Keith's Panamanian Travel Ramble

The wanderings of Andrea and Keith around Panama

Cup-Cakes at School

Each time we bump and wind our way up and down the mountain, we pass a Panamanian Public School called E.B.G. Juan E. Jimenez. There is no ability to speed as a rough tight hairpin curve just at the entrance to the school keeps things under control. We have never had the chance to see this school close up until today when a charity, called “Maria Luisa de Moreno Fundacion Internacional” will have a team there to give some of the less fortunate kids a small package of school supplies.

The Maria Luisa de Moreno Fundacion Internacional is a Colombia based non-profit organization formed in 2000 by Doctor María Luisa Piraquive. The Fundacion is currently present in 16 countries with three strategic lines focused on education, social welfare and productivity.

We got to attend because the National Police asked our local “Vecinos Vigilantes” (Neighbourhood Watch) group to attend. We were asked to bring something for the kids. Cup-cakes, which are becoming our defacto standard offering, were approved by the organizers as long as they had no icing. I guess they didn’t want to have to clean up the kids after they ate their cup-cakes.

In Panama, these kind of events are strongly supported by the National Police. They use opportunities like this to turn out and help, support, and speak encouraging words to the kids reminding them to call on police for help and stay away from drugs. This is the same community involvement approach we see with the police at home. It has proven quite successful.

I admit to being somewhat confused about who was and was not selected to attend the function. While some kids were brought in from other locations, some were from the E.B.G. Juan E. Jimenez School. There were also classes not participating in the event. From time to time, you would catch a small curious student looking out the door of their classroom, to see what they were missing.

 

I caught a class getting ready to head out to the garden area. They were drawing tools from a storage locker which they used during a class in the field. Here, as it is a rural area, the kids learn how to plant and grow food. The beautiful blooming flowers around the school buildings are a complement to their abilities. I was told that each class had their own area of the garden to plant and keep up.

This was a fascinating event for me to cover, howbeit much too long for the age of the kids attending. Too many lengthy speeches by too many people! The kids showed expected signs of restlessness toward the end of the several hour program. Some were paying close attention, while others seemed distracted by most anything. I must say that North American kids would be hard pressed to behave that well for that length of time.

The payoff, which came at the end of the speeches, was the handing out of the school supplies, which came with a sucker and a cup cake! I now completely understand why we had been requested not to put icing on the cup-cakes.

Watertight! I hope…

As we approach the end of our stay in Panama for another year, I thought you might be interested in some of the work that we had done on our house during our visit.

Last year, during the rainy season, the people staying in our house identified some water problems. Here, in the rainy season (April through November), water can really come down. This is not a bad thing as long as you and your house are properly prepared for the volume. Also, the mud is like in Edmonton. You get taller as you walk through it!

There were some areas of concern that were prioritized for our visit this year. Our roof was not sealed well enough and there was a minor leak during heavy rains. This has been corrected and we find it much quieter when the wind blows as the roof caps are not exposed to catch the wind and whistle. Also, the dead leaves have stopped floating down from the roof during windy days. No need to rake the floor inside the house any more.

Another concern was in the office. There is a sliding glass door there that is actually mounted too low. There is no way for the rain that hits the door and runs down and into the track, to drain so the floor in the office can get wet. The correct solution is to remove the door and remount it again higher and open the drain holes in the track to the outside. We will install ceramic tile outside on that patio so the height will increase. Once again, we are impressed with the ingenious solutions that our Panamanian workers come up with. Sebastian, who will lay the tile for us next year, suggested installing a small sloped trough across in front of the door, draining through the wall. This will give the water in the track a place to drain. We tested it by turning the hose on the outside the glass door and found that the inside stayed dry. Impressive and lots less work than raising the door.

Last year, our lower level under the front deck, got quite a bit of water into it. The water was coming through the concrete wall and eventually pooled in the middle of the room. Our investigation showed that there was a hole outside the house, just at the place where the water came in. The outside drainage had run into the hole and into the house. This side of the house is a problem as the ground slopes toward the house. The side of the house is also badly stained from the heavy rain splashing the mud up on the house. It is also difficult to walk down the side of the house due to the steep slope of the ground. Our solution was a series of things. First we build a narrow sloped sidewalk out from the house. This will improve access as well as keep the rain from staining the house when it hits the mud. Next to the sidewalk, we built a small open concrete trench from the top of the house all the way to the bottom. Downspouts were extended and now drain into the trough as does the surface drainage from the sloped ground beside the house. We think this will solve our problem with water in the downstairs area as well as improve access and protect the house from mud staining.  We installed a Panamanian eves trough on a small roof.  Interesting… take a three inch plastic pipe and cut a slot the length of the roof then slide it over the edge of the roof and put a downspout on it.  They love plastic pipe here!

