The Flower and Coffee International Fair in Boquete

11 Jan

The Flower and Coffee International Fair in Boquete is one of the most important in the region. The town of about 25,000, plays host to an expected 130,000 visitors during the 10 day run, which estimates about $2 million dollars to the economy. The floral offerings come from Canada, the US, Central and South America. The crowds come quite literally from around the world.

Floral Garden 2
Click on photos to enlarge the view!
Floral Garden 3

Floral Garden 4

The flower gardens are the main attraction at the Fair.  Geraniums, Hydrangeas, Marigolds, Chinese Carnations, Begonias, Snapdragons, amongst others are featured. During the year, flowers and plants can be purchased at the nurseries at the fair site.  Prices vary from $2 to $5.

A Fair must have all the vendors of various items

A Fair must have all the vendors of various items

Panama has, I believe, 7 distinct indiginous groups or tribes. Each has its own set aside area of lands within large undeveloped geographic areas, and largely self-govern. The area nearest us is the Ngobe Bugle and it is very common to see families around the town and area. The women proudly wear their distinctive dresses, while the men are dressed no different than most Panamanian workers. Here are a couple pictures (found online like others in this post) of their ‘shop’ and dresses at the fair.

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Colors vary widely in these unique dresses.
Among the great number of national and foreign handicrafts that could be found were the items called Nahuas and Chacaras made by the women of Gnobe Bugle tribe. The Nahuas are dresses, generally handmade, taking up to 15 days and priced from $25 to $60 depending on the size and design.  The Chacaras are fabric bags made with threads of tree barks and painted with natural dyes extracted from fruits, roots and leaves.  The prices vary from $3 to $25 depending on the size and design.

Added this picture of the window of a shop in our ‘mocha plaza’.

A view in a shop window of the variety of these hand crafted dresses.

A view in a shop window of the variety of these hand crafted dresses.

Floral Garden 1

Regarding the coffee offering, Panama is a world leader in quality. Witness the following:
Panama continues to lead the world in the quality of Geisha coffee. The “Esmeralda Special” Geisha variety re-heated the coffee market this week by breaking the world price record at $170.20 a pound.
In the online auction “Best of Panama 2010, Japanese Coffee House Sazae purchased eight 50 lb bags of coffee worth $68,080.

The Fair opened yesterday. We thought our new neighbors nearby were having a party with loud music, etc. But discovered it was actually from the fairgrounds, about 3 blocks and a river away. Complete with a DJ and spotlights in the air….someone was having fun.
Found this video of the fair last year after my initial post. Does a better job than the still photos.

Cleo had her surgery for screw removal yesterday, and all went well. Back Monday to remove stitches, and take away her crutch. And then 2 more weeks with her boot. So we’re waiting a bit to ‘walk’ over to the fair for a personal look-see. Most of the local lodgings have been booked for weeks and the town will be full. And the crazy traffic will be maxed out, so our normal foot travel will be the best anyway.

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