Reason Number 52 to Have a Machete in Your Car... in Panama

in panama •  4 months ago

There are many reasons why having a machete in your car may be beneficial here in Panama. We've learned that they're great if you encounter an overgrown cactus on the way into the neighborhood. They're also great if you find a coconut and want to bust it open on the way home. Another reason was added to our list today.

Today my friend and I went to David to do a little shopping WITHOUT children! We had just started heading up the mountain when a large storm started. It was getting hard to see the road and my wipers were going full blast. I knew we were almost halfway up where I could stop at a yogurt shop and wait out the storm if needed. It was right around the next curve! As we approached the next curve, this is what we saw:


That is a ton of rain and a fallen tree in the middle of the road!! We were the second car! I don't know that I've ever been so close to a fallen tree on a road before. So, we stopped behind the work/official truck that was ahead of us. I could see the traffic starting to pile up behind us. We let our families know that we were okay and would be a little late and my friend started a Facebook live video.


The rain would come and go as we sat there. I kept wondering if the fire truck would show up and cut the tree away or what would happen. I mean, we are in Panama, so I didn't think that was very likely. So we sat. After about 10 minutes, we see a few men out around the tree. Apparently they're going to try to get it moved so we can all go!


Then we noticed they had their machetes out there hacking the tree to pieces to drag it off the road! What a great idea! I then remembered we carry a nice machete in our car, so I pull it out and realize it has a saw on it. The thing about Panamanians is that they KNOW hot to use a machete. I thought about loaning them my machete, but realized that they were probably better off using the ones they know how to use...and it was raining! Ha. But, if I had needed to, I would have loaned it out! After about 25 minutes, there was some progress, but still a huge log in the road.


5 minutes after that, they had used their machetes to cut the log to pieces and move it out of the road! As the men ran back to their cars, we thanked them! There were only 2 from our side and about 5 from the other side. The funny thing is, the officials in the car in front of us never got out. We figured everyone would take turns driving through since only one side was open, but that was not the case. About 10 cars went through bumper to bumper on the other side when there was a small gap and I blasted my horn and drove through.


I am thankful tonight for those men who spent 30 minutes getting soaking wet using their machetes to get half of the road cleared...even without my super cool saw machete!

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An interesting story. The machete is a tool used widely in many countries of Latin America. BTW the word machete has an interesting origin. I wrote about it in my blog more than one year ago.


I bet it does have an interesting origin! Yeah, lots of Hispanics use machetes! They're pretty useful!!

You never know where a machete can be good for, but in this case I believe I would have used the machete with my own hands ...


I wanted to loan mine out, but we've learned that if you give a local something they're not used to using (a machete with a saw blade on one side), it usually goes poorly. They've perfected the art of the use of the better to not even mess with it. ;)

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Thank you!!! :)

Oh my word, that looks hectic @apanamamama! Thank goodness it did not fall on anyone's car!


I totally agree! Wouldn't have been good to fall on a tree! Amazing that it fell on the empty spot on the road for both sides!

Machetes are a very useful tool for sure. I keep a few around the house, but I think I will throw one in the tool box on the truck now after reading this story. Ya just never know when and where you might need it.


A few of my kids have a machete of their own. That's what happens when you can buy them at pretty much any store here for less than $5. ;)


I imagine you could seeing how there is so much jungle down there; it would be comparable to like places here selling mosquito repellent or sun screen on how available the machete is where you are.


Lol - that is totally true. They are very readily available! You want to know something funny? Sunblock here is like $12 for a small bottle. It's insanely expensive. You know why? Panamanians are dark and don't need sunblock like all the light colored gringos who burn up and look like tomatoes after a day in the sun. ;) If only gringos buy it, might as well raise the price. Ha


Yes, stick it too the gringos, that is the mentality in that part of the world.

Wow I’m glad there were others passing on the same road that got out to help. That tree was huge! I like that your machete has a saw on it. Haa I don’t blame you for wanting to keep it out of the rain.


Yeah, it was big. We pulled up to be in between two other big ones still standing just in case another one fell. You never know!

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That is crazy and yet awesome that people have machetes in their vehicles for this purpose and more. We would probably get arrested having that in our vehicles here.
Panama sounds like an awesome place though. Just walking by and 'oh I feel like having a coconut' pulls out machete and voila. Haha that's so cool.


Lol - yep, Panama is a different place, but we like it! :) I posted this on my fb and a friend commented that her grandma used to carry a machete around in her pants leg! She grew up in Mexico! Ha!! Isn't THAT crazy??


HAHA Go grandma! haha oh that is too much! How different places can be. I love reading how things are all over the world.

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Pity none of them had a chain saw in their vehicle! That wouldn't have been as funny of a story, though.


Lol - for real! ;)

It's pretty useful to have a machete in there. To be honest, I think it's a norm. Though I can't stop thinking what that would mean to have a machete in the car in here. Glad to hear that you were safe!


Yes, I think most people have a machete in the car. We told some gringo friends and they thought we were nuts...but then all said they probably need one as well. Never know how it might come in handy!!