We have added a driveway this year as during the rainy season vehicles pick up mud between the end of the road and the carport. We learned that grass is planted as plugs of grass rather than seed.  Seed disappears as soon as the birds find it.  We also added some yard lighting with a couple of high intensity LED lights on motion sensors. It works pretty well to light the outside when people leave or approach the house.

We also got our interior doors this year.  We had them made at a shop about 45 minutes away where all they do is make doors.  We found it by accident while looking for another place that is no longer in business.  They make everything out of Sour Cedar, which the bugs will leave alone.  He even let us change the design and colors of a door he had, partly built, in the shop.  Watching the installation was painful.  They did use power tools but not the ones you would expect.  The door had to have a small piece removed from the length.  They used a power grinder with a wood disk.  They use the tools they are most used to working with, even though we would use something else.

It has been an interesting season!

A Drive from Los Altos de Cerro Azul to Gamboa

 

Infrastructure construction progress here has been spectacular. When we left last year in March 2016, evidence of the new Metro was limited to only a few traffic barriers and some large drills, taking core samples along the new route. When we returned in October 2016, the progress was amazing! Overhead guide way supports were well under construction with many of the precast guide ways already in place. The contractor is from Brazil and is currently being investigated for bribes in the millions of dollars.

It occurred to me that you might find images from a drive across town to be of interest. Here, in the city, you will find a varied terrain covered with homes, both new and old. Homes range from mountain homes to city dwellings. You will see jungle, modern multi-lane toll roads and old narrow winding single lane mountain roads. You will also see a few shots of the new Metro construction. Now, these photos are taken through the windshield of our car as it bumps and winds down the mountain and through the not too smooth roads in the city.

Our route takes us down the mountain road to the main gate of our complex and further down the mountain from there. The road width and smoothness does improve, marginally, as we descend. We take a shortcut that takes us past a shopping center and that has our favorite fruit stand at the side of the road. A right turn will take us on to the Interamerican highway, currently construction bound with unpredictable traffic. In a short while, we begin to see some of the new Metro construction but turn on to one of the two main toll roads to cross the city. They are called Corredor Sud (south) and Corredor Norte (north). Our trip takes us across the city on Corredor Norte.

Part way through our trip on the top of a hill, we see the Bahai Temple, one of only nine in the world. It looks like an egg. It is a beautiful place with a great view of the city. Some of the older homes are built on the hillsides in the area close to the temple.  We got some entertainment at a red traffic light.  Rather than just begging, you will often find entertainers that hop out into the stopped traffic to perform something while you are delayed.  This time it was a juggler.  Just before the traffic starts up again, they walk down the line of traffic hoping for a tip or two.  Unique.

We also pass the massive precast plant where the new Metro guide ways are created and stored until the construction calls for their installation. Much of the terrain here is undeveloped jungle. It is hard to recognize that you are still in the city. We exit the toll road at Via Centenario (Centennial) and continue on, to the exit just before the Centennial Bridge, and head north on Avenida Gaillard to the Gamboa turnoff. This is a popular biking route and it is common so see groups of riders, all decked out in cycling gear, on the road. We also see cyclers riding up our mountain. That takes them from sea level to an altitude of about 700 meters in the space of around 20 kilometers. Now that’s hard work!

 

Turning toward Gamboa, we are in a National Park. We proceed along a jungle lined cement two lane not too smooth roadway that takes us over the summit, where you will find a large popular Zoo. Continuing on about 10 kilometers, we come to a single bridge which also has track for the Panama Canal Railway. Shortly before the bridge, we pass the prison that houses Manual Noriega, the infamous Panamanian President come drug lord.  Crossing the bridge we find the small town of Gamboa. This location is about half way through the canal and is the base for the dredging division of the canal. Here, you will also find the Rainforest Resort, which is a pretty expensive, beautifully located hotel in a remote place right on the shores of the Chagress River. They have a restaurant right on the Chagress River, which is  worthwhile for lunch.

