating in a charming patio. Nevertheless, Erika and I sat inside as it was quite warm being 12:00 in the afternoon. Erika decided to have a burger as she was really hungry. I, on the other hand, ordered a Nutella waffle, and despite the fact that I had already eaten breakfast, did NOT regret it. After finishing our meal, we both felt like we had to be carried out of the place (that’s how full we were), so make sure to arrive with an empty stomach!


   2. Check out a Handful of Casco’s many churches


When strolling around in Casco, it’s almost impossible not to pass by a church. The one we passed by was called ‘La Iglesia de la Merced’, which was constructed during the 1680’s and, fun fact, still retains its original façade since the construction.


   3. Stroll past the American Trade Hotel


The American Trade Hotel is one of Casco’s many beautiful historical buildings with a great architecture, inspired by a mix of New Orleans and Old Havana style. Personally, one of my favorite routes is through an alley that goes past the American trade hotel and opens up to reveal Plaza Herrera. This is a good shortcut, make sure to take it!


   4. Take a Breather at Plaza Herrera


When you arrive at Plaza Herrera you will not be surprised to find a statue of a man gloriously sitting on a horse. Like many plazas, Plaza Herrera has its own characteristic statue; in this case in tribute to Tomas Herrera, the first Head of State of Panama. I would say take a break; relax and sit on one of the wooden benches available.


   5. Marvel at the paintings by Rolo de Sedas


One cannot possibly pass by Casco Viejo without having seen the well renowned paintings by Rolo de Sedas. Rolando de Sedas is a Panamanian visual artist who conveys his view on the essence of females and nature through his artworks. In the artworks above, Rolo de Sedas displays the upper part of the typical Panamanian folklore dress, the ‘Pollera’. Funnily enough, I did not realize this until just this Sunday when Erika pointed it out to me. Don’t forget to capture a snapshot of these colorful works!


   6. Visit the ruins


This is one out of about three of the ruins available in Casco Viejo and was once a church. Known as the Church of Santo Domingo, it burned down in 1756 and was never rebuilt since then. Interestingly, an arch inside the ruin, which remained intact until 2007, proved that Panama is outside the earthquake zone, giving developers key information during the construction of the Panama Canal.  Apart from its interesting history, I find that these ruins contribute to Casco’s character and charm.


   7. Buy an authentic Panama hat


Although manufactured in Ecuador, authentic Panama hats are a must have when in Panama, and Casco Viejo happens to be one of the most convenient places to get them. ‘Bellezas de Panama’ is just one out of various stores in Casco Viejo that sells authentic Panama hats.


   8. Watch a Local Game of baseball at the beach


Yes, Casco Viejo also has beaches. The locals like to spend their Sunday afternoons with an exciting game of baseball. The exciting cheers of the audience shows how passionate many Panamanians are about this game. If you happen to be a baseball fanatic yourself then take the time to stop by and join the audience in anticipation; who knows, you might even be able to join one of the teams! Erika and I aren’t experts when it comes to baseball, but we were still curious and found it quite entertaining to watch the game for a few minutes.


   9. Shop at ‘Las Bovedas’


Did one of your friends or relatives abroad ask you to bring them a souvenir from Panama? If yes, then Las Bovedas is the place to be. Las Bovedas literally translates to ‘the dungeons’ as it was originally part of a fortification wall around Casco Viejo. This corridor offers many typical Native Indian handcrafted souvenirs sold by the ‘Guna’ tribe. Apart from this, other local Panamanians also sell their own handmade and self designed jewelry. These artisans put a lot of passion into making their crafts and are at Las Bovedas everyday, so don’t hesitate to stop by! Erika and I both decided to buy a bracelet. I was surprised to find that mine is made of pearls coming from the ‘Islas Perlas’ islands here in Panama.


   10. Observe the statues at Plaza de Francia


All the way at the end of the long corridor of Las Bovedas there will be a huge stairway leading to the impressive ‘Plaza de Francia’, dedicated to France’s role in the construction of the Panama Canal. If interested, take the time to learn some more about each statue by reading the descriptions. If exhausted from reading too many resolutions during Panamun, then take photos with the statues or have a group picture!


   11. Be astonished by the intricate architecture of Palacio Bolivar


There are way too many buildings with beautiful, intricate designs in Casco. One of them is Palacio Bolivar. We find that this building has been very well restored. Although you can’t enter the building, it can still be enjoyed from the outside.


