¡Hola mi personas consciente de la salud! Bienvenida a Panamá 😎☀️🌴 Bottom line up front- if you have never been to Panama before, I highly recommend you scheduling your visit NOW! In my opinion, this underrated paradise will leave you in awe, as it did for me during my first visit to this beautiful Central American country in July 2021.
I stayed for about one week, but wish I could have stayed for at least two! Simply put, I was blown away by the many different aspects of this country, I wouldn’t know where to begin with sharing my experiences. Literally, before even landing our plane and having that sky view of Panama City and its nearby islands, I was beyond impressed. In fact, at that moment while hovering the city, I could not wait to land so that I could “full joy” what this beautiful tropical country had to offer – their architecture, food, culture, and beaches!
Now let’s talk architecture. Being that I studied Technical Drafting & Design in high school, and wanted to become an Architectural Engineer growing up, at times I like to think that I have a fond taste and appreciation for architecture and building design. That being said, I was blown away by the city’s architecture. I did not expect the buildings to be so immaculate 🤩- the foundation, the height, shapes, colors, and designs were all impressive. Each time I looked at the city from a distance, I thought to myself “These architects must have had a field day designing this city!” Now I see why Panamá is referred to as the “Dubai” or “Miami” of Central America.
As a Plant-Based individual who has not eaten meat, or the alike, in over 5 years, I must say that it was very difficult, even for me, to not indulge in the flavorful smelling meat and seafood dishes offered at every restaurant I visited. A prime example of me battling temptation is with the fried fish dish depicted above. If you could only smell the flavorful seasoning and spices through your screen! 🤤 However, despite the numerous food temptations, I was able to find great vegan and vegetarian options that left my taste buds extremely satisfied and yearning for more!
Overall, I believe that the people of this country, like many people of tropical countries alike, eat pretty healthfully; and far healthier than that of the Standard American Diet. I say this because during my visit, I noticed that the dishes on most restaurant menus were baked or steamed, plant based, or every dish was offered with some type of fresh fruit or vegetable. In the Standard American Diet (SAD), however, a report found that “three out of four Americans don’t eat a single piece of fruit in a given day, and nearly nine out of ten don’t reach the minimum recommended daily intake of vegetables.” Now that’s SAD.
Although I didn’t have much time to delve into the culture, I did notice that everywhere I went, I had repeatedly seen a specific fabric print being worn and sold by the natives. I later learned that the print is called “mola.” I found that “the mola originated with the tradition of Guna women painting their bodies with geometric designs, using available natural colors; in later years these same designs were woven in cotton, and later, sewn using cloth bought from the European settlers of Panamá.” You can read more about the mola design and my source of information here.
The architecture, the food, and the culture are what drew me in, but the beaches…the beaches are what made me want to stay! After visiting Taboga Island on our first day, followed by the two hour drive and then a small boat ride/tour of San Blas, Isla Mamey, and Isla Grande on the subsequent days, I was sold to the idea that “Panama Es Paradise!” 🤩. I’ve never seen or appreciated such beauty! I literally was ready to buy a house on one of the beaches right then and there, just so I could have the ambiance of that cool ocean sound and breeze, as well as that peaceful moment forever.
All in all, I must say that this trip to Panamá has really opened my eyes and has given me a new level of appreciation toward traveling and learning about the different parts and people of the world. Stay tuned for my next Nelnutrition Travel Blog, wherever that may be. Oh, and if you decide to go to Panamá or have already been, be sure to let me know about your experience by commenting on this blog post. & with that, I end by saying…Panamá, I WILL BE BACK. ¡Hasta luego!