Los Desfiles en Novembre

November is holiday month in Panama. There are even more holidays in Boquete. Since every holiday means a day off – and sometimes includes the day before and the day after – not much gets done in November.

Every school is practicing for the desfiles (parades). This is really just drum practice. For the last several weeks drum practice has started before 9 AM and goes almost all day. For several weeks before the 9 AM practice, it began about noon and lasted until 6-7 PM. Now they also practice marching in the streets. Last week we saw them practicing after 8 PM. It is a big deal for these kids and their families.

At the school where I used to teach, our drum line was phenomenal. They practiced several hours after school. I often think how I would love to bring a few of them here to teach a few kids here some of the flashy things they can do. I really enjoyed watching them. I think the drummers here may be more traditional and focused on that rather than flash.

Women and girls will dress in traditional polleras. The dresses are works of art that take many months to make. The headdress is made of pearls and made in several pieces that are connected when worn. Many of the fabric markets cater to the making of polleras. pollera_panama

Today I was told that the best thing to do during all these ‘celebrations’ is to stay away. There is no way this new-comer is staying away from the excitement and pageantry. But, we will walk to town and leave the driving to people coming from other areas. I hope that I don’t become jaded and want to avoid these local celebrations after a few years.

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8 thoughts on “Los Desfiles en Novembre

  1. We saw the same going on in David, practicing…marching with drums…in front of our hotel, Hotel de Ciudad de David. They passed and disappeared time after time, in the dark and well past 8pm. Dedicated and proud!

    • We visited here for increasingly longer periods of time until we were sure that this was a good for for us emotionally and financially. Big problems arise when people make quick decisions about a life changing event. We knew where to rent so we do not face the water problems, internet outages and lightening that you have experienced. We seldom even lose electricity and even then it’s for minutes, never hours or days.

      I did read your call for help and I agree that a $300 housing budget is difficult. I would recommend a few things. Spirit has been running incredible airfares to Fort Lauderdale, only about 30 minutes by Tri-Rail to Miami. You can also take the bus to PC since it is only about $16, much lower than Air Panama, and you can take more luggage. Most people, like us, sell almost everything so there aren’t the large freight bills (which can actually be higher than the value of the items). Used items bring in some good prices at the monthly Flea Market at Chiriquí Storage and you can advertise for free on Boquete.ning.com.

      Good luck to you.

  2. My neighbor told me there is a major desfile in Boquete with participants from all over the country! I think she said it’s on the 28th, but I can ask her again to be sure. We’re thinking of maybe coming up, nuts I know in that small town but it could be interesting.

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