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Old 06-27-2019, 07:06 AM
 
Location: Caribbean
7,554 posts, read 2,425,094 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pueblofuerte View Post
Yes, I'm not saying they're not warm they are just probably the least warm compared to other neighbouring nations with that same Caribbean-Tropical influence.

Most people that are drawn to Panama have never been to Brazil, Colombia, Grenada or Nevis. Mexico too is v. friendly despite its bad rep in the US. A lot of the Panama draw is US retiree influenced championed by International Living and other retirement agencies. The real draw of Panama is hardly mentioned such as the birthplace of Spanish Reggae, Casco Viejo, Guarare, David, Las Tablas Carnival, the Embera, the Kuna or even good Chinese food.
My experience has been different with them and I have lived in the Caribbean and traveled to a number islands.

My family has quite a few Grenadians and the Panamanians I’ve known were just as warm. The few Nevisians I’ve known were nice but didn’t stand out. But all I know is that one of my adopted abuelitas is Panamanian and you can’t tell me that she isn’t the sweetest human being the world has ever known. Maybe my blood just takes Panamanians.

Personally, I’ve always known Panama as the birthplace of Spanish reggae. The cultural mixture of Panama draws me. The pure Amerindian, mestizo, West Indian etc in one is one I would like to experience. I love historic sites so a number of Latin American nations draw me. But Panama has a uniqueness to it that has me interested.

Can’t speak for what draws others to Panama though.
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Old 06-27-2019, 08:06 AM
 
204 posts, read 296,768 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pueblofuerte View Post
This is not to throw shade on Panama but I really don't see the attraction of this country. Sure I would go but to put it in my top 5 of ALL Latin America?!? I'm just surprised it shows up so much with such little it offers in my opinion.
Little to offer? Sounds a bit shady to me.
It is one of the most culturally vibrant places in Spanish speaking Latin America. Where else do you meet people who speak Jamaican Patois & pure Native Ngabe in the same town? & to hear Carribean Spanish being spoken by a majority Mestizo population isnt seen in Cuba or DR. Its continuing to morph its culture with the influx of South Americans & it neighbors. Imo, it has way more to offer than Costa Rica's hippie vibe.

The only knock I have is their food. But that entire region lacks in that department.
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Old 06-27-2019, 08:28 AM
 
Location: London, UK
2,870 posts, read 1,544,263 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scientific View Post
Little to offer? Sounds a bit shady to me.
It is one of the most culturally vibrant places in Spanish speaking Latin America. Where else do you meet people who speak Jamaican Patois & pure Native Ngabe in the same town? & to hear Carribean Spanish being spoken by a majority Mestizo population isnt seen in Cuba or DR.

Actually you get a similar phenomenon along the Miskito Coast i.e. Nicaragua, Honduras and to a lesser degree Limon, Costa Rica and Guatemala not to mention Colombia's San Andres and Old Providence. The Garifuna are also an interesting Native culture influenced by the Anglo Caribbean. Costa Rica is a bad example because I wouldn't say it makes the cut either in my personal opinion.

Again I think its just lack of knowledge. Here's a British council video featuring the Raizal, the Green Moon Festival and BBC doc on Old Providence.



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Old 06-27-2019, 08:37 AM
 
204 posts, read 296,768 times
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I'm more than fully aware of Miskito. The Garifuna. & Livingston Guatemala is one of the most culturally unique places in the world. But still, Panama is unique in it's own way as a whole. It's not limited by pockets .

& other than Panama, the rest of Central America doesnt have much in the way of cultural distinctions (music, art, film). I'll say Guatemala is second, but the other countries are kind of bland & boring. They listen to salsa, cumbia, bachata, merengue, & reggaeton. But they dont produce any popular music of their own. & I grew up listening to Punta, but it's not nearly as wide spread.

Last edited by Scientific; 06-27-2019 at 08:45 AM..
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Old 06-27-2019, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
5,809 posts, read 9,467,884 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pueblofuerte View Post
This is not to throw shade on Panama but I really don't see the attraction of this country. Sure I would go but to put it in my top 5 of ALL Latin America?!? I'm just surprised it shows up so much with such little it offers in my opinion.
Since we're on this topic, and you've travelled much more extensively in south america than I have, is there any reason why Costa Rica should be on anyone's list either?

Actually let me ask you which countries you think are worth visiting (given that I already semi-regularly go to Mexico and Colombia, as you know.) I personally can't really think of any place else I'm interested in. If I think to myself "let's go visit Guatemala", then I immediately think "why? might as well just go hang out in Mexico or Colombia".