Our return is over the same route. One way will take you about 1.5 hours driving time. Tolls for the round trip will run you about six dollars. Hope you enjoyed!

Carnival in Panama City

Carnival in Panama is celebrated with the same revelry and abandon as New Orleans or Rio de Janeiro. Celebrated in Panama since the early 1900’s, this big party begins in the four days before Ash Wednesday. This year the celebration started on the 25th of February. During this time, very little business happens as most businesses are closed. It is like the Calgary Stampede!  People leave the city for the interior of the country where the intense partying occurs. Oh and they choose a Carnival Queen.

A town called Las Tablas with a population of around 9,000 is the center of activities. Penonome is also a popular place to party. Interestingly, Panama City is not a big player in Carnival with most celebrations limited to locally organized street fairs and neighborhood parties.

What can you expect at one of these parties?   You will find live or recorded music played through speakers as big as a Mac truck that will almost break your ear drums. A stage in an open area, usually a flat deck trailer. Lots of people in various states of intoxication and dancing! I mean intense dancing with lots of water. Llots of water because you get hot in 35C weather when you are dancing in a frenzy all day. Usually the water comes from a truck and trailer like the fuel tankers that deliver to your service station, full of water with someone on top hosing down the crowd! Having been in the business, I don’t want to think of what was in the trailer before the water or after!

Now we typically stay clear of the big celebrations but there is a great benefit that comes from this celebration. Panama City is like an abandoned city. You can get pretty much anywhere during Carnival without any concern for traffic. It is great for sightseeing popular spots that are normally difficult to get to due to traffic. Just stay away from the Interamerican Highway on the first and last day of the party, when many of the 1.5 million people try to return to Panama City. Can you say traffic jam?

Here are some images of entertainers, in traditional dress, performing at the City of Knowledge just before Carnival. It gives you a flavor for the celebration and the costumes you would see as part of the Carnival Queen crowning.

The House on the Canal

2016-JKH-Panama Trip

Now I’m not a designer, but if I was I think I would think this was a very special house! Close your eyes and picture a place on the banks of a narrow part of the Panama Canal. The views from the back yard are completely open to the Canal. The property is elevated from the Canal by around 30 feet and below, at Canal level, the Panama Canal Railway runs. The ships passing through the Canal are close enough that you can almost reach out and touch them. Binoculars not required!

 

2016-JKH-Panama Trip

I could sit there, on the shaded swing, for hours watching the comings and goings on the Canal here in this small town called Gamboa. This is roughly half way through the Canal and is the headquarters of the dredging division for the Canal.

The spacious back yard is very private. There is a large deck off the rear of the house and a pool for a refreshing dip. Part of the property backs onto the jungle. There is a large outdoor cage containing a very colorful and noisy McCaw.

As I walked through the backyard, I met a full size female deer, that didn’t seem to be the least bit bothered by my presence. The people who live there told me that the deer comes to their yard and hangs around while they are home. If they don’t want the deer around, they simply lead it to the gate between their property and the jungle and close it after the deer is out. The deer respects the closed gate and stays out of the yard. Imagine!!!

2016-JKH-Panama Trip

This house is owned by the Canal Company and was corporate housing during the US presence here. The present occupants of this house have been here for many years and over time have acquired many very special pieces of art and furniture from local indigenous artisans and locations where they have travelled. The living room features a couch, chair and table made from large pieces of bamboo. These were brought back from Columbia some time ago. There are two beautiful custom carved wood beds from local woods that were hand carved by local indigenous artists. The detail is amazing. Along with the beds, there is a table with frogs elaborately carved along the front edge of the tabletop. In the living room is another hand carved chair with monkeys carved into the arms. Everything here is eye candy and absolutely unique. What do you think?

An Evening at the Theatre

2016-JKH-Panama Trip

Some of our friends here are long-time residents of Panama and lovers of live theatre. Yes… live theatre, in English, here in Panama. There is a place here called Theatre Guild of Ancon, which has been around for some 66 years. According to their Website:

“The Theatre Guild of Ancon was founded in 1950 by a group of Panamanian and American citizens who were interested in developing English language theatre in Panama. Our productions run the gamut of the theatrical spectrum – from modern, controversial dramas, to comedies and family entertainment, to musicals. Our stage has been the first step for performers such as Robert Loggia and Ruben Blades, and for successful directors such as Bruce Quinn. The Theatre Guild of Ancon is now the longest running theatre in Panama with the closing of the National Theatre of Panama in late 2015”.

