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By Milagros Sánchez Pinzón
Located only 10 minutes from David, the capital of the province of Chiriquí, is the Julio Gómez Ruiz Historic Museum in the community of San Pablo Nuevo.
The museum, declared a Municipal Historic Monument, is housed in a structure that dates back to the XIX century. The house was ceded to the municipality by the descendants of the town’s patriarch, Julio Gómez Ruiz.
The house played an important role during the Thousand Day War (1898-1902) during the famous “battle of San Pablo.”
The residence is built out of mud walls dressed with lime. Its frame is made of mangrove-sourced wood which supports a clay shingle roof. The door comprises two sections with a portal built with sturdy wooden poles.
The museum was inaugurated in 1991. It consists of three areas: The “Forgers of the National Identity” Salon is a section displaying military objects, photographs, letters and a mural dedicated to the Battle of San Pablo. The “Josefa Gómez de Cuestas” Salon contains objects pertaining to domestic life and fieldwork. The “Religious and Popular Art” Salon contains objects of religious nature.
The museum, which is administered by the National Institute of Culture (INAC) is open from Tuesday to Saturday. Contact Tel. 722-2018 for their daily schedule.