Kuna Vendors Hiding From the Sun in Casco Viejo Panama

Kuna vendors hiding from the sun in CAsco Viejo, Panama

Kuna vendors hiding from the sun in Casco Viejo Panama

We were surprised to see the Kuna vendors hiding from the sun in Casco Viejo Panama. If they were not used to the hot Panama sun, nobody was… 

It was a hot day in January, but totally acceptable for tourists and people from outside the country.

Walking a little farther on the Casco Viejo boardwalk we noticed some foreign youngsters  selling their crafted jewelry to tourists as well – We talked to them them and admired their dexterity and artistic taste. They were young travelers (some students) trying to financially extend their ability to travel. (The lady in the picture was from Australia – I had no idea that I would meet her later in Boquete and become friends 🙂

Young travelers selling crafted jewelry on the Casco Viejo boardwalk

Young travelers selling crafted jewelry on the Casco Viejo boardwalk

… so what was the mystery behind the scene of the Kuna vendors hiding from the sun in Casco Viejo Panama?

Suddenly I had the idea to look at my watch: it was around 2 ‘o clock! Uff,…coming from North America, we completely forgot about the well known custom in the latin countries: Siesta 🙂

Kuna vendors hiding from the sun in Casco Viejo Panama

The Kunas were indeed hiding from the sun, but not because they couldn’t bear the heat – they just wanted to take a nap 🙂

Kuna vendor hiding from the sun in Casco Viejo Panama, while taking the siesta.

Kuna vendors hiding from the sun in Casco Viejo Panama, while taking the siesta

Kuna vendors hiding from the sun in Casco Viejo Panama, while working on their crafts

Kuna vendors hiding from the sun in Casco Viejo Panama, while working on their crafts

These skills and the willing to increase their income brought them to places like Panama City and Boquete – It’s nice seeing them as part of the urban landscape 🙂

One of the most popular crafts they’re making are the “Molas”which Kuna women use to decorate their dresses.

Kuna woman wearing a traditional dress, decorated with Molas

Kuna woman wearing a traditional dress, decorated with Molas

However, Molas can also be used for pillows, or house-decoration, and this is what tourists are buying them for.

indigenous Kuna woman selling Molas at Casco Viejo, Panama

Indigenous Kuna woman selling Molas at Casco Viejo, Panama

Conclusion: Kuna vendors are hiding from the sun only when they’re taking a siesta 🙂


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