On our second and last day exploring Panama, we made our way to Panama's Biomuseo. With colorful panels and an architecturally interesting building overall, it was a beautiful sight, designed by Frank Gehry, who is currently living in the states with his Panamanian wife. Here we were presented with lots of history of Panama's past, present, and also the future to come. Some history included, talking about the original indigenous tribes of Panama, and what their lives were like. It also included the effect that the Spaniards had on the environment and lives of the indigenous people when coming to Panama.
Another big aspect of the Biomuseo was the environment in Panama. This includes the land, and the plant and animal life. This part of our journey largely contributed to my personal research question of: What actions does Panama and Costa Rica take to maintain and conserve the environment?
Some of the data the I collected from this, was that at the current growth of population of about 2 people per second the biodiversity is slowly dying off. This then changes the whole ecosystem around the area. But also 45% of Panama is still forested and over 50 protected areas cover over 30% of the national territory. Although these numbers are high and seem hopeful, the staff and resources available to protect these areas are limited and are in need of more support to continue to conserve the natural wonders of Panama. After using our audio guides to listen to information about biodiversity and the biodiversity in Panama, we stepped in a room with screens on every wall around us including the ceiling. This projected images, videos and sounds of the natural world of Panama. The vivid and colorful images and videos, made it seem as though we were right there with them.
Once finished, we made our way to the rest of the natural environmental part of the exhibit. Although we did not make our way to the recycling exhibit of the museum, the Costa Crew had fun and learned lots from Panama's Biomuseo.
This also concluded our main activities for the day, which we then headed to the airport of our flight to Costa Rica!
Chu Chews: Panama Style
By: Sabrina and David
Hola Chicos ! Throughout the world, it’s known that culture could be expressed within food. It’s a great representation of their customs & culture. It’s been about a few days in Panama and we’ve ate more than enough to get a taste of their food.
The food in Panama is extremely fulfilling and savory. We’ve noticed there is a trend with rice in Panama, it seems to be served with all meals. Also plantains (also known as platanos) seem to be a big trend within dishes as well. Plantains resembles Bananas, however they’re sweet, giving it a slimy texture with a delightful taste. Plantains seem to balance out the savory within the dishes. Plantains can be served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. After our tour of Panama City, we went to a local restaurant and we were greeted by a friendly staff. For dinner, we ate an authentic dish of pulled pork that was served with a salad mix, a sweet plantain, and some rice. The dish was absolutely amazing, it was a mixture of many new flavors.
Another trend taken into account is the dessert! There always seems to be room for dessert in Panama. Their dishes are always accompanied by something very sweet, whether it’s a sugary drink, or a plantain, and some type of dessert. An example of a sugary drink is the photo above, which is called a “raspados hechos a Mano” which basically translates to “shaved ice by hand” in english. We were also given a rare experience to craft the dessert by ourselves accompanied by the owner of the pop up shop. The flavors were: coco (coconut) , maracuya ( passion fruit ), limon(lime), guayaba (guava), Fresa (strawberry) and grape. After adding the syrup on the freshly shaved ice, condense milk was added to the dessert to make it sweeter. We were also able to try many different flavors of ice cream, some flavors that are foreign to the United States. This made it quite difficult to pick a flavor.
The food within Panamá was truly astonishing and it was a great way to get out of our comfort zone, and expand it our pallet! I would totally recommend to try any dishes that are associated with Panama! Hasta luego, Chicos!
Panamaniam vs. Costa Rican Architecture
There was a HUGE difference in architecture throughout Panama and Costa Rica, that's for sure. We went from seeing tall glass sky scrappers in Panama City to tiny colorful houses in the middle of forests in Costa Rica. The people of Costa Rica get the advantage of living within nature as those in Panama do in the city.
What I noticed in Panama was that all of the houses were clumped together and the buildings were very cracked and old. Most of the houses over there were made of cement and the windows were covered with metal bars. One of the buildings in Panama that fascinated me the most was the museum [Biomuseo]. It was topped with colorful shapes to represent the country's biodiversity, which made it stand out from all of the other buildings around it.
On our first day here in Costa Rica, I can't say much about the buildings due to the fact that there are more greener areas than anything, as we are in more rural areas but that says a lot about the country as is. Lastly I cannot wait to explore this Costa Rica in these next couple of days and be able to answer my research question, which is studying how these buildings are influenced by their culture in both countries.