Panama visit – day 8. Wow the time really is going quickly – we only wish we could extend our stay for at least a month or more! Our four days in Panama City were busy, with meetings to discuss our project and following leads with potential investors. We’ve got another round of meetings lined up for when we are back in the City next week. Following an 11 hour bus journey from the City on Tuesday night, we arrived in Bocas del Toro (Bocas) early Wednesday morning.
For those of you hoping to travel to Bocas in the future, we recommend the 45 minute flight over the 11 hour bus journey! We will definitely be flying from the islands to the City on our return.
Bocas del Toro sits in stark contrast to the City. You won’t find any one-two hour (or more!) traffic jams (known as el tranque) here! The pace of life slows and even for the most hardened city dweller, it really is impossible to move at anything faster than a sloth’s pace once you set foot here. Bocas gets you … with the morning chattering of the migrating Bocas parakeets, the warm air, slight sea breeze and backdrop of cloud forest … all you can do is relax, breathe and take in the place, culture, people and nature. It envelopes you.
Business meetings exist in Bocas, of course, but they are of a very different nature and may last an afternoon – if not a whole day! Other than business – which is the reason for our trip – for Ariel Bocas is home. It’s a chance to catch up with his family – sister, nephew, mum, aunts, uncles, cousins and the wider town(!) – there’s never a dull moment. And much of the conversation revolves around food – namely what someone is going to cook that day, where they can get the freshest mackerel or other necessary fish / meat and who’s going to help.
The meetings continue
Today we’re heading from the port town of Almirante – where we’re staying – to the main Bocas island, Isla Colón. We’ll be meeting with a contact we met out here back in 2014, an Argentinian gentleman who has been living in Bocas for the best part of 20 years if not more, and who has seen an enormous change in the islands. He has dedicated his life to promoting conservation in the region, including working with Sea Turtle Conservancy, as well as protecting and preserving the way of life of the indigenous Ngäbe-Buglé community, through Alianza Bocas. We very much hope that he continues to be a friend and someone with whom we can collaborate in the future through bíku.
Stick with us over the next week to stay up to date with our project news.
Until next time, #liveslow.