The Artist in us all: Boquete Creative Expressions Group!

Blog by Terry Richmeier

A couple of weeks ago, Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast, had an Artists day. We called it the “Creative Expressions Group”. This was a day to take the time out of our busy schedules and sit with your thoughts and create!  We invited some of our closest friends. They ALL came!

There were so many different forms of art represented! Some of us used Chalk Pastels; others used just a pencil and paper. Some used newspaper dipped in flour and water and still others insisted that they had no talent and created the finest edible food art known to Boquete, Panama! Others created live plant art and even some brought a book to read and instead helped create in a group setting! You would have been impressed by those creating different foods, appetizers and snacks from beyond the windows to the open kitchen!

The time went so fast and the project produced an amazing set of art work!

 

I myself, having minimal talent, was able to produce a wonderful 1960’s mid-century piece of art that looks amazingly just like a 4th grader! In which, I gave to a special friend, told her she could have it for her refrigerator but to tell everyone, “it’s from my 4 year old grandchild”. Then set out to create a piece of art that started to look like something of the hole that Alice fell into in the book “Alice in Wonderland”! I was completely successful in the cover-up! The new artwork became an amazing psychedelic 1960’s flower power paper! My theme, “Stuck in the 60’s again”!

Several years back, Manzar took a journey in art through the book called, “The Artists Way”, by, Julia Cameron, the book took him on little mini retreats to discover the artist that is within you. Years later, Manzar’s artist is still trapped and silent. (My little joke) Ok, that’s not true; he has been creating a great deal of artwork and is very inspiring!  After all, the difference between garbage and art is the eye of the viewer. Someday, we will display his creations on our walls! Seriously!

That’s not all, there was so much more art that we have not tapped into that day, art such as, art classes in water color, cement sculpturing, martial arts, and turning old junk into usable and yard worthy art, just to name a few.

A friend took an old iron, tore it apart, threw some other medal on it and created this “Fragile Rock” type looking creature. It is well sought after! Well, at least by me! I’m going to get it from him somehow!

And this is just a small, single day in creativity! Boquete, Panama is full of inspiration, affirmation and relaxation in order for you to be creative. Bring your art supplies and come and stay with us, get inspired and create!

 

Macho, Macho Men: A tale of two men in Boquete, Panama.

Blog by Terry Richmeier

Here at Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast we have met people from all over the world! We meet all of these people while they are at their happiest time in their life -they are on vacation!

And what about the locals? What do tourist run into when they arrive in Panama and especially in Boquete?

They will find kind and caring locals and if you try to speak Spanish at all, Boquetenians will greet you with a great big smile! Panamanians and especially Boquetenians, love to show tourists their country and their world!

With the world having so many different personalities, you can pretty much be assured you will recognize some familiar personalities when you are touring Boquete, Panama. From arrogance, to a presence of all-encompassing love!

One short story from a friend of ours, Joyce Kinnear talks about two men she recognized as good and not so good! In this story, Joyce talks about a foundation that Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast supports through donations.

A tale of two men:

This week I met the stereotypical macho, Latin American man for the first time in the years we’ve been visiting and now living in Central America. He was everything I dislike about the stereotype–macho, dominant, totally inconsiderate of others, especially women and poor workers. All of this was done with a wink and an attitude where he seemed to think this all made him the sexiest thing alive (as opposed to reality where most of the women on the bus wanted to puke)

The second man I met today at an event for the foundation, which provides therapy, skills and socializing for handicapped children and adults, as well as help for the caretakers. At this event, one man stood out. He guided his son, who appeared to have cerebral palsy and some brain function issues, carefully to his chair, dancing with his son and making sure the boy had a lovely time. I found out that the boy’s mother and man’s wife died in a car accident a couple of years ago. This man has been caring for his son and clearly adores the boy.

I want to point out that while I have met one example of the first man, there have been many of the second type around me in Panama. Perhaps the tired old stereotype of the Latin American man needs a major overhaul to that of a view of a man who loves his family and children, works hard and yet still dances with them to ensure they live happy and full lives, no matter the child’s abilities.

So, come down to Boquete, Panama! Stay with us at Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast. Let us help you set up some time to visit the foundation, or other different volunteer groups here in Boquete. Spend some time seeing the different personalities of the Panamanian and especially the Boquetenians people! You won’t regret it a bit.

 

The lost art of recycling being reclaimed in Panama?

Blog by Terry Richmeier.

Here at Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast we try our best to be environmentally friendly. We re-use, reduce, and recycle what we can.

When we first came to Panama we arrived at the Tocumen International Airport in Panama City. We had arranged for a taxi pick us up and drive us to our hotel. On the way, we noticed piles of trash all over the city in the northwest neighborhoods of town. When we moved to Boquete, Panama we noticed the same thing here as well. We were also told by others that the beaches in Panama City were completely covered in trash as well. Amazingly, most of those piles are now gone! So is the trash along the way to Boquete. The future looks better for Panama in regards to recycling and trash control. There is more awareness and efforts underway to clean the surroundings and volunteer programs are popping up in places. Here is a message from a former guest Joyce Kinnear:

This Sunday morning before Halloween, I got up at 5:30, so that we could join the Boquete Recycling group at 7 to “clean up Boquete.” The whole team split into at least four groups. For two hours, we picked up trash (7 bags with our small group), as well as a bag of recyclable metal and recyclable plastic bottles. We would have stayed longer, except that we had another event to go to.

Boquete is attempting to get “reuse/recycle/reduce” and “clean up” to be a larger part of life. It’s been difficult to get recycling service in town, so far from everything in Panama. We always say we are at the end of the distribution line here in Boquete, and that includes recycling.

 

It was heartening to see so many people gather together so early in the morning to pick up trash and recycling along the main road into town. We had a number of people thank us and help us—one young woman staying with our team for an hour to help in cleaning up the trash before she had to go.
Now, we just need to figure out how to get the beer and water bottling companies to pay for recycling efforts, since their products are the majority of what seems to get dumped. Wouldn’t that be something?

Another former guest that lives in Panama City named Colin, has started, with a group of friends, picking up the trash from the beaches. This was discovered by the city and now has become a city effort as well. The beaches are starting to look like beaches again.

 

 

Here in Boquete, as you can see, efforts are being made. Perhaps one day we will have our recycling company back in action.

The Panamanian government has just signed a law that starting in 2019, there will be no more plastic grocery bags allowed in Panama! Another great move forward.

And, we here at Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast, continue to do what we can to reuse, recycle, and reduce. From picking up trash in our yard to reducing usage of our precious resources and recycling by sharing in the community programs.

 

When you come down and stay with us, just let us know what you would like us to do in order to save our environment. Things such as placing a note on the door that you would like to re-use your towels, or leave your room to not be disturbed or cleaned. Whatever way you prefer to help us reuse, recycle, and reduce.

 

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