A group of us decided to go for dinner and then the show, which was “Bang Bang You’re Dead”. This performance was by high school students in English.

Entrance is always by a $15.00 donation, with all the proceeds going directly to the theatre. The small old theatre building, housing the Guild, has had several earlier uses, only becoming the theatre in 1950.

2016-JKH-Panama Trip

The performance was very low-budget and black, being about the difficulties of teenagers trying to cope with abuse, bullying, suicide, and murder. On the positive side, the five teen performers needed to memorize a large volume of lines, which they delivered without a hitch.

While this performance was not to my liking, we will keep an eye on this place as a potential site for future entertainment.  They allow cameras to shoot the performance!

Getting Legal in Roatan – Part 2

Stop!  If you have not read part 1, go here first!  https://jkeithhowie.com/2017/02/05/getting-legal-in-roatan-part-1/

After a couple of days in Roatan, I can use just one word to sum up our impression of this place and that word is WOW! It is very much to our liking and style. It is very casual, safe, US money works everywhere, people are friendly and not to plentiful, lots of restaurants, English is widely spoken and even the busses are easy to use.

2016-JKH-Panama Trip

2016-JKH-Panama Trip

This place has no high-rises lining the beaches, in fact most of the buildings are around three floors tall so it hides in the jungle and adds to the beauty of the place.

2016-JKH-Panama Trip

 

2016-JKH-Panama Trip

We were in Coxen Hole for a poke-around and were walking down a narrow sidewalk on a busy street. As is the way in much of Latin America, there was a telephone pole located right in the center of the sidewalk. A woman with a small baby was approaching from the other direction and we met right at the telephone pole. We stepped back to allow her through and as she passed us, she flashed us a big smile and in perfect English said “thank-you”. Now that may not seem like much but it typifies our experience with the locals approach to tourists here. It is most pleasant to be in such a place.

This place is a major dive center. There are many boats dedicated to the support of divers and tourists that want to see the reef and its inhabitants. This is where the reef that begins around Cozumel, Mexico and runs down the coast past Belize, ends. We have snorkeled the reef in Belize but here, the reef is only a few yards from the shore so access is easy and the beaches on this side of the island are nicely protected by it.

Most everything is right on the coast here so travel between towns is often more convenient by water taxi. We wanted to see a town called West Bay, don’t confuse it with the name of our town, West End. West Bay is on the western tip of the island, about 12 kilometers from us. A bus which is a small van that can carry around 10 people costs about US$1.25 and would take about 20 minutes. A water taxi makes the trip in 10 minutes for US$3.00. Don’t take it if you don’t want to get your feet wet when you land on the beach at West Bay!  There is no dock.

2016-JKH-Panama Trip

2016-JKH-Panama Trip

Our interest in West Bay was quickly replaced by relief that we were not staying there! It reminded me of the beach at Cancun, Mexico during a very busy spring break. It was wall to wall people jamming the beautiful beach and the resorts are crammed right next door to each other. The overall appearance of the place is tremendously improved by the low-rise construction. Most resort properties have a narrow beach front but are deep, with the buildings set at 90 degrees to the beach. Not too good for beach views! While the beach was beautiful, the volume of people and vendors was excessive and prices are a bit higher. We also discovered that vendors there are more aggressive than where we were staying. We walked the length of the beach and headed inland for a coffee.

2016-JKH-Panama Trip

Our little hotel, Mr. Tucan is small, as many hotels are. It is just 10 rooms now but they are building on to it. There is an open patio between the two rows of rooms that is perfect for socializing with your neighbour and viewing the bay, through the palm trees. Many of the guests there were Canadian so it was interesting to compare notes with others about what they experienced, did, and thought of the place.  The rooms are small but adequate.  The beds are high enough to almost need a step-ladder to enter them.

2016-JKH-Panama Trip

2016-JKH-Panama Trip

We were sad to leave such a beautiful place but eventually, you have to go home, or in our case back to Panama. Our flight was at 13:45 so we headed to the airport in lots of time, remembering our friends problem with Air Panama at Bocus del Torro. Again, we  received a pleasant English-speaking agent and headed  through security to the departure lounge. The lounge was busy with several flights waiting to leave, including a 737.

