• Day11

    The Panama Hat

    January 14, 2018, South Pacific Ocean ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    Todays port was Manta, Ecuador which is a vibrant, smiling city that boasts the title of the tuna Capitol of the world. Some of the tuna fishing boats even have helicopters on their decks to go ahead of the boats to scout prime fishing areas.
    The “chivas” truck is a traditional way to get around here. It is a open-air jalopy with bench seating. The fun part is when a band, complete with saxophone, trumpet and drum, climb up to the roof of this truck and begin playing some incredibly lively tunes! Everyone on the side of the road waves, dances and smiles as you go by. What a great place!
    We also learned about the Panama hat, which I always assumed was made in Panama 🤔. Indeed, it was not made in Panama, but in Ecuador. When the Panama Canal was being built, the workers needed a lightweight, breathable hat to protect them from the sun. The people of Ecuador began weaving and providing hats for the workers. When Roosevelt visited during the construction of the Canal, he wore one of the hats, the picture was transmitted world-wide and the design was referred to as the Panama hat. A typical, medium-quality Panama hat takes about 1 month for someone to make and up to 8 months for a master weaver to make. See the photo below to see the unusual position the locals have adopted for the making of the hat.
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