Our Culture Day began with the quote “culture is the deep exercise of identity” by Spanish writer, Julio Cortazar. This quote resonated with us throughout every activity we did and every discussion we had. We began with a seminar called Culture and Safety seminar where the group learned about Panama, GG protocol, as well as Traveler Savvy tips.
We then went to La Arena, a neighborhood in Chitre known for its ceramics and crafts.
We got to meet Lucrecio Batista and his family. This Panamanian family has passed down a passion for ceramics from one generation to the next. Not only did we learn about their ceramics business, but we also got the chance to experience the ceramics-making process, from molding clay at the turn-table to designing the pieces. At the end of the workshop, each Glimpser left with a personally-designed flower pot.
After a delicious lunch at Café Caney, we headed to our next activity; a Panamanian folkloric dance class.
The nerves many of us had from the idea of dancing were completely forgotten after an upbeat calentamiento (warm-up). We then learned three traditional dances: La Denesa, Viva Panama, and El Punto. Two of the students even got to perform the final dance for the group, wearing a traditional polleron (Panamanian skirt). I was so proud of the positive energy, focus, and personal style everyone put into the dance. We were having so much fun that we proceeded to free dance, this time to salsa music, going past the class’s set end-time.
If the day wasn’t already packed, the group then focused its energy for two more seminars: English Tutoring seminar and Leader of the Day seminar. Both of these were so important because tomorrow is not only our first day of English Tutoring but we will also have our first LDD. To hear more about that, check back tomorrow for our first student-written blog post!