Casco Antiguo, Panama: an outdoors school

Most public schools in Panama have a nice tradition of what we call the “paseos”:  students get out of the classrooms and go to somewhere depending on what the teacher´s objective is, to learn a specific subject but outside the classroom.

Casco Antiguo has at least 5 public schools within its historic “walls”: Ruben Hurtado, Nicolas Pacheco, Simon Bolivar and Escuela de Mexico and Escuela de Estados Unidos. Most of them elementary schools, some better than others, but all with a great teaching resource at hand: Casco Antiguo itself.  And they use it extensively. It is very common to see entire classrooms walking on a row, lead by several teachers, visiting the historic monuments and buildings like Panama´s Presidential Palace.  What an incredible luck for those kids to have all these things at hand. Like living in Rome or in Washington DC and being able to walk the same roads the founding fathers of our nation walked. Even if not appreciated fully at their young age, there is an emotional learning happening.

For me, it has a special significance to see those kids walking daily around with their teachers.  To see them enjoying history brings history itself alive, and the Casco once again, proves itself not to be a dead museum but a fully alive witness of our history.

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