Sugar Cane Juice Guarapo de Caña

Sugar cane is one of Panama’s must productive crops. Here on the Azuero peninsula, around the Divisa turn off to Chitre, sugar cane fields go on for  as far assugar cane juice panama the eye can see. Around David in Chiriqui, near Playa Barqueta, sugar cane is everywhere. Large tracts dominate the low lying flat areas.

During harvest time it’s common to see roadside vendors selling a simple 100 percent pure cane juice, locally called Guarapo de Caña. Guarapo is a delicious drink made from  pressing the cane and squeezing out the fresh juice. Guarapo is sweet, but not as sweet as one would think. It is very tasty and refreshing.

I recently stopped by a vendor named Gabriel who has his mobile juice shop set up beside the road near Guararé. For only 50 cents I purchased a delicious all natural beverage.

Like many Panamanians, Gabriel use to work in the United States. We had a conversation about his old job their driving tractor trailers. He was very proud when he whipped out his expired CDL License from Pennsylvania that he still carries in his wallet many years later.

Gabriel is an interesting character. He explained to me with the bad economy in “el norte” he can make more money selling sugar cane juice on the side of the highway in Panama then driving a big rig in the states. I asked him, ”if the money is so good, why aren’t more folks selling Guarapo along the highway?” His response “people today are lazy and must folks are to busy staring down at their fancy cell phones and taking pictures of themselves than working!” Perceptive fellow. I could hang out with this guy!

If traveling around Panama during sugar cane harvest keep an eye out for folks selling Guarapo de Caña. If you are in between Las Tablas and Guarare maybe you will be lucky enough to run into Gabriel. I assure you the 50 cents cost of the juice is worth the interesting conversation you will have.