Jenaro, a simple man in Panama

Jenaro is a simple man, a farmer living near Boquete, a small colonial town in Panama. To begin with, a funny story he told me: one day, when he was 9 or 10 years old, he was taking care of cows and one urinated on his cigarettes. He let the cigarettes to dry and then he smoked one… the taste was so awful that he never ever smoked again.

Landscape near the house of Jenaro

I was visiting The Lost Waterfalls, three waterfalls sited in the outskirts of Boquete, when it began to rain buckets. I looked for the first refuge I found, entering the fence where Jenaro’s humble cabin was, rudimentary made with metal plates and wood planks. As I shout “hello?”, he went out to see who had entered his yard. I greeted him and asked for shelter. It seemed fine, and we started talking about life.

Simple man
Jenaro, a simple man, like the song of Lynyrd Skynyrd

Speaking in a weighty and nostalgic tone he told me about serious problems he had as a child. But now he had found that job and was happy despite not having much. Working those fields for a landowner, getting just 10$USD a day plus that basic accommodation, growing blackberries and other crops together with his two sons, eating 3 times a day, almost exclusively plain rice.

Pretending to be serious for the photo…
… but he couldn’t avoid a smile eventually

He seemed to be a serious person, but from time to time he could not help a shy smile in his face. Every time I tried to take a photo of him, the serious look came back, and only after the photo he would smile again with my jokes. He helped me to get the bus back to Boquete. In one of the photos you can see him waiting outside just to see the bus passing by. Very good guy, Jenaro.

Waiting for the bus

Jenaro’s house
On the way to the waterfalls

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