la Feria Internacional de David

La Feria Internacional de David (the International Fair of David) is a yearly event in March. People come from a number of other countries to participate, and the fairgrounds come alive with activity. There are things for sale, things to look at, businesses sharing information, plenty of food, and fun things for children and adults.

We went on a Wednesday afternoon hoping to avoid the crowds that can descend in the night and on the weekend.

There were multiple buildings full of vendors selling all sorts of things, mainly clothes, shoes, purses, backpacks, and other personal / decorative items. I didn’t need anything and was very good about just window shopping until I saw an observation bee hive where I ended up talking and then buying a bottle of honey. (I was a backyard beekeeper in the US so this interests me) I was too busy chatting though and didn’t even think to snap a photo.

I believe the vast majority of the merchandise for sale is hand made. There were a lot of really beautiful things and I admire the skills of the people who make them. Haydeé was looking for some patio furniture so we spent quite a bit of time looking at the various furniture vendors from Nicaragua. This is all hand made and so gorgeous!

I talked with a few of the furniture folks, and they said they travel a lot selling their furniture. Next they are going to Los Santos area, then to Panama City. It must take a lot to haul all the merchandise around so I hope they are able to make a decent living at it.

There were many businesses represented who sell real estate, appliances and other things for homes, various services and equipment… I don’t have much info on this since none of us were looking for this sort of thing, so we just breezed through these buildings to enjoy a bit of air conditioning and then were on our way.

There were a lot of animals! There was a very large barn full of cattle, mostly bulls, and some of them very large. There was also a sort of zoo area with other animals and birds in cages but somehow we missed that this year.

I was looking forward to the plants area. There were also plants for sale and I was very good and only looked. There were a lot of gorgeous ornamental plants and flowers, and some orchids that I looked at more than once though.  I am most interested in plants that produce food and I didn’t see any of them to tempt me, so that helped.

By now the sun was getting low in the sky and the roads were starting to fill up with more people. On our way out we bumped into a musician friend of Haydeé who was setting up, so we hung around a while to see if they would start playing. We watched some kids doing traditional dances on that stage but eventually decided that we had all the excitement we needed for one day and headed home.

The lighting was very bad with bright advertising signs behind and no light on the dancers so apologizes for the poor photo. It was a lot of fun to see them dance though, and they had obviously worked hard to learn their routines because they performed flawlessly.

The lighting was very bad with bright advertising signs behind and no light on the dancers so apologizes for the poor photo. It was a lot of fun to see them dance though, and they had obviously worked hard to learn their routines because they performed flawlessly.

The feria is a much anticipated event every year so if you are in the area it’s definitely worth a few hours to check it out. It’s $3 to park, $2 entrance, but only $1 if you are retired. That’s not much when you consider how much time and work go into putting this together.


About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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22 Responses to la Feria Internacional de David

  1. 4sarge says:

    Reblogged this on 4sarge and commented:
    La Feria Internacional de David (the International Fair of David) is a yearly event in March. I hope to be able to attend. Great Photos


    • Anonymous says:

      Im so glad you all enjoy “la feria” That event has a lot of funny things, and if you want to see all, is better if you take two days. Also when I thinking in la Feria” the images in my mind is beer and Berard sausage.


  2. ronbillock says:

    Way cool, thanks


  3. raj484 says:

    Looks great. Thanks for the good post. Weren’t you tempted by those beautifully carved wooden trunks? They looked beautiful.


    • You’re welcome. No, I wasn’t tempted, really. I don’t have room in my house for much more, and I’m enjoying the freedom of not having much stuff of value to worry about. I like looking and appreciating the beautiful things, but bringing home the photos is enough.


  4. indacampo says:

    Those furniture folks are probably on their way to the Tonosi Valley Fair (Feria de Valle de Tonosi) starting tomorrow. Come towards us and then go around another hour plus down the peninsula. The big Azeuero Fair in Los Santos is at the end of April and looks very much like yours.

    Great captures as usual amiga!


