Last Sunday, I was in company of some lovely people, part of the Panama Hat Tour, organized by Ecua-Andino along the coast of Ecuador. The goal was to discover the origin and traditional process of making a Panama hat.
To sum it up, the hat process starts after the artisans collect in the coast mountains a bulk of toquilla palm and tie it into bundles of 8, we went to the town of Barcelona and saw how they boiled the toquilla palm in a large cauldron of hot water. Once the cogollos were cooked, they took them out of the cauldron and let them dry (for about 2 days). The following step is to send the dry toquilla palm to some places in the highlands or to other nearby communities so the weaving process can start.
Our trip continued and we stopped in Olón, ate some delicious sweets in a pastry shop named Los dulces de Benito, I had an amazing Tres Leches after which we carried on with our travel and made a stop in Puerto Lopez for lunch. Back on the road we decided to discover one of our best beaches here in Ecuador, so we went to Los Frailes and took some really cool pictures.
As we arrived in Montecristi, the weather changed completely, and it started to rain a lot! But that was not bothering us at all as we really wanted to know the process of our beloved hats. So we went to a Panama Hats factory and were taught the last part of the hat making process such as cutting the edges and ironing the Panama Hat. At the end of the day we were so tired but definitely had a great time.
For this occasion I wore a T-shirt printed with the ironic phrase “I’m not a blogger”, a pair of shorts and a black classic Panama Hat that you can find here.
Wait for another post very soon,