Santa Ana Park in Panama City, Panama


Santa Ana Park is one of the oldest parks of the metropolis located on the Old Shell of the city.  It is also known as “Casco Viejo”.  During its prime time, every important social event orbited around this water hole.  Many young Panamanians are unaware that this is where the Panama National Lottery held its weekly drawings.

It was also a favorite place for social activists and university revolutionaries to hold their political gatherings and to address their inflammatory speeches.  In the world of politics and social protest movements this was the place to be.

Now it is only a place to read the daily papers, shine your shoes or just relax and talk about whatever is going on in the city.

Santa Ana Park still looks pretty much the was it was during the sixties when I was a resident of the area.  Nothing has changed.  It is an area frozen in time. To me this place is full of memories of my teen years.

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

For the next several days I will post several pictures of the edifices and structures of the neighborhood of Santa Ana, specifically those flanking Calle Peatonal (Pedestrian Street).

These structures have been standing since the thirties, forties, fifties and sixties.  I’m afraid that anything can happen to them, and we will lose a valuable chunk of history.  Fires, commercial malls, earth quakes, new parking lots, etc. will destroy these legendary pieces of Panama history.  By photographing them, my intention is to give them a permanent life for the future generations to learn the appearance of the Old Shell of Panama City.  In a way, I want to do with my camera what historians did with their researchs and books.  Academics call this discipline, “Documentary Photography”.

“The quality of autenticity implicit in a photograph may give it special value as evidence of proof.  Such a photograph can be called “documentary” by dictionary definition “an original and official paper related upon a basis, proof or support of anything else;—in its most extended case, including any writing, book, or other instrument conveying information.”

Thus any photograph can be considered a document if it is found to contain useful information about the specific subject under study.

Henri Maatisse stated in “Camera Work” in 1908:  “Photography can provide the most precious documents existing, and no one can contest its value from that point of view.  If it is practiced by a man of taste, the photographs will have the appearance of art…Photography, should register and give us documents.”Beaumont Newhall, History of Photography:  From 1839 to the Present.

Good Day!

2 thoughts on “Santa Ana Park in Panama City, Panama”

  1. Hi Ana:

    I remember you were writing the other day about goals and purposes in life. I pondered you to go on and do whatever you want to do. The two most dangerous words for the search of failure are: two late!

    I’m now at the final stage of my life, but before I go, I want to do something useful. Documenting buildings, structures or edifices precious to the heritage of our country is worth undertaking.

    I take heed with your words, “We should believe in wonders.” Yep, those are strong words to rely your life on.

    Thank you for such an inspiring comment. You made my day, my dear angel.

    Enjoy the rest of the day,

    Omar.-

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