We published an album of frames from San Blas, the magnificent archipelago of islands occupied by the Kuna Indians whose autonomous territory is called Comarca de Kuna Yala. We spent three days here in a tiny tent on an island smaller than a Manhattan block with no running water and electricity but full of life and self-sustainability. The friendly Kuna were taking us on boats to spend time on various island, Isla Masargandup, Isla Perro and Bundep, Cayo Holandese and Cardi, all surrounded by the Caribbean crystal clear green waters covering dangerous reefs that sent into oblivion many catamarans ran by the Colombian “narcos” trying to sneak during the night their lucrative cargo into Panama.
Category Archives: Panama
We published an album of frames from the shoot in the western part of Panama. From the tranquil atmosphere of Santa Catalina , to the pristine blue waters filled by corals and zillion of tropical fish of the Coiba National Park we took the route going north to Boquete to immerse in the coffee culture of Panama. The jungle surrounding the town, once the exclusive territory of the Ngobe indigenous population, is abounding with wildlife counting in it the majestic quetzal.
We publish an album with frames from the shoot from various location of the carnival in Panama, the best of Central America. In spite of the large deployment of floats in Panama City the most important carnival site of Panama is in Las Tablas where the competition between the lower and the upper streets create a drama mediated in prime time national TV that broadcasts live each entire night from the central square.
We published an album of frames from the shoot in the Embera Village several hours away from Panama City. The villages are deep in the jungle accessible by boats of the tributaries of Chagres River. The experience of being in that village is unique. You are surrounded by the locals who are extremely welcoming and pleasant and immersed in the pristine jungle that they cherish and use for they own survival.
We published an album of frames from the shoot in and around Panama City. The peaceful world of Casco Antiguo is a first place where you may encounter the contrasts of Latin America; expensive cars and high price tab restaurants stand side-by-side with old tenements buildings ready to be converted in high end residencies. Panama Canal is the new and rich economy reflected in the stretch of high rises built along the Ocean on Costa Cintera that goes all the way to the ruined old settlement of Panama Viejo.
Last day in Panama. A paced walk in Casco Antiguo in the morning with less traffic, looking for things to buy, haggling with Kuna women, a cappuccino in one of the great American looking bars, last shopping and photos of the trees in full purple blossom in Plaza de la Catedral and packing and getting in a taxi to Toucumen International Airport that is getting expanded for a prosperous future of the country.
But Panama had one more surprise of its “tranquilo” style of Central America. I checked in my luggage, went through security, arrived at the gate and went again through the “American” security at the gate. The plane’s departure somehow was moved half an hour earlier without any notice and I decided to go out and buy a bottle of rum. The entire expedition failed because in about 15 minutes, or a little less the store could not process the purchase, the computer crashing several times with so many forms to be filed that I thought that it was easier to pass through the immigration than buy a rum. When I got back at the gate, missing maybe 15 minutes, they closed the gate without making any announcement and I could not board the plane that soon inched out of my sight. When I pointed out that my luggage is in the plane they smartly showed me a guy carrying a suitcase. But surprisingly the suitcase was not mine and after much discussion between the AA representative and the gate people switching English into Spanish, the plane was brought in half an hour back to the gate to look for my backpack and put the one wrongly replaced back on the flight. Panamanian accent is hard to understand, a thing confirmed by several South Americans I met in this trip, and even I overheard part of the conversation it is not clear what happened and how come they did not see that a passenger is missing but in the end they re-boarded both my flights for a late arrival in JFK around midnight.
I don’t know how Adam and Eve were feeling when they were castigated from Paradise but I saw the melancholy in Valentino and Marzia’s eyes when they were looking in the morning over the green and blue waters after 6 days in San Blas and about one month and a half in Panama. This time is was not God in charge of the decision but Roberto who blew his “concha” to call all of us at the boat. The sea was “mas tranquilo” as the previous night and he handed us in the port to Jesus, who looked, act, behaved and spoke absolutely identical with Tito without being twins I guess and unfortunately driving as bad as him, using the hands more to manipulate the phone, the texts and the music than the steering wheel who was left on the extremely winding and hilly roads in the hands of Ibeorkun. With a big smile he left me in Casco Antiguo at Hotel White Lion recommended by Chris and Vanessa, very basic but conveniently located. After reconnecting to the world by email and phone the only thing each of us dreamed off was a shower with “aqua dulce” after we stayed salted as sardines for so many days.
Casco Antiguo was in a festive mood, as usual. It was the birthday of Martinelli, the president of Panama who was throwing a big party on tax payers money in the Palace and the fireworks went several times in the night. I was pacing the beautiful streets of the old town looking for things to buy when Valentino saw me and we decided to meet for dinner and have another chat. This was such a pleasure to have another nice night of discussions and we did it around a dinner of Panamanian food in a restaurant where on the top floor dancers were practicing on traditional music. It is very interesting how it’s so easy and pleasant to connect with Italians. Everything is so fluid and does not need anything particular to happen. It’s in the air. Grazie, Marzia and Valentino for these great evenings!