Sunday, May 26, 2013
Casco Viejo is a UNESCO World Heritage site in Panama with an interesting history. In 1671, when notorious pirate Henry Morgan looted and destroyed the old city, Panama Viejo, the residents decided to build a safer and easier to defend city. They created Casco Viejo, which translates to "old helmet," a maze-like, walled city filled with elegant 16th and 17th century Spanish colonial architecture. Some locals don't even like to call it Casco Viejo because of the association of discarding old things. Instead, they prefer Casco Antiguo, because antiques are valued and preserved. Whatever the name, I found the neighborhood to be inviting and colorful, crammed with history and art. I visited at night, when the area comes alive with music and nightlife but that didn't stop me from noting these charming murals.
They appear to be painted by school children, documenting the neighborhood's cultural institutions like the Panama Canal Museum.
This mural welcomes visitors to Casco Antiguo, pointing out how everyone in the community brings individual gifts that help make a complete and thriving community as a whole. It's a reminder of how we're all connected and part of the global community, no matter where we are.