  5. waynehd1 says:

    Thank you Kris.
    Very interesting and helpful.
    My wife and I are going to take a 6 month plunge into Panama as a part time retirement opportunity.
    We live part time in Peru and want an winter home.
    Best wishes and look forward to the next post.


    • How interesting! I hope to visit Peru sometime soon. Do you know where in Panama you are going to land? There are so many options here I hope you find one just right for you. Thanks for stopping by the blog and for your comments 🙂


  6. schuttzie says:

    Thank you, Kris for taking us along to see “la feria”. Really looks quite exciting and I could almost feel right there with you. I am like you and have a very minimalist point of view in possessions…who wants to carry that heavy load down the road, lol! Especially when we are recently retired and are looking to relocate.


  7. I didn’t know you were a back yard bee keeper. Very interesting. Did you read the “Secret Life of Bees?” I would have loved to go to the fair. I am amazed at the size of it.


    • I loved the Secret Life of Bees! Keeping bees was interesting too and they made great honey. I think my neighbors also learned a lot about bees and were much less afraid of them, and less likely to call the exterminator.


  8. oldsalt1942 says:

    I went, once. That was enough for me. I pity the people who live near the fair with that loud music blasting from the sidewalk stands. One thing I learned early on about Panama is they LOVE loud music. It doesn’t have to be GOOD music but it DOES have to be LOUD!


    • LOL yes indeed. I have a friend who lives in the area and he said it wasn’t a problem, just got a bit crazy on the weekend, mostly traffic and people parked everywhere. He’s not a gringo though so maybe the music doesn’t bother him.


  9. Barbara Nielsen Randall says:

    I really enjoy your posts and all the information you share. I am an expat living near San Ramon, Costa Rica. It’s fun to compare the costs of living there to here. Here seems a lot more expensive from what you have posted. One question I have is that Costa Rica legal residents must pay into the socialized medicine system here. I pay approx. 76,000.00 colones a month as a widow. That would amount to approx. $155.00 per month. This entitles me to many free medical treatments. The only problem is that the medicine that I have taken for years for depression is not covered. It is a medicine called Cymbalta (Duloxetina). Here there is not requirement for a prescription for this medicine. I pay out of pocket each month about $100.00 for this medicine. My sister is also a RN from the U.S. who has been diagnosed with fiber myalgia and for years has taken a lot of medicines to manage the pain from this disease. She is visiting me and thinking about moving here permanently. Several of the medicines she takes are also not available in Costa Rica from the Socialized Medicine list of available medications. Several others are not available in Costa Rica at all.

    My question is: Do you know anything about what medicines are available in Panama? Since Panama does not have socialized medicine. Would it be possible to drive to Panama see a doctor there and perhaps be able to buy the medicines she needs in Panama perhaps once every 3 or 6 months and bring them back over the border here to Costa Rica? Since you are a nurse I wondered it you had any knowledge about this?

    I appreciate any information you may be able to provide.


    • Thanks, glad you enjoy the blog!
      I have heard that Costa Rica is more expensive, and noticed it myself when traveling. Even the Costa Ricans come to the Panama border to shop if they can, and complain about the cost differences.

      I’m sorry, I don’t know anything about medications in Panama. You can definitely come here and see a doctor for consultation about what medicines are available. I know at least two people who did that as part of deciding if they wanted to live in Panama. One of them also needed meds for chronic pain and said meds here weren’t exactly the same, but they came up with a plan to meet her needs.


    • oldsalt1942 says:

      A person can certainly visit Panama and buy medications at a pharmacy. Most meds here are sold over the counter except for narcotics and anti-biotics which DO need a prescription. Any problems that might come up would be re-entering Costa Rica with the meds. You’d have to check how that would work.

      Before I moved here I was, naturally, buying my meds in the States. Back then you couldn’t get Clopidogrel, which is generic Plavix, there and I was paying (in 2009) over $200/month for Plavix. When I was making my exploratory trips to Panama I’d stock up a six month supply of Clopidogrel here at a cost of about 15% of Plavix in the States.


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