Dwellers of The District of Santa Ana

Since its invention in 1839, photography has served as a medium for documenting, understanding and interpreting the world.

In my case, I’m trying to capture the metropolis as it stands now, considering that in the next fifty years, its face will be completely different.  In my time I’ve seen the destruction of historic buildings and other structures that should have been restored and preserved for the upcoming generations.

During the last few days, and probably during the upcoming next week, I will continue posting snapshots of the area of Calle Peatonal in the Old Shell of Panama City.  This place should be preserved due to its historic value.  Many of the wooden houses in the area were built during the decades of the twenties, thirties, forties and fifties.  Several of them have faded away mainly because of fires and intense urban development.

Before they go the way of the Dodo, I’m capturing them with my camera.  Take a look at another view of Calle Peatonal (Pedestian Street) in the District of Santa Ana, Panama City, Panama.

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

Good Day!

10 thoughts on “Dwellers of The District of Santa Ana”

    1. Hello Dear Angel:

      Yes Ana, that is the purpose of Lingua Franca. To document as much as I can about our country for posterity. So much to do…so little time.

      I like your wording, “capturing the brief moments of our life”. I think that sums it up perfectly.

      Thank you for your comment. Omar smiles in satisfaction. 🙂

      Take Care,


  1. Omar-

    I love what your doing as I have said before. When I was stationed in Panama as part of the US military in the 80’s I kind of hurried through or avoided Santa Ana since it seemed plagued by petty crime or at least I thought so. I never had a problem. What is it like today? It seems like you go in the early morning so as to avoid the late sleeping maleantes. I’d have to imagine you would be a target every time you pull out your camera.

    1. You are right about Santa Ana being a hot area in Panama City. What I do, is take my pictures early on a Sunday morning. The streets are empty and danger of being mobbed is almost non-existent.

      The camera that I use in those dangerous zones is a Canon P&S PowerShot A720 budget camera. I also like to dress very modestly trying to keep a very low profile. So far it has worked.

      I never go out and take pictures during the evenings. Too many high-risk stories are daily displayed on the evenings news. Plus the light is too low for a good shot.

      An early Sunday morning is the sweet hour for my photo-walks. It has worked for me.

      Thank you for your interest in our country. I appreciate it.



    1. Hello Dear Barbara:

      I’m very glad that you are enjoying what I do to preserve the buildings and infrastructure of our country. It’s sad to see how many beautiful and historic buildings are falling down like Humpty Dumpty and couldn’t be put together again.

      The Old Shell of Panama City, is the soul of the metropolis, this is why I dedicate so much time to save it for people who will come after I’m gone.

      Let me tell you Barbara that I appreciate your words of encouragement. They are a breath of fresh air and pushes me forward to keep on doing what I do. Thanks again.



      1. I must say you are always keeping things real and in perspective. It certainly is sad how things change and the old buildings along with traditions die out but you are to be commended for trying to keep them alive at least for us who don’t live there. Blessings, my dear Omar!

  2. Hola Omar,
    We are loving this series. When I met Nena, she shared an apartment on Calle 11 at Avenida A. I would ride the canal zone bus to the parada El Chorrillo where Balboa Avenue changed names to Avenida A. I walked the entire distance of El Chorrillo at night to meet her for our dates. We rode buses everywhere back then, five cents for almost anywhere in the city.

    We visited that area again a couple years ago and it is totally changed, mostly for the better but a lot of history is gone. Time is said to march on but lately it seems to be running.

  3. Hola Jim y Nena:

    You are bringing in distant memories of my youth. I lived for almost two years at Plaza Herrera, a few blocks from Parque Santa Ana. Paid for cheap movies at Teatro Variedades and Teatro El Dorado. Posted pictures of the latter a few days ago.

    I would say a large chunk of the neighborhood is still there, except for a few wooden houses that either broke down or were burnt down due to poor electric wires.

    As I have explained earlier, I want to freeze time in this area of the city, for future generations. Yes Jim, time seems to be running faster and faster. It’s almost impossible to keep up.

    Thanks a bunch for your comments. I love to read them, coming from somebody who is not a native from this country, but surely knows a lot about it. 🙂



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