2016-JKH-Panama Trip

2016-JKH-Panama Trip

Our Air Panama Fokker arrived early and deplaned only 25 passengers. Quickly the plane was groomed and we 16 people were boarded. We departed half an hour early. It only took about 30 minutes to turn the aircraft around. Impressive!

2016-JKH-Panama Trip

Once back to Panama, our flight path took us down the canal from Colon to Panama City. The weather was a bit cloudy but there were some opportunities for photos from the air.

Our visit to Roatan, Honduras left us appreciating a new destination we had never traveled to. We really enjoyed this visit and the food. We set out to eat seafood and did so almost exclusively. In the future when we need a trip to reset our visa date in Panama, Roatan will be high on our list.  Finally, legal in Panama!

Getting Legal in Roatan – Part 1

Here in Panama, we have developed a small legal problem. You can only drive here for 90 days without obtaining a Panamanian driver’s licence, which you cannot get unless you have some type of residency status. Andrea does the driving here and as such runs out of time she can use her Canadian driver’s licence on 12 February 2017. As a Canadian, she can stay in Panama for six months from the date of entry, without a visa by just showing her passport. That is the same for Australia, US, and Great Britain passport holders. For the rest of the world, we are told that most countries must get a visa before entrance that will be for a maximum of 90 days.

So what are we Australian, US, British and Canadians to do if you need to drive and you are here longer than 90 days? The common solution is to do a border crossing out of the country for three days and when you return, you receive a new updated date stamp in your passport that effectively restarts the 90 days for your ability to drive.

OK, where should we go? After a little looking around and a subscription to http://OfertaSimple.com, a local discount provider, we decided on a four-day trip to Roatan, Honduras with airfare at half price. Oh good… a vacation from the vacation!

2016-JKH-Panama Trip

The flights were by Air Panama on Fokker 100, 100 seat jets. This was an aircraft that I was not familiar with. A little checking determined that Fokker made 283 of these rear engine jets from 1986 to 1997. And Air Panama bought their first two in 2009. They now run nine Fokker 100s and are looking for more. Air Panama’s base is the Marcos A Gelabert International Airport in Albrook (PAC).  It is on the site of the former US Albrook Airforce Station.

We were efficiently processed by pleasant English-speaking staff and waited in the departure lounge to board the aircraft. Now we have friends who had recently experienced an Air Panama horror story while travelling to Bocas del Torro. They went on at length describing the flight delays and lack of information provided, enough to make us somewhat wary of Air Panama. Our experience was the opposite. As we and the other ten passengers were quickly loaded onto the 100 seat aircraft, we found a clean comfortable aircraft equipped with comfortable leather seats that still smelled new! Our seats were in row five which was pleasantly quiet due to the rear engines. The cabin service throughout the one hour and fifty minute flight was good.

The airport at Roatan, in the former British Honduras, is located in a scenic town called Coxen Hole. Roatan is part of a group of islands called the Bay Islands. This is also the site of the cruise ship docks where three to four ships arrive almost each day of the week.

We arrived at the airport minutes after a United 737 had dumped a full load of passengers from Houston which put us at the end of a long line to get through customs. Eventually we got through and boarded our transportation to our hotel, called Mr. Tucan in a small town called West End about twenty minutes from the airport on the opposite side of the island.  The West End is the feature photo at the top of this post.

The first impression of our island reminded me of a lush green Caribbean scene where the roadway never ventures far from the beach. We arrived at Mr. Tucan and were shown to our room. The small hotel is new, only opening last October and is right across the street from the beach.

2016-JKH-Panama Trip

2016-JKH-Panama Trip

Next on the agenda was lunch. Not knowing much about the area we wandered looking for an appealing place which we quickly found. The Lighthouse Restaurant is built out over the water and, of course, specializes in seafood. What a perfect location for a relaxing meal in the cool breeze from the Pacific Ocean.

Our New Furniture from Capira

Our new custom furniture finally arrived a couple of weeks ago and I thought you might be interested in what we got. Furniture choice here is difficult due to the humidity and bugs.

We have a number of cabinets made from plastic by a company called Rimax. It comes from Colombia. Plastic you say… why you say! Well, mould, mildew, humidity and smell is why. Plastic does not mould and is easy to keep clean. Much of the furniture you see offered in the stores is built from press board, which swells and takes on a strong not very pleasant odor. There is also lots of imported soft wood furniture that looks great but will also swell in the humidity and the bugs love it. You have to watch for little wood powder piles in the vicinity that will tell you that you have some unwanted guests trying to move into your wooden furniture. The plastic may not look all that fancy but it is highly functional, which is the point. So what is the solution?

