Buenas a nuestras familias y a nuestros amigos!

Today’s Culture Day quickly brought us to the importance of why we are here for our trip and not somewhere else. After an 8 a.m. wake-up call and a delicious breakfast of Panamanian tortillas, breakfast sausages, rice, and a tasty passion fruit juice, we walked down the street to a museum dedicated to Bellisario Porras, a former president of Panama who was instrumental in the creation of the Panama Canal and much of the Panamanian education system. Porras was born right here in Las Tablas. A quick visit to the Santa Librada chapel followed the Porras museum, with a delicious lunch of either pork, chicken, or fish for lunch afterward.

Then it was Carnaval Time! A visit to the home and workshop of a local costume designer and maker, Roberto Villareal, brought us into to the lively tradition of Carnaval in Las Tablas, which draws tens of thousands of people to Las Tablas each February or March. Roberto explained the design and development of masks, dresses, and parade floats while encouraging us to try on the wares. Incredible attention to detail would be an understatement.

The afternoon included a bit of free time to explore our town for the next two weeks. One group went to a park to shoot some hoops while a larger group explored the air-conditioned aisles of Super Carnes, a nearby supermarket, to stock up on fun snacks.

We’re looking forward to tomorrow’s Global Business day and our first English tutoring session. We miss you but know that we are well and that we’re in wonderful hands with our wise, knowledgeable, and compassionate Program Coordinators, Arleen and Nathan. Our first student leaders of the day, Natalie and Alondra will give you some news tomorrow 🙂