April 18, 2012 in Bright and Shiny
When Ay Carmela owners, Patricia y Pablo, decided to finally tie the knot, they wanted something special, sexy and sustainable, so Papiro y Yo owner Zaira, with her team, were called in! From 6:00am, recycled paper was used in bouquets, headbands, corsages, menus, cake decorations, chairs, tables, with even the church alter getting its own version of flower power! The threat of a downpour, at the start of Panama’s rainy season managed to dampen spirits, but it took just a couple of alcohol laced raspados to motivate the team to get back on track! By 4:30pm when the bride walked into La Merced church, everything was better then it should be…!
February 1, 2012 in Gastro
Papiro y Yo owner Zaira does a trip to the interior every other weekend come rain or shine! Starting at 6.00am, it’s a 3-hour bus drive, followed by a 40-minute car drive and an hours walk. She is committed to her artisan workforce that produces her designs using traditional skills passed on from generations. Mostly women, they live in impeccably kept 3-room huts, scattered about the jungle near Penonome, electricity-free and surrounded by extended family. Hardworking and with pride in their work, they pick, select, dry, dye (natural dyes) and then weave – making baskets, place mats and bags that Zaira then takes back to sell in her shop.
We were lucky to be invited on one such trip to learn more about these artisans and their work.
Mr P, whose appetite and enthusiasm for all things culinary knows no bounds, thought he might whip up a little tasty snack from the back of his rucksack, and to the delight of all the weavers, he prepared THE stalwart of ENGLISH fare – Le Tuna & Mayo sandwich, inclusive of cucumber, lemon and salad.
A TRULY MESSY BUSINESS sans couteau, but one really enjoyed by our lovely hosts!
January 12, 2012 in Bright and Shiny
Image courtesy of The Panamanian Folklore Dancers Killeen
Papiro y Yo’s owner, Zaira is committed to recycling and she has a million things in her shop, but this has got to be the most unusual! Originally, fish scales were used to decorate tembleques, which are part of the traditional Panamanian headdress. They are delicate ornaments shaped like flowers, butterflies, swans, birds of paradise, roses, leaves and are made from fine wires, pearls, beads and gold. Now given a modern twist by Zaira, the fish scales are collected from the popular local fish market, dried, dyed and strung together by one of her talented artisans, made into these lovely, light and versatile jewellery pieces. They are sold in her fantastic shop in Panama City’s historic Casco Viejo neighbourhood. Zaira quickly pointed out to me that this would be the most perfect piece of jewellery to carry on a bike. Actually, I think she is totally spot on, as they scrunch up to nothing!