There are a couple of hardwoods here that bugs won’t touch. Teak, called teca, and Sour Cedar. You can find furniture in the stores made from these but the styles were not to our liking with poor quality of construction and finishing. We asked around and found a custom furniture shop that was recommended. It is in Capira, a town inland (west) about a two-hour drive. We visited the factory and ordered the furniture and I wrote a blog about it. (https://jkeithhowie.com/2016/10/31/in-search-of-furniture/)

2016-JKH-Panama Trip

Our furniture was delivered a couple of weeks ago. It was nicely built and well finished. Designs were ours, except for the bed which was a copy of one in his factory. Everything was built with teca and from photos of items we liked the look of but that would not have worked here. It was also cheaper (I like cheap as I am Scottish) to buy custom build teca furniture than store bought press board or softwood items that would not survive our conditions.

What do you think?

Three Kings Day at Altos de Pacora

Three Kings Day is a religious holiday I had not heard of before this year. It is widely celebrated throughout Latin America and in various European counties. Three Kings Day is the 12th day of Christmas, occurring on the 6th of January. It celebrates the Three Kings that came to Bethlehem to visit the baby Jesus.

The local custom here in Panama is for the children to put their shoes outside the front door of their house before they go to bed. It is also common for them to leave straw for the King’s camels. In the morning, the shoes contain small gifts. A trail of straw is left to mark the trail to the larger gifts as camels are notoriously sloppy eaters. Sound a bit familiar? Customs vary throughout the world. If you were in Greece, for example, the Priest would go out into the Mediterranean on a boat and throw a wooden cross overboard. As the cross is thrown, the men of the village dive into the water and swim toward the cross. He who gets to it first gets good luck for the New Year.

The Christmas season here in our little community of Los Altos de Cerro Azul, means used clothing and cash is collected from the residents and doners. The cash is converted to food which is then packaged into hampers. The target of the aid is a small remote poor community further up the mountain road called Altos de Pacora. This operation involves many but is spearheaded by our local Vecinos Vigilantes (Neighbourhood Watch) organization. The National Police, arrange for the delivery and distribution of the aid to needy residents of Altos de Pacora with the help of the teachers at the local school.

2016-JKH-Panama Trip

Altos de Pacora is a community of around 250 people. There is an all grade school, a couple of general stores and the odd church and that is all! The community is about 12 kilometers or a one hour drive further up the mountain on a joint river bed and road, depending on the weather and season. Four wheel drive is a pretty good idea although three government vehicles that made the trip with us were two-wheel drive. In the wet season, even a four-wheel drive would be taxed to make this trip. The roads are steep, narrow, and rutted deeply in many places. There are no services that you do not bring yourself.

Pacora is poor due to the remoteness of its location. There are very few jobs in the area so many of the men leave the community to work elsewhere, returning when possible. An intermittent bus serves the area once daily, but not reliably due to weather and the road conditions.

Police service, provided from Cerro Azul, is restricted much of the year due to the inability to negotiate the road. The community is pretty much on its own for a large part of the year.

2016-JKH-Panama Trip

 

2016-JKH-Panama Trip

This year, on Three Kings Day, or the 12th day of Christmas, an event was very capably planned in Pacora by the local school teachers. They prepared a list of people most in need of food to make sure the food hampers are delivered to the right people. The used clothing is picked over by the local women and adopted by the new owners. This year the local government representative purchased new toys, soccer balls, bicycles, and TVs, which were also distributed to the community. The head of the National Police for the district, attended, bringing a meal of rice and two large cakes for the people.

2016-JKH-Panama Trip

2016-JKH-Panama Trip

Our little five vehicle convoy from the Cerro Azul police station headed up the mountain with all the food and gifts aboard.

2016-JKH-Panama Trip

 

2016-JKH-Panama Trip

I found it particularly interesting to photograph. I usually shoot events full of happy people, with lots of smiles. Today, some of the photos are like that but there are some that show a sadness that comes from the helplessness these people experience. Hopefully, the food, clothing and gifts delivered on this 12th day of Christmas will help reduce this sadness just a bit.

2016-JKH-Panama Trip

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