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Visiting Panama For A Cultural Retreat

By Bonnie Contreras


Visiting Panama for cultural purposes can be both eye opening and enticing. The unique location between North and South lends itself to such a diverse population. The fascinating history behind this country has everything to do with the evolution of the culture and should be explored.

This country is situated at the southern most part of Central America. It borders Columbia, Costa Rica, the Caribbean and the Pacific. Its location makes it accessible from North America and there are various ways to travel there. Favoured are the waterways and flights, making the journey both comfortable and enjoyable.

There are various ways to learn Spanish in this beautiful country, each style suited to certain individuals. There is a language school in the capital city that provides learners with a relaxed learning environment, teaching Spanish by the sea. Group lessons are offered and they are focused on fun and stimulating ways to engage in conversations. Lessons usually last about 20 hours per week, depending on the establishment, with extended lessons being available.

A large part of the culture in this country is the food. The humid climate lends itself well to growing tropical fruits and vegetables and they are plentiful. The two oceans that form borders are a great place to source food from and fresh seafood and fish abounds. Plantains are plentiful and dishes such as "Patecones" or fried plantains are popular. Traditionally the cuisine will consist of the catch of the day such as lobster, fish or crab, along with rice and stewed vegetables. Empanadas are one of the things that this country is famous for and these pastries filled with meats or fruits are delicious.

The art scene in this country is a cultural experience that cannot be missed. Its influences stem from both modern and traditional sources. The most famous is called "Mola" and it consists of various intricate patterns, often symmetrical in design, that are fashioned out of bold colours. This was traditionally a wall hanging but has since developed into paintings and textile design as well. The modern art scene has developed significantly over the last years and there are many galleries that feature both local and international pieces.

The culture scene features various festivals which deserve mention. The most famous is most probably the carnival that takes place for four days leading up to Ash Wednesday in February. It features loads of traditional parades, music, dancing and of course a lot of drinking. It is a cultural event not to be missed.

The Festival of the Black Christ is one of the more unique festivals. It is celebrated in the town of Portobelo each year on October 21st. It features a life sized Black Christ statue in the main event, a parade. Pilgrims come from all over to witness this event each year. There are also a variety of other festivals including a Jazz Festival and an Anthem Festival. Planning a visit to coincide with one of these festivals is a great way to be immersed in the culture.

Visiting Panama to learn Spanish is highly recommended and is a project that is well supported by the local government. Mastering the language will be so much easier when immersed in the culture. Explore these options for a better future and better international communication today and always.




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Ditulis oleh: Faisal Reza Siregar - Tuesday, November 19, 2013

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