THINGS TO DO: Panama is making an investment in preserving it’s unique culture.

"JB"

I’ll quit my nitpicking for a minute and suggest as our contributor Joyce often does, some of the brighter spots of being in Panama. A country rich and diverse is history, it has become the leader of Museums and points of interest to visit in Latin America. I would suggest a visit in the same manner I suggest people visit the wildlife sanctuaries across the country. 

The possibility of traveling from Chiriquí to Panama to visit a museum is a complicated situation if the time factor is valued, now with technology these gaps are eliminated.

Panamarama
The ‘Panamarama’ exhibition of the Biomuseo. ceded

This is the case of the virtual Biomuseo, born during the covid-19 pandemic: a section of the website in which all those interested can freely access audio guides, educational material, guided tours and a repository of temporary exhibitions, Meera explained. Sachani, coordinator of design and communications of the Biomuseo.

From its conception, the Biomuseo was designed to incorporate new technologies to its exhibits and to the different support systems required to ensure the best experience for visitors, added Sachani. Among these technologies, immersive and interactive projections, motion sensors, touch screens, and even a biological and electromechanical life support system for marine species stand out.

“One of the permanent exhibitions of the Biomuseo is ‘Panamarama’: an immersive experience where the visitor is surrounded by 10 giant screens. Images and videos are projected that reconstruct an amazing journey through the Isthmus of Panama and its various natural ecosystems; In this exhibition, the visitor goes from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean in 6 minutes full of emotion”, he added to La Estrella de Panamá.

Also, commented the coordinator, is ‘Panama is the Museum’, which has more than 20 interactive projectors and motion sensors that allow visitors to discover and explore the inexhaustible natural and cultural attractions of Panama.

“The Panamanian public is kept updated on the uses of new technologies. We hardly print anything anymore. Since 2020, all access to the museum’s maps and audio guides is done through QR codes. This modality has worked very well for us ”, he concluded.

‘Explore’ science

The museums and visitor centers were only part of the exhibition to the public of old objects with brief reviews, now everything has changed. The Science and Art Center (Explora) offers “interactive exhibitions, [with] video projections, interactive videos and navigation stations, offering the visitor an educational and fun experience. We have virtual reality technology, photography and 360 immersive sound in the Rincón Clubhouse Explora”.

Explora has an exhibition on the Panama Canal basin that has “video projections and interactive videos on the importance of preserving our country’s water resources, avoiding waste and, above all, avoiding its contamination (…) Inside One of the projections of the center is the implementation of a virtual reality exhibition, in addition to 360 videos and images.

History and technology merge

The entire historical legacy of the construction of the Panama Canal is offered by the Panama Canal Museum with various technological tools, for example, “a 3D digital representation of what the houses in the Canal Zone looked like according to the state of their payroll, which was determined by race. It also has an experience that enlists visitors as potential canal construction workers, assigning them duties, privileges, or lack thereof, to spark a conversation about the discriminatory laws that governed the Canal Zone in the early 20th century.” explained the technology manager of the Canal Museum, Abdiel Vargas Jaime.

In the ‘Route for Sovereignty 1965-1999’ room, visitors are offered immersive, participatory and educational experiences, as well as an area for consulting extended information on the different topics exposed. “We have a screen for consulting historical archives, photographs and videos, which include the events of January 9, 1964. We use interactive screens, so that our visitors can go through all the events of that day and subsequent ones through Rarely known photos and videos. One of the most liked experiences in the room is that through a telephone of the time we can listen to the tense conversation between our president Roberto F. Chiari and his counterpart Lyndon B. Johnson on the morning of January 10 ”.

Ancient art for everyone

In Panama, the identity of an original people also converges with technological advances. The Director of the Museo de la Mola, Javel Altamiranda, indicated that the Museo de la Mola “has three spaces” where the visitor, “through dynamic technology, can immerse themselves in learning about this ancestral art.”

“In the first exhibition room we have a screen that reflects on both sides the evolution of the mola costume and it becomes so real that it seems that the guna woman in the video is going to leave. Later in the exhibition of the worldview, the visitor can enter a box of mirrors that resemble a trip inside a mola and all its process. To end the tour, visitors have a three-layer wall where they can simulate making their own mola and put into practice everything they have learned during the tour.”

state museums

For her part, the National Director of Museums of the Ministry of Culture, Anayansi Chichaco, explained that state museums have “implemented experiences with sound, audiovisuals, and virtual experiences. For example, we have a virtual tour of the Penonomé Museum available from the ministry’s website. At the Caño Archaeological Park Museum we have an interactive screen where children can get to know the museum’s content in a didactic way”.

Libraries are also adapting, one of them is that of President Roberto F. Chiari where most have been implemented, “QR codes on the exhibits that we have in the corridors of the Library and video projections on educational programs and news pertinent to the Channel and to the library (…) We have state-of-the-art microfilm readers that allow the development of negatives and the digitization of documents”.

Technology reaches the interior of the country

The El Valle Visitor Center has implemented touch screens for navigation, audio, video projection (…) an online virtual conversation about Volcanic Evolution of Panama”, explained Dayra Rodríguez, tourism assistant to this medium.

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