I can’t believe how much time has passed already! There is so much to see and experience not only in Panama City but also the neighbouring towns and provinces. Since my arrival in January I felt like I dove into the deep end of a pool not knowing how to swim. I was completely immersed in the Latin American language and culture of which I had very limited knowledge and armed with a 3 word vocabulary. So my introduction to Panama City proved to be a very exciting first day.
JANUARY 9TH, 2013 – MARTYR’S DAY (ALMOST GOT ARRESTED!)
My roommates and I were at the supermarket which is open 24hrs and would you know they carry alcoholic beverages. I must have been really tired not to notice the caution tape and large enough sign that says “PROHIBIDO” (wonder what that means?) across all the alcohol. As I was browsing the aisle (I wasn’t planning to buy anything, just browsing and shocked at how cheap the prices were compared to Canada), there were security guards creeping on us and we quickly backed away from the merchandise. That same night we found out from a local that it was an official national holiday where consuming, purchasing or selling alcohol is prohibited…well until 12 am in the name of Martyr’s day. This holiday celebrates a significant moment in Panamanian history in 1964. A group of patriotic students protested by attempting to put up their Panamanian flag beside the U.S. flag in the canal zone which was owned and controlled by the U.S. Unfortunately the outcome was fatal but this event led to other historical events that changed Panama forever.
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I haven’t gone to the canal yet so I don’t have any pictures…sorry. But please stay tuned for more photos and adventures!