The Fabulous Women of Panama.
Living in a "Machismo Society" as a woman certainly has it's challenges but here in Panama, they are quite benign and rather easy to overcome if willing. Women in many other countries certainly face much larger gender-based challenges than what we face here in Panama but it certainly has been interesting witnessing the way it manifests.
Celebrating Women's National History Month around the world (began in the USA in 1857) and Monday, March 8th in particular being International Women's Day got me thinking about the women of Panama. I have long had a great and profound appreciation for women; a life's source of challenge, competition, inspiration, guidance, and humility. All of those of which I/we can greatly improve upon.
In Colorado, I met untold numbers of physically strong, bold, confident, and exceedingly adventurous women that inspired me to no end. In my short stint living in NY, I think of highly educated, driven, and focused women of business, commerce, and the fast paced world of the largest city in the USA. In Panama, all I think of are great smiles, warm hearts, and loving homes.
For the most part, the women here find their motivation and daily life truly fulfilled by that of the love of their families, support of their extended family, tranquility of living in a tropical environment, and the relations they have within their communities. Life moves at a different pace here for many reasons but I would say the main reason is because money and career success is not what motivates them.
Life in the city is more akin to that of other international cities but out in the interior where we are, it's vastly different. The presence of the "machismo" way of thinking here is rooted mostly in old-fashioned gender based role expectations. So, when I learned that Panama had elected a female president - Mireya Moscoso in 1999, I was quite impressed.
Raised by a single mother in the rural interior of Panama, without a colIege education, nor a life of political work, I can only imagine what she had to overcome along her path to become President. She was married to an ex-President but still, I imagine that wasn't her main political platform. In her first year, she oversaw the transfer of the Panama Canal from the United States to Panama control and then continued to lead the country until 2004.
Her role as president, like so many women we are honoring this month no-doubt left an indelible mark of hope in many minds but especially that of girls and women around the country and the world. So, while the women continue to face and overcome their cultural challenges here in Panama and around the world, we salute all those inspiring women in our lives.
Your Friends in Morrillo,
Cari and Ryan Mackey
Owners and Hosts
Morrillo Beach Eco Resort