Mi Pueblito, a Sample of Panamanian Culture

Mi Pueblito

Mi Pueblito is a small place in Panama City, where a countryside community, the Afro-Caribbean and indigenous houses (currently dismantled) are shown.

I hadn’t been there for many years, so on Sunday I went around there, it has changed a lot, now there is a pollera museum and the previous museum, which showed a countyside house, kitchen, dining room and others, is no longer there.

The place has three Square

  • Countryside Square
  • Afro-Antillean Square
  • Indigenous Square (currently there is nothing, we hope that it will be installed again soon).
Countryside Square at Mi Pueblito
Part of Countryside Square.

Countryside Square 

It is the best part, because it is where you can see and learn more things,

At the entrance, there is a large square, with a fountain in the center, very beautiful, to one side is the Church, a small chapel, in it there are images of some of the best-known saints in Panama and there is even an image of the Black Christ of Portobelo.

Church at Mi Pueblito
Inside the Church.

At Mi Pueblito you can also see how it used to be the house of the priest, a dining room of a house, the telegraph, a little school, an old barber shop, a hole-restroom (a rustic toilet, the toilet is a hole in the ground) and more.

The dining room is one of the things that I liked the most, because I saw some pieces that are still in my grandparents’ houses.

Look at the mud jars, people put the water there, it stayed cool all day, you can still see them in some houses and even get one, just ask if it is decorative or for daily use.

Dining room Panama Countryside
Dining room of a countryside house from a few decades ago.

The houses were made of quincha, made of mud and straw with roof tile.


It is very rare that a house like this is built today, although they were very cool for the climate of Panama. And many have been eliminating them, to have something more modern.

Museum of the Pollera, Dora de Zarate

There we can see very old Polleras of more than 100 years, some have gone to contests or have been used by queens and other Polleras not so old.

One of the ones that I liked is the Coquito Pollera, there is its original version, where a cloth called Coquito was bought, which already had the work, and its Panamanized version, where the Panamanian seamstresses took a white cloth and made them the coquitos. 

Pollera: it is the typical suit of women in Panama.

Coquitos: they are small drawings made with stitches, it is a single drawing per Pollera. I think the ones I’ve seen the most are flowers.

Mi Pueblito
Right, coquito cloth. Left coquito handwork.

You can also see the mudillo, where the trencilla are made, they are small laces, they can be seen on the top of the shirt, near the neck, where a ribbon is passed.

The Countryside at Mi Pueblito refers to what the houses were like 70 years ago or more ago, today you can see some of them, in the Azuero region, in places like Parita.

However, many of them have goods modern as microwave, flat screen TV, cordless phone among other things

Afro-Antillean Square

More than anything, they are the big houses from the beginning of the century where the workers of the Panama Canal lived, very beautiful colors, and Caribbean.

Afro-Antillean Square
Afro-Antillean Houses.

To one side of the houses, there is a large pool, which represents the sea, since these people usually put their houses over the sea, in front of the sea or part of the sea and part of the land. Examples are Colón Island in Bocas del Toro and Grande Island in Colón.

There is also the Anglican temple it is on a hill, you can go inside and see what it was like inside and out.

Unfortunately, this side does not show what a house was like inside, one looks out the window and one sees modern tiled floors and nothing else, and there is no a museum.

Mi Pueblito
Swimming pool, which represents the sea.

Indigenous Square

Many years ago, on my last visit, there were some Guna houses, as if it were in San Blas, with their sand floors and bamboo walls.

In the future, it will be a sample of 3 indigenous groups in Panama, the Ngäbe- Buglé, the Emberá and the Gunas. I hope they do it soon.

Final notes of Mi Pueblito

Mi Pueblito is an ideal place to get to know part of the Panamanian culture, especially for those who want to know it and cannot go to the countryside, to go with the family, to take pictures of the place (as a spot for photos of social networks or special events as birthdays).

There is a small refreshment shop, however, you can bring your snacks.

At Mi Pueblito, cultural and other activities used to be held, I hope that once the pandemic is completely over, they will be held again.

Anglican temple.
Anglican temple.

There are no plaques or indications of what you are seeing, so it is best to take a tour with a guide.

It is not a place recommended for people in wheelchairs or with reduced mobilization, since it will always be necessary to go up or down at least one step, in each part, be it the museum, the church, the bathrooms, that is, in each point of Mi Pueblito.

Advices 

  • Wear sunscreen and a hat,
  • You can carry water,
  • In rainy weather, carry an umbrella,
  • Since there is no information about what you are seeing, it is better to take a tour with a guide, and then you can stay taking the photos you want,
  • Do not go by bus, since the stop is very far and the sidewalk is so small that it seems that it does not exist.
Afro-Antillean Square
Views from the Anglican Temple.

Hours

  • Monday to Sunday,
  • From 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Price

  • Free: retirees, students and children (0-6 years old),
  • $1.00 entry for Panamanian,
  • $3.00 foreign entry,
  • Free, guided tour.

The cost of the entrance is independent if you go with a guide from the Municipality or not.

Where is Mi Pueblito?

Mi Pueblito is in Panama City, on the Avenue of Los Mártires, on the slopes of Ancón Hill.

How to get to Mi Pueblito?

You can go by bus, own/rented car, Cabiby or taxi (the latter is not recommended for tourists, as it usually charges a very high price).

By car: whether you are on Avenida Balboa, the Transístmica or through Albrook Mall, head towards the Bridge of the Americas through Avenida de los Mártires, once on the avenue, stay in the right lane and do not go too fast, you can pass the entrance to Mi Pueblito.

If you are coming from West Panama, take the Bridge of the Americas, then Avenida de los Mártires, go over the next bridge, take the roundabout to return, as if you were going back to the Bridge of the Americas.

Stay in the right lane, you will soon reach the entrance to Mi Pueblito.

By bus: it is the most difficult route since you will have to walk, the sidewalk is very narrow and the street has high traffic, it is better to combine it with an Uber.

Take a bus to Plaza 5 de Mayo and then an Uber to Mi Pueblito.

Other places you may like

Mi Pueblito



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