The fish market outside Rio Hato is looking much more prosperous, with many more stalls filled with vendors. The overall economy here is not particularly good, but the market is flourishing.
Unlike poorer countries like El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, Panama enjoys the advantages of location — canal revenue — and has long been a center for banking and finance and legal services for all of Central America and the northern part of South America. But none of that benefits poor villagers. The only thing that provides jobs for them is construction of infrastructure for tourism, and the service jobs that follow. Tourism waxes and wanes as different countries are identified as hot spots for any given year. Panama did make the list of the NY Times 52 places to visit in 2019, but the part of Panama pinpointed is not near Rio Hato.
The fish market sells fresh fish caught that morning, vegetables, local fruit, and large sacks of rice, 25 pounds, subsidized by the government so cheaper than in the smaller markets in the town center. Offsetting that price benefit is that villagers have to take a taxi to get here and back.
The pic in the center is octopus, not a favorite of mine but I thought it made an interesting photo. Gloria is buying corvina.