   12. Hydrate with a bubble tea

After walking around for quite a while, we were thirsty. Erika happened to know a cute juice and tea café known as SweeTea Day. They are best known for their bubble teas, a Taiwanese, cold tea-based drink. The teas they offered were black tea or green tea, which was then infused with a fruit flavor of your choice and finalized with a bubble pop flavor of your choice. I decided to have a green tea infused with passion fruit flavor and lychee bubble pops. It was so good! I’m definitely coming back. Erika really enjoyed hers as well, she has a green tea infused with strawberry flavor and passion fruit bubble pops. In our opinion, bubble teas are a great way to end a memorable Sunday afternoon at Casco Viejo.

One Moment Caught in Time and a Catalyst of a Million Emotions

Patricia Cucalon


In 1989, Panama held its presidential elections where the presidential candidate Guillermo Endara got more votes than the presidential candidate supported by Panama’s past dictator, Manuel Noriega. Due to this, Noriega annulled the elections and continued with his position as dictator; this caused numerous protests by Endara and his supporters the following day, which resulted in shootings and the use of tear gas by the paramilitary. In between these men who had come out to protest was Guillermo Ford, the vice-president candidate that ran alongside Endara. As the violence progressed, a group of around forty paramilitary men made their way towards him, killing his bodyguard in the way, and began stabbing and hitting him with a pipe.

Among all this chaos was another man named Ron Haviv, who will be this year’s PANAMUN keynote speaker. As he stood there, he captured every single moment through the lens of his camera. No one paid much attention to him at the moment, but little did they know the impact that his images would have on them. As it turns out, one of the pictures he shot, where Ford was getting abused by the paramilitary, became viral and made it’s way to the hands of President George Bush, inspiring him to help improve Panama’s situation. At 23 years of age, Haviv was able to influence the intervention of the United States in Panama that forever changed its state.

Now, 27 years later, Haviv has managed to do the same throughout many locations in the world. For the past three decades, this Emmy nominated, award-winning photojournalist has traveled around more than 100 countries and covered over 25 conflicts. Through his work, he has been able to raise awareness about current human rights issues around the world and has created a fearful record of the unfairness of war. He has also made people realize the traumas other individuals around the world are going through, while successfully conveying their emotions.

His first photography book, Blood and Honey: A Balkan War Journal, recorded around a decade of conflict in the Balkan Peninsula, and provided significant evidence that resulted in the induction and conviction of war criminals at the International Tribunals in The Hague. It was also described as “one of the best non-fiction books of the year” by The Los Angeles Times and as “a chilling but vastly important record of a people’s suffering” by Newsweek.

In addition to his photojournalism, he co-founded a photo agency known as VII and had his photographs featured in museums such as the Louvre, The Houston Museum of Fine Arts, and The George Eastman House, among others. He has also participated in several films, either as a director or as a central character. He has directed films for ESPN, People Magazine, Doctors Without Borders, and many others in addition to music videos for MTV Europe and Sol Musica in Spain and has been the central character in 6 documentaries, including National Geographic Explorer’s Freelance. In this documentary he spoke about the dangers of combat photography and his experiences throughout the years.

For many years Haviv has, as he described, enabled “people who don’t have a voice to get their stories told” through his photographs and writing. Not only this, but he has achieved something seldom photographers achieve: the portrayal of thousands of emotions through images.

PANAMUN-A Cherished ISP Tradition

Gabrielle Aisa & Erika Kempf


ISP, a three letter abbreviation that stands for three words. ISP stands for the international school of panama, but it also stands for what makes us proud as a community and what drives and motivates us to do better. One of the instances where this is seen is in PANAMUN, a long held tradition at ISP that has improved and grown over the course of the years. Throughout the course of this three-day simulation of the Model United Nations, intensive debate is seen to take place in varying committees in the quest for resolutions to global issues. As an ISP student myself, I have only ever taken part in PANAMUN once as a delegate. Although one could argue that this is a very small fraction of my academic life, it was a very enriching experience that taught me more about debate and boosted my self-confidence. Alike with myself, I can imagine that the PANAMUN experience has also left a significant influence on many other students at ISP as well as outside of ISP.

PANAMUN very much embodies the collective effort of us ISP students as it is essentially a student-led conference. With this said, PANAMUN has also very much grown with our campus and student body over the course of the years. The use of the PAC, a state of the arts auditorium, as a new setting for our opening and closing ceremonies as well as preliminary session accentuated on the professionalism of PANAMUN. In addition, looking back on each year of PANAMUN has only allowed for more improvements to be made.


As we are now in the process building up to the next conference, meetings are being held, pictures are being taken, and issues written and tweaked. This is why I love PANAMUN, it is a collective product of the hard work of ISP students and one amongst many aspects of ISP that makes us proud.

What do you love most about PANAMUN?

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