Living in a more rural part of Panama gives me the opportunity to see how the locals utilize the resources they have available to them, to be as economical as possible, and to add a touch of beauty to the already beautiful landscapes. Many farmers in the area use branches cut from trees that they thrust into the ground and intertwine with barbed wire to fence in their crops or their cattle as well as using rocks that erupted from the volcano over thousands of years and now dot the countryside in abundance.
I am always amazed that the branches the farmers plant in the ground often begin to leaf shortly after they have been “planted”. These branches grow into trees that form a beautiful living fence. When they begin to grow much taller and fuller, the whole process is begun again. The trees are cut down to about 5 feet and the branches stripped and used for new fences or repairs, only to begin growing once more.
The rock walls seen in the areas around the volcano are carefully and painstakingly built without the use of mortar or concrete…simply rocks stacked together like a Tetris puzzle. Unfortunately these rock walls are getting more and more expensive to erect as it truly is an art and the builders are demanding a higher price for their expertise.