Christmas Eve In Boquerón, 2014

The Christmas celebrations here in Boquerón have changed each of the four Christmases I’ve lived in this small, Chiriquí, Panama, Province. Fireworks are a cornerstone of everything. The wet dreams of every adolescent male in the United States are available here. There are stores that sell pyrotechnics year-round and to satiate Panamanian’s desire for loud sounds be it music or explosions, tents spring up all over the place selling “Fuegos Artificiales.”

For two weeks leading up to Christmas Eve youngsters are constantly setting off fire crackers, M80s and cherry bombs and bottle rockets. But Christmas Eve is the culminating event. Four years ago the fireworks that were shot off here in my neighborhood rivaled those of any small town in the States. We were treated to a display, courtesy of Philadelphia Phillies catcher and pride of Panama, Carlos Ruiz whose mother lives on the other side of the Boquerón Road from my house, that would be the envy of many small towns in the States. It lasted a full twenty or twenty-five minutes. The next two years, though, saw a decline in the exuberance of the aerial displays. But those were private shows. No real municipal participation. This year was different. There was an election and Boquerón’s new mayor (Alcalde), I heard, appropriated B/25,000 and we had a town-sponsored parade and fireworks display last week.

This year’s neighborhood fireworks display was the poorest showing yet. Here are the videos I took last night.

This one has no video, but you can hear the sounds of fireworks going off all around the area. Up and down the hill and some firecrackers going off right here on my street…

Then there were two, short bursts of activity and that was it…

While we’ve probably become a little jaded on our block when it comes to these Christmas Eve displays you have to remember that these are paid for out-of-pocket by a local resident and not funded by the town.


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