In 2014 Panama will hold a national election. We have a friend who nominated to run for deputy of our district 7-1 under the PRD banner. We hadn’t seen him in a while, he’s been out campaigning around the country, shaking hands and making himself known to the people.
On Saturday he was at the desfile de carreta with his campaign van.
I greeted him with a kiss and he inquired about where SU was (he had already gone home). He asked me if we were still happy in Panama and with our house as he normally does when I see him. I assured him we were very happy with everything and life was going well and commented on how busy he is these days.
I then asked him about his van. I told him that it’s quite startling to see someone who you know have their face plastered larger than life not only on a van but on large billboards along the highway and even attached to the sides of buildings in other towns. He quite happily told me that it only costs $350.00 a month to rent the van. This van is not used to transport him around the country. This is what it looks like inside:
For $350.00 a month it’s an effective tool for reaching out to people in the towns and countryside of Panama. The van drives around playing a recorded message from the candidate with a bit of tipico music thrown in to catch the attention of the listeners. It’s a lot cheaper than television or radio advertisements and yet another way that life is different in Panama and in the campo.