“I love the Ngobe. I’ve always been treated well on my visits to the comarca by friendly and sharing people. They refuse to do silly dances for tourists or sell products of child labor in Casco Viejo. They are among the few groups in Panama who, when push comes to shove, are willing to take considerable risk and make big sacrifices to win a fight. Even with the police shooting at them, killing several and wounding even more, they would just not give up in a battle to defend their land against mining interests – very unlike so-called “environmentalist groups” in the capital who were at the time having dinner with the board of WalMart.”

– Okke Ornstein’s A night with the cacica

“On the point of dropping my last dollar in this adventure, I was still bored. So profoundly that I even refused to envisage the most urgent steps I should have been taking. We are so trivial by nature that only amusement can stop us from dying for real.”

– Ceiline, “Journey to the End of the Night.

Eleven years ago I came solemnly to Central America …

“My whole life is behind me. I see it completely, I see its shape and the slow movements which have brought me this far. There is little to say about it: a lost game, that’s all.  Three years ago I came solemnly to Bouville. I had lost the first round. I wanted to play the second and I lost again: I lost the whole game. At the same time, I learned that you always lose. Only the rascals think they win. Now I am going to outlive myself. Eat, sleep, sleep, eat. Exist slowly, softly, like these trees, like a puddle of water, like the red bench in the streetcar.”

– Jean-Paul Sartre, “Nausea.

“Because all doors and windows are open to catch the breezes, and all your neighbors’ doors and windows are open as well, and because a lot of living happens on the porches, you get to hear everything. TVs, stereos, arguments, parties, crying babies, barking dogs, phone conversations, political hopefuls driving around and broadcasting their messages over loud-speakers mounted on their vehicles …”

10 Things I Hate About Panama

“What does a man live for but to have a girl, use his mind, practice his trade, drink a drink, read a book, and watch the martins wing it for the Amazon and the three-fingered sassafras turn red in October?”

– Walker Percy, Love in the Ruins.

… they trade turtle eggs, meat, and shells for drugs. Mostly crack. Sometimes they are so desperate that they kill a hawksbill turtle for as little as $20. It’s easy money for them—a leatherback turtle egg is worth about $1.00 [they are believed by some to have aphrodisiac properties] and a turtle lays about 80 to 100 eggs. So, if they find several nests, they can make several hundred dollars a night.

Costa Rica: Killing Turtles and Conservationists | VICE