“Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both.” – C. Wright Mills
After an earrrrrrrly wake up call at 7:00am, the TA1D travelers took their breakfast on the bus and headed to Casco Viejo/Casco Antiguo (“Old City”/”Old Helmet”). Casco Viejo is one of 5 UNESCO World Heritage sites in Panama and is a social meeting place for locals and tourists. It offers incredible historical buildings that preserve some of the first institutions of Panama yet has a complicated story due to the redevelopment and constant renovations that have pushed many residents out for the tourism industry.
Our Program Coordinators, Nathan and Arleen, were terrific in guiding us through the amazing history of this city (completely burned to the ground by the pirate Henry Morgan before being rebuilt in 1673), country (which became independent from Spain in 1821), and the more recent issues of the gentrification of this original settlement. All the GG leaders were very impressed by the dedication, focus, participation, and kindness offered by all of our Glimpsers. They truly exhibited the 3 C’s (Courage, Commitment, and Compassion) in our first 24 hours of travel and humidity and also have begun to share their own stories and perspectives with each other. We closed the day with a short tour of our host city, Las Tablas, and then the night with a delicious dinner and meeting at our accommodation.
The group is looking forward to tomorrow’s Culture Day, where we will learn about the traditions of this small region and learn from some of the locals that lead their community and celebrations. Thank you to everyone for supporting our students on this journey. They have been fantastic travelers and we look forward to sharing more of our experiences in the next two weeks at Las Tablas!
Big Love to our Panamanian hosts and our families and friends at home!