In Panama most of the towns and villages are centered around a square or Parque Central. Usually the most prominent structure in the park, actually the center of the town is the Catholic church.
Here are some photos of Santa Catalina Catholic Church the church central in Pedasi:
Last week there was a commotion in the square because the beautiful palm trees were being cut down. To call it a commotion is actually to put it mildly. There was an uproar because the beautiful trees were being destroyed.
There is no sure way of disseminating news in a small town like ours. The only newspaper we have is distributed monthly and the daily papers are all from Panama City and contain very little local news. Often news spreads somewhat like the children’s game “Telephone”. Remember? You sit in a circle and whisper a word in your neighbour’s ear and by the time it gets to the end of the circle the word is nothing like when it started.
When the facts finally emerged that the almost 100-year-old trees were rotting on the inside the furor died down. Those beautiful palms most certainly would have come down on their own eventually in one of the big wind storms that we get during Wet Season. An order was issued from SINAPROC and with the cooperation of the Office of the Alcalde (the Mayor) and other civil protection agencies the trees were cut before they could fall on the church, a pedestrian or a car parked in front.
In the coming weeks other trees will be planted to once again grow for generations to come. But for now our Parque Central is looking a little bare…in the campo.