Hello from Chitre!

Today was our first full day in country, and the focus of the day was history. After grounding ourselves in today’s question, “how does the history of Panama impact the present”, we set out for a tour of Casco Viejo. This area of Panama City is the second version of the “old district” which replaced its predecessor after the original district had to be burned to the ground to prevent invasion by pirates. The current version was strategically placed atop a peninsula so that the local people would be better able to spot future invasions before they were in striking distance. We ended our time in Casco Viejo by listening to some of the indigenous people from San Blas teach us about the long process of making “mola” fabrics which are an intricate and colorful, handwoven tapestry found in Panama.

After our tour of the Casco Viejo, we finally set out on a four hour bus ride to Chitre. The students had a great time getting to know each other and playing card games on the bus. Our incredible Program Coordinators, Amira and Ignacio, charged the students with leading the tour of the small town of Chitre using small write ups about some of the important parts of the area. Most of us were delightfully surprised that Chitre also has it’s very own La Mochoacana. Although there was a small debate about whether ice cream before dinner spoils your appetite, we treated ourselves before walking back to hotel to end the night with dinner and our nightly meeting.

That’s all for now! More to come tomorrow night! 🙂