Buena buena, everyone! Thanks for checking in on our adventures in Chitre!

Today was Culture Day for CH1B, so we had the amazing opportunity to learn about Panamanian culture from some of the local artisans here in Chitre. Before we could do that though, we had to get the lowdown on the rules and regulations as well as some savvy traveler tips.

Following our morning seminars, we hopped on the bus and traveled to Las Capulas, where we hit the dance floor to learn some native Panamanian dances.

We learned three separate dances–La Denesa (pictured), Viva Panama, and El Punto (pictured). Each dance was a lot of fun to learn and everyone was fully engaged and enthusiastic about putting their best feet forward (pun definitely intended)!

Following our awesome time at La Capsula, we chugged a ton of water and headed back to Hotel Hawaii for some lunch and much-needed recuperation time.

From here, we then headed to La Arena, where we were warmly greeted by Lucresio. Lucresio demonstrated his fine artisanal skills of crafting beautiful pottery by hand.

We learned his pottery skills were passed down to him from his family and that he, too, has passed down his knowledge and skills to his daughter and her husband. This really was a great illustration of the importance of art in relation to culture, not only for its benefit aesthetically but also financially. Ben also made the astute observation that culture, especially in art form, has the unique ability to both differentiate us and unite us all at the same time.

Lucresio gave us the opportunity to shape some pottery of our own if we wanted, but everyone was given a clay pot to paint on their own. All in all, we had a fantastic time being enlightened by Lucresio and creating our own works of art!

By this point, we were all gassed, but the fun wasn’t over just yet! We headed back to the hotel and had some downtime again, and then it was off to dinner. Dinner had a little extra flair to it tonight, as we surprised our very own Isabella with a birthday cake on her birthday today!

With some great tunes to go with the cake, this special birthday dinner was a great way to end an incredible day!