Taking a Leisure Walk in the Vecinity of Sal-Si-Puedes Street

Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
Ohoto by ©Omar Upegui R.

Camera:  Fuji X-30

The English translation of the name of this street is “Get-Out-if-You-Can”.  Not a single section of Panama City’s streets has a history more plagued with mystery and horror than 13th Street East, known to former generations with the symbolic name of “Bajada de Sal-Si-Puedes”.  It was the home of the Chinese colony in Panama; veiled and methodical, awash with abundant pages of mystery and insinuations of its vices, and an absolute indiference to its morbid religious ceremonies and oriental traditions.

According to the legend, brutal crimes were mysteriously carried out here,  inside dark nightclubs and gambling sites.  A Chilean woman, Florinda Landeros, after witnessing the stabbing of a man in a gambling riot, baptized the street as “Bajada de Sal-Si-Puedes”, and the name stuck. 

To this day, the street is still referred to as “Get-Out-if-You- Can”.  Other streets have lost their names as the city morphed into a modern metropolis.  Names such as Calle del Agua, del Platanar, Las Chancletas, Boyaín, Callejón del Chicheme, Caldas, Las Tablas, Las Damas, Las Perras, etc. were typical of the Old Shell.  Now these names have been forgotten by the younger generations.  Today they have more modern names riddled with numbers and isolated letters representing the four cardinal points—North, South, East and West.

And now you know a bit more of the history of the Old Shell in Panama City, and what happened there after the sun went down.  Good Day.


2 thoughts on “Taking a Leisure Walk in the Vecinity of Sal-Si-Puedes Street”

    1. Morning Barbara:

      Now and then I like to enhance my posts with stories about our country. It might help those who are planning a trip down South to visit Panama.

      Thank you for your encouraging words.


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