Winner of Panama en Positivo in 2021, Jennifer Ceballos promotes the beauty of Colon. With her alternative tourism venture, she highlights the potential of the Caribbean province to the world.
What is your most treasured memory of the Canal?
I remember a tour of the Gatun Locks when I was in fourth grade and my dad came out to greet me.
Life lesson from your parents
That work and education were the only things that could give me and my sister social mobility.
How did you choose your path?
I am an electronic engineer and I love engineering. But my passion is the culture of Panama. Five years ago, I started a blog to talk about it and little by little, it became my livelihood. I started doing tours with my family and now I dedicate myself to alternative tourism with El Trip de Jenny.
When people are interested in Colon, what they find is a lot of news of crime and misery. I take domestic and foreign tourists to see the rich culture and beauty of this province, which has given so much to Panama. I want to open the way for other girls to empower themselves and find validity in their projects.
The Fort of San Lorenzo. Where the Chagres River meets the Caribbean Sea.
Gamboa Road Gang, by Joaquín Beleño. That book was the beginning of my love for Panama.
How do you find the Canal in your work?
I find it in all its facets. When we tour Soberanía National Park, I talk about the importance of biodiversity for the operation. The architectural grandeur of the Canal is present when describing to tourists how the Canal operates, from its buildings. On walks along Central Avenue, I talk about the impact of the migration of people from the West Indies who came to give their lives here. Walking around my Colon, I encounter the Canal in people’s faces.
What is your favorite trip?
One trip that people enjoy the most is the experience of learning about the food of Colon. In it, we explain where those dishes come from.
Favorite Panamanian food
Sancocho and One Pot.
What is your message to people who don’t know Panama?
I want them to take away that Panama is more than a Canal. When tourists come, they have only that in their mind, but the Canal leads us to see much more beyond that.
The November 5 parade in Colon. People get all dressed up to go see them.
Teacher who impacted your education
Theodore Robinson, my English teacher at La Salle. He used to say in the classroom that we not only had to learn English, but that we would come out of it with values.
Olga Sinclair. I admire her blend of talent, elegance, and altruism. I dream of owning a piece of hers someday.
Decisiones, by Rubén Blades.
I want to contribute to making Colón a national and international tourist destination. That tourists do not get off the cruise ships and go straight to Panama City, but that the socioeconomic impact is also felt by the people of Colon. That we have museums, theaters. A people without culture is destined to get lost.