In Panama City, on the slopes of Ancon Hill, there is a sweet spot which attracts tourists—both local and foreign—like insects to a bright bulb in a dark night. The place is called Mi Pueblito. The moment you enter its premises is like ”when the walls come tumbling down and the soul comes into view,” using Steve McCurry’s words. Been there, done that.
Mi Pueblito was the original idea of Mayin Correa when she was the Mayor of Panama City. She wanted to display to the outside world what Panama was really like—much for than a ditch connecting two large bodies of water. Mi Pueblito, situated just on the outskirts of Panama City, is a unique representation of Panama’s culture and history. The complex is composed of three distinct villages: typical Panamanian, Antillean, and Indian (Kuna, Embera, Gnöbe-Buglé, Wounaan etc.)
As you enter the complex, the main entrance to the typical Panamanian countryside village is off to the right. Here you’ll find several small gift shops, restaurants, a pollera museum, barber shop, as well as numerous chairs, benches, water fountain, and tables in an open courtyard.
The Antillean and Indian villages lie on the opposite side of the complex, or to the left side as you enter Mi Pueblito from the main road leading to the Bridge of the Americas. It’s a short walk. The Antillian village is first, and has several small souvenir stores, eateries, a church and open courtyard. Further back is the Indian village, which is set deeper in the wooded area of the complex. Here, numerous traditional style huts have been built to help illustrate the Amerindian way of life in Panama.
Mi Pueblito is open from Tuesday-Sunday from 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. (Depending on the day, weather and number of tourists, they do at times remain open often 9:00 p.m.) Admission fee $1.00, which permits you to visit all three villages. If you don’t have the time to visit Panama’s countryside, where much of the history and culture is most prevalent, Mi Pueblito might be an attractive and convenient alternative. If you are a globetrotter you know how much you learn by visiting places like the one I just described. It replaces truckloads of college textbooks.
Last month I visited Mi Pueblito with my Birthday camera in an effort to describe to my readers what Panama is really like. Many of the pictures I shot portray the soul of our people. I’m sure after following this new series of pictures, you will understand and appreciate this country better.
This is the first post of many about the culture and history of this beautiful country called Panama situated in the middle of the Universe. Here we go.
Being a bridge between the large masses of land of North and South America, Panama is rich in flora and fauna. During my cultural sojourn to this cultural venue of Panama, I found several example of Panama’s flowers. They add to the mojo of the place.
If you are pleased with what you have seen so far, I cordially invite you to return tomorrow to continue unveiling the soul of a nation. Good Day.