El Festival del Mar

Published: September 18th 2012
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hair pieces made by handhair pieces made by handhair pieces made by hand

In preparation of this evening´s event
My host family is terrific and ONLY speaks spanish so I can continue to practice while attending classes. Whew!!

They live in a nice home right next to the international airport in Bocas. By international, I mean there are 3 flights a day into Panama City. I think the International part is based on the passengers not the flights.

I have 3 host sisters, 2 chiuauas, and a one year old cousin. The house is 1 block from the scool and 8 blocks from town. It is a busy household so there is always someone home to talk to.

Tonight there is a festival and one of my host sister´s is preparing her costume to dance. I have heard of this traditional folklore type dancing my entire trip and now I will get the chance to see it. It is usally performed for both of Panama´s independance days in November. Kids learn it at an early age in school and some attend special dance schools later to perfect the dance. My host mom hand made the costume. The dress usually costs well over 1000 dollars and special care is taken to ensure it lasts a life time to be handed down from generation to generation.

The fair was not unlike any fair I have attended except for the flaming barbeques of strange meats and entire tents filled with fried food from bananas to empanadas. I bought a mango icecream which melted before I could consume it completely. There were discos set up in various places for all night dancing, mini casinos and a strip club announcing Live Stripers.. That was how it was spelled I kid you not.

It is a very popular festival as dance schools from other islands come to compete. There is a fishing competiton during the day and a party all night.

The show was performed on the beach on a tiny stage and the weather held till the very end.

It was good fun!! I would have stayed to party with one of my host sisters but I was exhausted from traveling all day.

Additional photos below
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I tried them on I tried them on
I tried them on

They are super heavy. If they go on lopsided you will HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO dance in circles.
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my favorite untypical

panamanian (american) house

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