Panama - Taking a Break


The Panama Canal breaks Panama in half, providing a shipping route from one ocean to another.   But when I arrived in Panama for the first time in May, 2016, I was more interested in a different kind of break.

I had already been traveling for more than three straight weeks with the Peruvian TV program "Peruanos en el Mundo."  When we travel, we have fun, but it is also a lot of work.    We often begin working as soon as we arrive at the airport and then spend our days and many nights shooting video and conducting interviews.  When we get back to the hotel, we review what we have shot, upload all of our footage and then prepare for the next day. There is very little down time. 

But we finally had a small break.   We arrived in Panama City in the early afternoon and didn't have any appointments until the next day.   We spent time at the hotel swimming pool and then went for a walk around the city.  That's what we were doing when a stranger stopped and asked if we wanted a photo.

Roberto Pazos and Steve Hunsicker in Panama City, Panama

We walked along the water in the Ciclovia Cinta Costera, a beautiful park.   We eventually crossed over the highway and started walking back along Avenida Balboa, one of the major roads in the city.  We were getting hungry and started looking for a place to eat.   We usually either eat traditional food from the country where we are visiting or we eat Peruvian food, often with the people with whom we are interviewing.   I was definitely looking for something more casual.

 It was getting late and there wasn't much open. We saw some of the usual fast food type places but nothing really jumped out at us.   Until we found an open kebab shop.   It was nothing more than a guy behind a glass counter and some tables.  Not fancy, but really perfect. We went in and ordered some delicious Turkish food, almost as good as I had in Turkey.

We saw a lot more of Panama on this trip and another one a few months later, but when I think back, I remember how much I needed that short break.  The relaxing walk and kebab were the perfect answer.


When I was a senior in high school, my class took a trip to Washington, DC to meet with our Congressman, Caldwell Butler.    We also got to sit in the Senate gallery. I remember our teacher telling us that we were very lucky because that day, they were debating the Panama Canal treaty, something that would be historical.   President Carter eventually signed the treaty turning control of the canal over to Panama 20 years later.   

I've linked below the Peruanos en el Mundo episode from Panama.   We covered the country from the Atlantic to the Pacific.   At the very end of the program is video from a Panamanian Dinner Show we attended.  

Dates of Travel

  • May, 2016
  • October, 2016

Places Visited

  • Panama City
  • Colon




This post is part of my series "One Photo - One Country."  I'm am selecting one photo and writing one story from every country I have visited.   Your comments and questions are welcome.  

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