This Jamaican hostel is “interesting”

*warning: the photos you will encounter on this post, will not be children friendly.

After getting settled in Kingston, my friend and I went around looking for a good place to eat jerk chicken. Ironically, it was not that easy. I noticed that there was a lot of curry chicken and curry products. I learned from a local that Jamaica has a strong community of East Indians, due to the English bring them for cheap labor.

Eventually, we found a place. The chicken taste like it was out of this world! Much better than the stuff you find in NYC. I never felt so fat before because within five minutes, I was fighting myself to not order three more plates.

The cool thing about the restaurant, it had a collection of old silver and gold coins. It made me truly feel like I was in the Caribbean.

We eventually went to the Bob Marley museum in Kingston, Jamaica. It was an interesting place. It made you see how the superstar lived. It was pretty cool but, they played a movie at the end and no lie, we all fell asleep during it. No disrespect to Mr Marley.

Before we end this, I just had to show you this hostel. This hostel had some Rasta statue of this horny old dude. Here you go!

Yes, it’s what you think it is.

This was the most memorable surprised ever, unfortunately.

Thank you for reading! Next time we will explore more of Kingston.

Welcome to Jamrock!

How can it be Caribbean week without a post about Jamaica?

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(Photo taken by Hugo morel)

It all started with my friend telling me that he was going to celebrate his birthday in Jamaica. Of course, how can anybody say no to being invited to Jamaica?

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(Photo taken by Hugo morel)

The flight to Jamaica was so boring. It’s hard to let time pass when you are so excited. It was a four to five hour flight from NYC; however, it felt like 24 hours. I was sitting in my seat like a kid waiting to ask, “Are we there yet?”

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(Photo taken by Hugo morel)

Once I arrived in Jamaica, I was surprised by all the smiles on the locals’ faces.  Be careful when finding a taxi driver. Luckily, the taxis driver I got was honest. He told me the tips and inside information on the taxi system in Kingston.  If you see a red license plate, that car has been registered by the government to be a taxi driver. Knowing this will help you from getting into unnecessary trouble.

(Photos taken by Hugo Morel)

I was truly blown away from the white sands and crystal blue waters. Jamaica was extremely hot. Taking a quick dip in the ocean was really the only way to refresh. There were no complaints here though.

Next time, we will visit the Bob Marley museum!

Panama: Roots, Culture and Arts

Panama is a well-known tourist destination but there is a hidden Panama not often viewed by the common tourist. Just like any other country, Panama has both wealthy and impoverished area. For the unconventional traveler, these areas can be dangerous but they also hold so much culture and arts.

San Miguelito is a district in Panama City, Panama that has produced athletes and music artists. On October 11, 2017, the national Panama football team defeated Costa Rica with the final score of 2 versus 1. This matched was the official game qualifying Panama for the World Cup for the first time ever. The Panamanian president Juan Carlos Varela commemorated the date by making it a national holiday. Football player Luis Tejada was one of these players. He is a native of San Miguelito and proof that not everything from the ghetto is bad.

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(Photo courtesy of FIFA)

Another area is Colon. This is the central of Afro-Panamanians. Portobelo, Colon was once a slave-port and is now a UNESCO world heritage site. Every year on October 21st, Panamanians take a 53-mile pilgrimage with the Negro Cristo (Black Christ) statue in order bring blessings and miracles to their lives.

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   (Photo Courtesy of Playa Community)

  Yet, another area is Rio Abajo. This is the birth place of Reggae star El General. This Grammy-award artist started what is now called Reggaeton. Before there was Reggaeton in other countries such as Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic, El General started the tropical sounds of reggae beats, drum patterns, and the Jamaican  influence  to Latin America.

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(Photo Courtesy of Tony Polanco)

In the interior of Panama, a small jungle like area called “Chilibre” borders both Colon and Panama City. I have family here including my father and this is my 2nd home ever since he was deported back in 2002. Every time I’m in Chilibre it is a humbling experience. This area has influenced me so much that I made a music video to expose the world to the other Panama not mentioned in travel guides. Panama has more than what meets the eyes.

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