Arriving in the beautiful city of Panama I immediately noticed the vibrant culture of the locals. From the romantic language and colorful cityscape, I was blown away. I felt incredibly welcome and at home as soon as I arrived. Many people were very curious and willing to ask questions about our group and the reason we came. I found the historical part of the city to be fascinating, along with the various stories to accompany it. The first picture I captured of Panama was the palm trees outside of the place we were staying at.

My favorite thing about The City of Knowledge are the people also staying here with me, including the high schoolers and others around my age. Getting to know all their personal stories and experiences adds to my journey while abroad. I enjoy trying the different flavors each Panamanian dish has to offer, and I have been amazed by the variety of ways they serve plantains. Panama has a special place in my heart because everywhere I have been I always feel welcomed, and I have been able to experience the hospitality of their culture.

Each day I would wake up at six and get ready for the day. I enjoyed eating breakfast with my cohort and letting the anticipation set for what our day would be. We got the opportunity to talk to the representatives and CEOs of many companies. I enjoyed being able to get a glimpse of how these corporations run international business and how Panama gives them a geographical advantage.

As I wandered through Casco Viejo’s colorful streets, I could feel the bliss of it all. From the historic architecture to the welcoming ambiance made me feel like I had found my second home. I would say so far, my best advice to enjoying this trip has been to be open-minded and push myself outside my comfort zone. With only a few days left on this trip, I plan to live in the moment and create everlasting memories with my cohort.