Boquete’s Tuesday Market

This post is also available in: Spanish

By Craig Weincek

Jane Moodie’s bulk organic foods stand.

Jane Moodie’s bulk organic foods stand.

The gray skies of the rainy season cleared. Sunshine shone on a cheerful group of nearly two hundred Boquete residents who were gathered around tables and displays. Every Tuesday, rain or shine, the Boquete expat community comes together for Market Day, which is held from 9:00 a.m. until noon at the Boquete Community Players Theatre & Event Center just across the Feria Bridge from downtown.

Volcán también tiene un mercado

Sun shines on the scene at BCP Theatre and Event Center.

Sun shines on the scene at BCP Theatre and Event Center.

Un pequeño mercado comunitario también se lleva a cabo todos los viernes por la mañana en Volcán de 9:00 a.m. a 11:00 a.m. en Maná #2 Coffee Shop (antes era el Restaurante Dayls). No es tan grande como el de Boquete y el mercado es atendido por algunos de los mismos vendedores que conducen a través de la nueva carretera que conecta las dos ciudades. La palabra clave para el mercado es “fresco” y cuenta con productos orgánicos, gallinas de patio, huevos, panes recién horneados, pasteles, panecillos de canela y empanadas, así como camarones, corvina y pargo rojo. Se recomienda que los clientes lleven un cooler para mantener “las golosinas” frescas camino a casa.

Ofertas de desayuno también son ofrecidas por Vickie y Jorge en la cafetería. Para obtener información llamar al 6461-2970 o visite la página web fincaasantameta.biz.

Jim Kennedy (right) socializes by a table of his bamboo creations.

Jim Kennedy (right) socializes by a table of his bamboo creations.

While it provides residents an opportunity to not only visit with friends but also to purchase a variety of goods including books, hats, handmade greeting cards, cigars, homemade soap, honey, local coffee, hard-to-find herbs and exotic herbal remedies. It also is a must-see event for those visitors who may be considering moving to and/or retiring in Panama.

Almost always there are a number of organic farmers under the protection of the BCP Theatre roof or outside on the street offering fresh produce. Vendors, who are predominately English-speakers, provide hungry customers with fresh pastries, tasty tortillas and hearty soups. Some indigenous arts and crafts, from Molas and tapestries to unique jewelry are also often available. The morning usually concludes with an informative, informal lecture presented by one or another local expert on a variety of topics. Admission is free.

Robert Watson works on Doc O’Carroll using the Dorn Method.

Robert Watson works on Doc O’Carroll using the Dorn Method.

Market finds

Jane Moodie sells organic grains, flours, oils, spices, nuts and seeds from the back of a pickup and has been doing so for two years. Elizabeth Worley’s Cloud Forest Botanicals table features healing products from organic, medicinal plants. One of the small bottles was simply labeled “Gut Health.” Worley, who also had her book “Romancing the Bean, risking everything coming out in coffee land” available for sale, explained that about four years ago her neighbor Diane Heidke, the author of “The Boquete Handbook (not for tourists)”, had suggested that in addition to the regularly scheduled Tuesday meeting that they ought to have a flea market and it grew into the popular weekly gathering.

A tall gentleman named Franklin Grueber proudly offers something called Jungle Oil. A natural medicine, Grueber claims that the ointment offers protection from red ant or scorpion bites and is a viper bite antidote. A Zonian, Grueber moved to Boquete in the 1980s and began learning about plants with medical uses from the native mountain people.

Diyona”s Designs – a display of crystals, venetian glass, natural stones and vintage beads by Dee Horn.

Diyona”s Designs – a display of crystals, venetian glass, natural stones and vintage beads by Dee Horn.

Unlikely finds

Knife sharpening services are provided by Jerry Knezic. Author Patricia Alvarado offers multilingual children’s books. Local coffee is on hand of course, like the kind sold by independent distributor Raquel Castillo de Sitton. Robert Watson, a German-born and trained chiropractor and orthopedist massages and manipulates attendees who have back or joint problems. He moved to Panama from Costa Rica and practices the little-known Dorn Method, which he learned in Germany.

To make arrangements to become a vendor or for more information it is a good idea to contact Tammy Gulick, the BCP Theatre and Facility Manager at 6918-1651 or email facilitymanagerbcp@gmail.com. A busy bee, Gulick stated that “there are always lots of people, who come here to socialize and find a variety of things all in one place.”

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