Quote of the Day: “Culture is what remains after losing what was learned.”
Question of the Day: Why is it important in Panama to make culture last?
In our first full day in Las Tablas, the Glimpsers learned more about the history and culture of this small but widely celebrated city by visiting Museo Belisario Porras, the home of a three-term president of Panama, and the home/workshop/warehouse of Roberto Villareal, the hardest working artisan in Los Santos Province. While separated by 100 years, both men are incredibly important to the preservation of Panama’s customs and traditions through architecture, art, diplomacy, folklore, and education.
As President of Panama, Belisario Porras oversaw the construction of the Panama Canal and also was a key ambassador to Latin America and the world. His family and historians protect his legacy through the museum (his childhood home) and were very excited to teach us about his story (Alex and Arleen translated for us). The group enjoyed the artifacts and pictures from his life and even recognized some places from our trip to Casco Viejo yesterday.
In the afternoon, we visited the creative center of Las Tablas’ Carnavale. While it is difficult to imagine such a massive event taking place in the small plaza down the street, thousands and thousands of locals and visitors descend upon the scene every year. Roberto Villareal is the key to all of this through his amazing costumes and carrosas. The event can take all year to produce and costs over $500,000! The Glimpsers were more than happy to try on all of the elaborate headdresses and decorations in his workshop, and he was a terrific host to all of the students.
To finish the day, we held our Nightly Meeting and then picked our Lideres del Dia (Leaders of the Day) for the rest of the trip. Each day, two Glimpsers will take over the reins from the PC’s and GGLs (including the blog!) each day and will expand their leadership skills throughout the process. They are enthusiastic to step outside their comfort zones and lead our groups through each day’s themes and topics. Tomorrow, Alex and Cameron will lead us through our Aid and Development Day.
Everyone is happy, healthy, and bonding very well- today’s events ended with a big group card game and singing session. The conversations are full of laughter and also becoming deeper as the lessons become more personal in this global setting. More to come from our student leaders Alex and Cameron tomorrow!