Jessica Goicoechea - Adventure Part 1

Posted on 2017-11-05

In the third week of PanamaBestInfluencer VR 360 we received; the Estado Latente team; Jessica Goicoechea and her friend Nicole, as usual, at Tocumen International Airport. They arrived at dusk and entered the city when the skyscrapers had become incandescent columns. Panama slept when we arrived in Punta Pacifica at Hotel Trump, the tallest tower in Panama. From the room they reserved for Jessica  Goicoechea and Nicole they could see the lights of the city skyline like a starry sky.

On the first day with Jessica Goicoechea  and Nicole in Panama we took them to meet their mentor in PanamaBestInfluencer VR360: Debbie Kuzniecky. We visited Casa Nolita, a concept store where designers from all over Panama show and sell their coolest creations. Designers like Tony Vergara, Mariscano, Veronica Angel or Soussa Pitti showed us their designs. After seeing the latest fashion in the city we left Casa Nolita to visit other shops in Panama. It was a fashion-packed morning by Debbie's hand. It was impossible not to want to leave with the hands of each place where we stopped.

When we were too tired to continue shopping, we retired to the Hilton Hotel. There we take some gintonics in the bar Hendrix, that has spectacular views of the Cinta Costera when the sun falls and the sea is covered with an orange silk. Then we go to the restaurant, where the stars of the sky compete with the lights of the city. In the wide terrace we enjoy the exquisite menu that the Hilton Hotel offers: fresh pasta, good meats, delicious salads.

The next day, after a well-deserved rest at the Trump Hotel, we set off again. It would be a very different day, far from the glamor and fashion of the city. Raised in our Toyota Rush we left behind Panama City and we are going way to Colón. It is a journey of more than an hour in a car in which the landscape stops being urban and populated and we enter in a virgin land of forest and meadows where the only thing that there is nature and little more. The first stage of our journey ends on the bank of a meek river. There was no one, only the speech of the birds and the murky current. Soon the birds are silent and an engine sounds. Soon we will see a canoe with two Emberas that welcome us to the Comarca Emberá Quera.

We sailed along the Gatun River, watching the birds rise up in our path, between meadows where cows graze, among tall trees. Soon we go to a marshes where the river widens and is covered with tall grass. The boat approaches a handful of solitary trees where the squawking of the monkeys is heard and whose branches are violently agitated. The boat stops at the base of the tree and among the shadows of the branches appears a spider monkey that jumps down to land on the shoulder of one of the Emberas.

His name is Neo and he receives us with simian cries. Soon it passes from one shoulder to another of all the occupants of the canoe. He wraps us with his rough hair and examines our hair with cold hands. When he gets tired of us he hooks a branch with his tail and disappears between the leaves. We lose sight of him, but his guttural songs continue to cut through the air.

The boat starts up again. We left Neo's house and headed to the foot of a hill. Slowly, amidst the dense green that pops everything here, we distinguish the Embera huts, scattered about the hill like mushrooms in the fall. All wooden, circular, with billiard roofs like cones.

The whole town welcomes us with music and dance and invites us to go to the main hut where they tell us about their history, their traditions and how the Embera have adapted to modern times without renouncing their identity and culture. Then they invite us to share a meal with them: fried fish and patacones. When we have recharged energies they teach us the people.

The cottages extend over more land than they can or want to cover. They breathe from each other separated by extensions of tender grass. Around the jungle arises suddenly, and in their dark interior the embera pick up the medicinal herbs that they need. At the highest point of the hill you can see the whole town, the school, the pier and the river that connects them with the outside. Through the streets the children run, laugh and play. They chase through the meadows, fight with swords of branches and leaves, they laugh sitting in the shade of the trees. Here embera live as they have always done, adapted to the new times but without leaving behind their traditions.

The day passes us in Comarca Embera Quera. We go back to the boat and clear the way. We leave behind the laughter of the children, the songs, the dances, the smile of the adults, the smell of damp earth, patacón. We leave Embera Quera and when arriving at the car everything seems to have been a dream. We leave with the nostalgia of having visited a place as it came from another time and the resignation of returning to the big city.

Upon arriving in the city we head to the Hotel Central. There we had dinner with Jessica Goicoechea at the Nine Queens, an abundant dinner of meats, pasta and ceviches culminating with a selection of incredible desserts. Upon finishing we retired to the rooms, like the rest of the hotel, colonial type and exquisite architecture. Combining classicism and history of the hotel with luxury and comfort.

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