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Faces Of Central America

Observ­ing peo­ple in Cen­tral Amer­ica is really inter­est­ing. First of all, there is a true melt­ing pot of cul­tures: Asians, Blacks, His­pan­ics, indige­nous peo­ple such as the Kuna in Panamá…

Peo­ple have dif­fer­ent activ­i­ties than in North Amer­ica and in Europe too. The mar­ket is often at the cen­ter of the com­mu­nity and it´s packed at lunch time, while there is always some­thing hap­pen­ing in the street. In San José, Costa Rica, we would always walk the same pedes­trian street. Many ven­dors dis­played their goods in the street: socks, hats, CD and DVD etc. Every hour or so, the police would come and every­body packed in a hurry… to start sell­ing again five min­utes later!

Down­town, you can also find peo­ple play­ing music, hang­ing around, sell­ing stuffs, play­ing, eat­ing… basi­cally liv­ing. It struck me how much of an indoor cul­ture we have become in North Amer­ica. Sure, the weather is colder and does not allow us to hang out in the street in the mid­dle of Jan­u­ary, but I think we have become house­bound too much. We always seem to go out with a pur­pose: eat­ing, work­ing, or going from point A to point B. Loi­ter­ing is frowned upon, or even for­bid­den. It´s a bit sad, really.

Painting Political Murals, David, Panama

Paint­ing Polit­i­cal Murals, David, Panama

Getting In The Bus With A Chicken, Panama

Get­ting In The Bus With A Chicken, Panama

Kuna Kids Watching T.V In The Street, Panama

Kuna KIds Watch­ing T.V In The Street, Panama

Painting In The Street, San Jose - Costa Rica

Paint­ing In The Street, San Jose — Costa Rica

Street Music, San Jose - Costa Rica

Street Music, San Jose — Costa Rica

Packing Up Street Goods, The Police Is Arriving, San Jose - Costa Rica

Pack­ing Up Street Goods, The Police Is Arriv­ing, San Jose — Costa Rica

Playing With Feral Pigeons, San Jose - Costa Rica

Play­ing With Feral Pigeons, San Jose — Costa Rica

Eating At The Local Soda

Eat­ing At The Local Soda

Selling Spices At The Market

Sell­ing Spices At The Market

Who Want To Ride The Wooden Horse?

Who Want To Ride The Wooden Horse?


  1. Salut Zhu,
    I also like to observe when I travel. You said some inter­est­ing things there. You see; you had to leave your nor­mal envi­ron­ment relaize some­things… oth­er­wise, we don’t really think about this.

    I love the color and ani­ma­tion in your pics. He he; the Police com­ing every hour to do their thing and the ven­dors do their thing and come back.

    Stay safe & have fun.
    Bises :)

  2. I sure cant spell today; I meant :
    “You had to leave your nor­mal envi­ron­ment to REALIZE some things”.

    Duh… Blame it on the cold weather, I guess

  3. I really like the hot col­ors of South Amer­ica! I also think that the peo­ple look very happy even though they don’t have every­thing which we have…maybe we have too much?? I don’t think I would play with the pigeons though, yuck!

  4. I love the pho­tos. I really like C/America. It’s a whole dif­fer­ent world.

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