Panamanian crafts & chocolate
I spent a few weeks traipsing through the jungle and island hopping in Panama and Costa Rica, with only a backpack (and a fiend). Needless to say, spare room was scarce, but this stuff really was worth cramming in there:
(clockwise from top left)
1. Fresh Coconut Oil hand-made on the island of Bastimentos. Ideal for cooking. $4.75, from Bocas Town supermarket.
2. Fabric pictures called "Molas" made by Guna native artists. This reverse appliqué technique takes about a month to complete. $30, from Bocas Town indigenous vendors.
3. A woven mask crafted and naturally dyed entirely from local plants by the indigenous tribes from the Darién jungles. $60, Bocas Town craft shop.
4. Contemporary jewelry made by local and visiting artists who make the laid-back Bocas del Toro islands their home. $5-25, Bocas Town street vendors.
5. Raw, organic cocoa in every form: bars, beans & powder, from the Örebä farming co-op run by a Ngöbe native community. $3-6, directly from the farm or in Super Gourmet in Bocas Town.