I do plan to rent a car in the north of Argentina and drive to the south, one of these days, but that's not really because I want to know the Argentine culture as much as I want to see the countryside.

Last edited by 80skeys; 06-27-2019 at 08:46 AM..
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Old 06-27-2019, 09:19 AM
 
Location: London, UK
2,870 posts, read 1,544,263 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 80skeys View Post
Since we're on this topic, and you've travelled much more extensively in south america than I have, is there any reason why Costa Rica should be on anyone's list either?
No, not really aside from its amazing conservation efforts and initiatives which should be applauded the world over. I would agree with Scientific that Panama is more interesting. To be fair just because I've had the opportunity to see a bit more of South America doesn't mean I know more it just brings you to a realisation that people like to pigeon hole things to make it easier for their brains to understand when in fact there's so much levels and diversity to a country and sub-regions that get little attention but don't make them any less rich.

I would say places like Northwestern Argentina offer so much and the Bolivian Altiplano is other worldly. The Colombo-Venenzuelan Llanos and the Guyana shield is stunning and culturally rich. Chan Chan and the Cordillera Blanca around Huaraz in Northern Peru; The Amazonian communities and Festivals of Iquitos (Peru), Puerto Nariño (Colombia) and Parintins (Brazil), there's just soo much to see & experience all over the place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scientific View Post
& other than Panama, the rest of Central America doesnt have much in the way of cultural distinctions (music, art, film). I'll say Guatemala is second, but the other countries are kind of bland & boring. They listen to salsa, cumbia, bachata, merengue, & reggaeton. But they dont produce any popular music of their own. & I grew up listening to Punta, but it's not nearly as wide spread.
This moves me on from my previous argument nicely. Just because something is more widespread doesn't make it necessarily better. Punta is more Central/West African influenced, it has more of a Soukous flavour like the following Champeta in the Palenquero communities of Colombia...



Guatemala has a plethora of architectually interesting towns & cities like Antigua, Quetzaltenango, Chichicastenango, Flores unmatched in Panama. Even Guatemala city has a more sophisticated, sombre look & feel about it. The Mayan villages around Lake Atitlan and the ancient cities of Quiriguá, Yaxhá and the jewel in the crown Tikal are unparalleled in Panama. You already mentioned Livingstone but there's also an intricate Marimba musical culture which although more classical/Maya influenced in its modern outlook has strong African routes.
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Old 06-27-2019, 10:00 AM
 
204 posts, read 296,768 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pueblofuerte View Post
Guatemala has a plethora of architectually interesting towns & cities like Antigua, Quetzaltenango, Chichicastenango, Flores unmatched in Panama. Even Guatemala city has a more sophisticated, sombre look & feel about it. The Mayan villages around Lake Atitlan and the ancient cities of Quiriguá, Yaxhá and the jewel in the crown Tikal are unparalleled in Panama. You already mentioned Livingstone but there's also an intricate Marimba musical culture which although more classical/Maya influenced in its modern outlook has strong African routes.
I didnt say one form of music is better than the other. But don't pretend like the other countries have had this huge influence over popular Spanish music.

I'm not disagreeing with you on Guatemala. I love it there too. It was also on my list.
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Old 06-27-2019, 10:49 AM
Status: "Then everything change forever..." (set 11 days ago)
 
5,166 posts, read 8,017,583 times
Reputation: 4264
Some of the malls in Panamá City offers good deals on many stuff. In fact, their airport itself looks like a mall too. Going there to shop is very big.

Colonial Panamá City is rather small and while nice, there isn’t much major sights to see. They are also fixing many of the old buildings.

It is a hot and humid city all the time. They even have a monsoon season when it rains, and rains, and rains some more. That place is the real tropics.
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Old 06-29-2019, 02:40 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
5,809 posts, read 9,467,884 times
Reputation: 2950
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pueblofuerte View Post
To be fair just because I've had the opportunity to see a bit more of South America
Thanks for the detailed information. I'm going to bookmark your post and refer to it as I look into places that might interest me for traveling. I'm glad to see you have mentioned Mayan ruins, architecture ... these are the types of things that I find interesting. Museums, architecture, history, anthropology, books - as well as nature and the outdoors - these are my interests.
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Old 06-30-2019, 09:37 AM
 
279 posts, read 151,141 times
Reputation: 180
Panama is really overrated by some people here.
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