March For Peace Parade in David, Chiriquí

I thought I would take a drive downtown David Saturday morning and car cam the third and fourth streets, which are the main shopping area of down town.

When I started down fourth street I went a couple of blocks and found it closed off by police. It was obvious something was going on in the park so I detoured and parked in front of Hotel Best Western and walked to Parque Cervantes to find out what was happening.

I found out that there was going to be a Parade for Peace, sponsored by the National Police. It was about 8:30 and several told me it was scheduled to start at 9:00. Now in Chiricano speak, that means it will actually start from 9:30 to 10:30.

Had I known there was going to be something special, I would have had my other camera, but at least I had a camera. It is so nice to always have a camera with me again. I decided to hangout in the park and get some photos. I did notice when I powered on the camera that I didn’t have a full battery, so I was a little concerned it if would hold out for the full time period.

I had time to spend, so I took a couple photos of the park.

I will warn you ahead of time that I took about 75 photos and am posting them all. When you click on “continue reading”, you might want to take a stretch and let the photos load. Continue reading

Panama Independence From Spain

Today is the day that Panama celebrates it’s independence from Spain. There is a mist coming down and I don’t know if David is having a Parade or not. I know that Boquete and Volcan are having one.

It is probably better that I stay inside anyway. I did get my walk in for the first time in over a week before it started to rain.

If you go to the parade in Volcan or Boquete, I hope you stay dry. If you can’t make it and want to see a past parade, H E R E is one in 2006.

The Price Of Rice Parade in David

The President of Panama was in Chiriquí yesterday and because of that, the farmers had an elaborate parade for him. This was not the typical marching band parade with high stepping majorettes.

This was a parade of farmers in cars and pickups and in tractors protesting the importation of foreign rice. The farmers want to be provide all rice for Panama, but it can be imported cheaper and the farmers can’t compete with the cheaper rice from the outside.

This is my understanding of yesterday’s protest. Anyone with a better or more complete understanding, feel free to elaborate. The high price of gasoline and diesel is taking its tole on all of the products in Chiriquí. Milk, cheese, vegetables, etc can’t be produced and delivered to market as cheaply as before.

I have to say, that this was the most orderly and best organized protest I have seen in Panama. There had to be over 50 tractors and over 200 cars and pickups in the caravan. At least that is my guess. I first saw it on the InterAmerican highway traveling in the eastward direction. I stopped close to the Pizza Hut and took a few photos.

I then drove to the Optica Lopez and then to Super99. When I was leaving Super99, the parade of tractors had made it around the loop and was passing in front of Supep99 where I took the residual of the photos. Below are a small portion of the protest parade.

In this first photo, it would be easy to think the man on the tractor is angry. He appears to be shouting something. The sign on the tractor says “No more imported rice”.
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159th Anniversary Parade of David – Part 1

What a disappointment! I love to go to parades. When I heard that David was having a parade last Sunday, celebrating its 159th anniversary, I made plans to go. It was to start at 11 and I was in my parking place across from the Dolegita Romero at 10 AM.

Why was I disappointed? Well, you would expect, that if this is specifically a parade for David, then the David officials would plan and do it right. WRONG! I saw no evidence that any planning went into this parade. NONE. Of all the parades I have seen in Panama, since I have lived here, this was the worst!

I mean no disrespect to the participants of the parade. I blame the organizers. Were there any? I would have thought that the Mayor of David would have been in the parade. Where was he? The only sign of city participation was a handful of police here and there.

I felt so sorry for all of the people who marched in the parade. It went from the Parque de Madres to the Super 99 super market. It takes a lot of effort for the participants to walk that far. Unfortunately, all of the participants had to contend with a large amount of traffic. It would have been so simple for the police to have placed a few cars blocking off the parade route so that there could have been an orderly parade.

You know I am usually pretty upbeat and probably think I am over reacting. From the photos that follow, you will see that the event could have been improved, should have been improved, and actually was a little dangerous for those that marched. Continue reading

Feria de la Candelaria

I received the following email about a fair in Concepcion. I am sure it is going on other days, but I haven’t seen a schedule. It may be going on now for all I know.

American Style Oldies at the Feria de la Candelaria

Fans of American Style Oldies will be able to rock and roll at the Feria de la Candelaria, in Concepcion (Bugaba) on Sunday, January 27th, at 11 PM. The band, Panamaniacs, will be presenting songs from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, including some latin selections popular in the USA. This band, which consists of 4 North Americans, an Ecuadorian, and a Panamanian, hails from Volcan, and has been playing together for the past year. So plan on catching the tunes you remember; poodle skirts and Nehru jackets optional. This is sure to be a great ending to your day at the fair.

First Shout for Independence Parade

Saturday was the First Shout for Independence Parade. The start of the Panamanian independence is believed to have begun on November 10, 1821 when the town of Los Santos was lifted the Panama population against Spanish rule. The head of this revolt for freedom was reported to be 22 year old Rufina Alfaro, a young lady who became the symbol of national independence.

This parade is always fun to go to because you get to see a lot of the ornate Panamanian dress for the women and tipico attire for the gents. You can almost put your mind back in the early 1800s and picture Panama posturing itself for independence. Besides the photos you will see in this post, all photos that I took of the parade, can be found in the Chiriquí Chatter Photo Album.

As you look at the photos, imagine the sound of happy music and and laughing and singing. You get a real flavor of Panama and its past, if you become a part of the festivities that will occur today.

Lets mosey on down and get a good location to see the parade. As pass some of the participants, it will be a good time to get a couple photos, while they are still getting ready.

Here are three types of traditional dress.
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Panama Separation From Colombia Parade

On November 3, 1903, Panama declared its independence from Colombia. A Panamanian historian typically refers to this day as the day that Panama separated from Colombia. You will find many world references that call November 3, Panama’s Independence Day from Colombia. I am not a historian, but I will tell you that to many Panamanians, it is important that you use the word “separation”.

In last year’s post, I had photos and videos. This year will contain only photos. I will post some I selected and I will put the rest into Chiriquí Chatter Photo Album. November is the month of celebrations. For Panamanians, almost any occasion is a good reason to have a parade, but November is very special.
Take note of the sky at the beginning of this event. It is nice and clear and blue (this will change). The first set of photos are of the Panama police. These show the police taking firing positions.

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