Don Quixote Stands Guard at the Pan-American Highway in Panama

Yesterday, Sunday, December 22, 2013, my wife and I decided to hire a taxi to drive out to the countryside and take some pictures of traditional New Year’s stuffed figures.  Every year you can find these interesting figures along the Pan-American Highway in the small towns of Capira, Coronado, Chame and Bejuco.  Their notoriety has risen to such a level of popularity, that television stations send their reporters to capture their charm every year.

Exactly at midnight on December 31st. they are burned down together with the loud bang of firecrackers.  They represent the end of a year and the beginning of a new one.  In Panama these traditional figures are known as “Los Muñecos de Año Nuevo”.

The other subject that I wanted to photograph, was the Centennial Bridge which crosses the Panama Canal on the Pacific Side.  It’s a gorgeous white self-anchored suspension (SAS) bridge.  Together with the Bridge of the Americas, the Centennial Bridge is the largest and most aesthetic bridge in the country.  A new bridge is under construction on the Atlantic Side to alleviate the heavy traffic across the Panama Canal.

The planned trip was from Panama City to Coronado, which normally takes about one hour and sixteen minutes covering 89.1 kilometers.  Many large beach hotels are inside this area.  During the Dry Season (January-April) they are flooded with tourists fleeing from the cold weather of the North.  Even Santa Claus comes down to take a break from the freezing temperatures of the North Pole.

We started off at five-thirty in the morning and returned home safely at ten o’clock.  Mission accomplished.  Seventy pictures were taken and will be posted here during the upcoming days.  Today I will post pictures of a metallic Don Quixote de la Mancha protecting the Pan-American highway with an intimidating long spear.  Here we go.

Snapshot of a gaunt Don Quixote standing guard at the Pan-American Highway near the small town of Bejuco. The size of his mustache caught my attention. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
Notice a Panamanian flag protruding from his waist (left side). Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
His long sharp spear looks pretty frightening to me. His extra long mustache added glamour to the highway’s guardian. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

If you enjoyed these pictures, you are warmly invited to return tomorrow for more colorful pictures of Panama´s countryside.  Good Day.

4 thoughts on “Don Quixote Stands Guard at the Pan-American Highway in Panama”

  1. I haven’t seen anything like that around here. Not to say they don’t DO it, just that I haven’t seen it. I’m looking forward to the Christmas Eve fireworks again. We get a wonderful display here in Boqueron. I mean professional-level fireworks. Just down the street, on the other side of the Boqueron road is Carlos ‘Calicho’ Ruiz’s mom’s house, and he spends THOUSANDS of dollars for the fireworks. Of course he can afford it! He just signed a three-year contract with the Phillies for $26 MILLION PLUS bonuses. But I suspect he puts on the display simply because he’s a nice guy whose heart is still in Chiriqui.

  2. Hi Richard:

    I don’t recall having seen these figures in Chiriquí when I lived there. As far as I know, this is unique in the Province of Coclé in the towns of Bejuco, Chame and Coronado.

    We do have some fireworks in San Miguelito, but nothing to brag about. Obviously we don’t have a millionaire in our vicinity with deep pockets.

    Enjoy the holidays, my dear friend.


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