Oct 31, 2015

Boquete Artist Marjorie Freiburghaus

Boquete artist, Marjorie Freidburghaus, is one of my favorite local artists. Self-taught and versatile, she paints an array of subjects and is equally comfortable doing folk art or abstracts. 

Whether producing a commissioned painting to complement someone's new home decor or creating her own inspirations, Marjorie's work is always distinctive.  Her use of bright colors and simple composition draws you into the canvas and wraps you in a good feeling, as you gaze upon a bunch of bananas, watch a hummingbird, or negotiate your way through an abstract maze. 

Below are photos of  a few of her works. My snapshots don't do justice to the color and clarity of the originals, unfortunately.  Feel free to let me know your thoughts, and I'm happy to provide the artist's contact information via private email.




Oct 30, 2015

Sitio Barriles, Volcan, Panama

Sitio Barriles is a pre-colombian archeological site located on private land near Volcan, Chiriqui in Panama.  I'm told that personnel from National Geographic came at one time and helped with excavations, however they are no longer involved. I haven't corroborated the veracity of the following, but I was informed that personnel from this institution took most of the "better pieces" out of the country.  Whether this is true or not, and whether the artifacts were purchased or taken, is also up for speculation.  This information was not provided by the site's official guide, but rather communicated via rumor mill.  I am ashamed to admit I don't care enough to research further.  Bottom line the pieces that were allegedly discovered there, are no longer there.  If National Geographic did remove them from the country, hopefully they are somewhere where they can be appreciated by a much wider audience.  

The small finca that houses the remaining artifacts and history is open to the public and is frequently visited by educational institutions.  The grounds are scenic and captivating as well. There is a small fee for a guided tour both the museum and grounds.  Tourists are $5 per person and locals are $3 per person.

This statue is a replica of the original which is located in a national museum.  It is a symbolic representation of the peoples who comprised the ancient civilization that populated the area.  They were comprised of Asiatic and African elements and are reported to have collaboratively inhabited the region. 

Noting that the Asian was on top, being transported by the African, I questioned our guide's explanation that they collaborated.  It was then she explained that the statue is a reflection of the collaboration.  The African is depicted as blind, and the Asian as lame.  The two peoples were able to accomplish their needs and goals through mutual effort and assistance.  

Below are a few artifacts found in the small on-site museum.

Mother and Child statue

These are ancient map rocks, indicating a central location and surrounding foot trails.

Another map rock of trails leading to the summit of Volcan Baru

Sign of the serpent,  for good luck

The area above remains to be excavated.  Students from the universities donate labor as time permits. 

The above photos are of a hillside that has been partially excavated to reveal an ancient burial ground.  Remains of the dead were stored in the clay pots embedded in the hillside. 

Pre-historic ferns and bamboo forests comprise much of the natural landscaping along the trails to the burial grounds. 

Quadalupe, Chiriqui, Panama

Two weekends ago some friends and I took a day trip to Quadalupe,  which is about 5-10 minutes beyond Cerro Punta in Chiriqui Province. We walked around in town, purchased a few plants from a local nursery, and shopped for fresh vegetables. We found the town charming enough to want to return, and booked a room at Los Quetzales for the following Saturday. We also met up with a local resident who provides guide services for nature hikes into the surrounding mountainside. Although his English is limited, he is a very accommodating fellow and highly concerned about preserving the environment. The following weekend, we met our guide, Jorge, at the Los Quetzales Lodge and took off for parts unknown.  We ventured into Parque Nacional La Amistad, and enjoyed a thoroughly scenic and relaxing hike up to a series of waterfalls. 
The next day, we traveled out to Sitio Barrilles, a pre-columbian archeological location explored previously by National Geographic, where we enjoyed additional sites and scenery. I will post those photos next.   

The photos that follow were taken either in Quadalupe centro or during our hike into La Amistad.  Hopefully they will move readers in the same way the actual experience moved me.  

The photo to the right was taken inside a nursery in Quadalupe where I obtained some very fancy hibiscus cuttings. 

Below is a photo of the balcony to our room at Los Quetzales.  

The lodge itself was very reasonably priced, clean, and had good water pressure with warm showers.  (My minimum criteria.) I wouldn't hesitate to stay there again. The service staff were very pleasant, patient and more than accommodating. The son of the owner stopped by to greet us as well, and the general feeling one gets  is that  of being welcomed and comfortable.

Below are just a few snapshots from our nature hike in La Amistad.

 Above, the trail head.

Lush foliage encountered along the way. 

Here the trail  becomes a bit more challenging.

Scenes along the way do alot to distract from the increasingly complex path characteristics. 

Our wonderful guide, Jorge, moving boulders to make it easier for three aging novices to negotiate the many water crossings.  

Email me for his contact info... 

Group shot taken with a timer on my camera.  We propped the camera on a tree branch and it's one of the best photos of the bunch! Something to be said for artificial intelligence...