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Casco Viejo

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“What do you want to do for your birthday?” John asked me a while back. I didn’t have to ponder this question for long. “Well, let’s go to Panama City and play. We never get to do that. And I want to really dig in and explore Casco Viejo.” I got my wish last weekend — and to top it off, the timing gods smiled on us and we were able to pick up our permanent visas from the Migración office in the city. We’ll cover that experience in a separate post, but here’s our perspective on Casco Viejo (in English, Old Quarter), Panama’s historic district. Casco Viejo was established in 1673 when the locals had to start over from scratch after the pirate Henry Morgan (yeah, the Captain Morgan rum guy) sacked and burned the original settlement of Panamá. (The ruins of that site, Panamá Viejo, are also well worth…