So, having lived in Panama for over 18 months, I find myself back in the original apartment block I began my adventure in.
Edificio San Expedito may not have changed much but the area surrounding it has. The streets were a little rough, with some places off bounds to foreigners who valued their wallets and their valuables. Now, children play in the streets in a mixture of local football shirts and FC Barcelona shorts, while the elders gather on the balconies and shout greetings to people passing by.
A huge amount of construction has also taken place here, with a number of ramshackle slum buildings having been pulled down/fallen over in the last year. New roads are also being laid throughout the area, which has caused a bit of griping in the area but is essentially improving the previous horrible transport situation.
New businesses have jumped up in Casco itself and the success of them has generated vast interest in Panama. Articles in Forbes, The NY times and the Manchester Guardian have contributed to the burgeoning reputation of this swiftly changing area.
The one constant thing in this thriving area has been the sunsets.
Warm, rich, orange and red. The sunsets have always been a major boon to living in the old town of Panama City. The sun sets right down the center of Avenida A (one of the major Casco roads), meaning that you get some distinctively Latin American silhouettes. I’m planning to use this incredible light to capture some of the great architecture and distinctive characters of Casco Viejo in the next few months. Good luck to me!