In Panama recently, we witnessed the climax of the biggest party of the year in the country -- he weeklong bacchanal marked by around-the-clock drinking, dancing, and general debauchery known as Carnaval.
Most people just don't know what Cinco de Mayo is about, beyond the fact that it is an excuse to guzzle tequila. They do not know that the event commemorates an heroic battle for the city of Puebla. Not Mexican Independence Day.
Though the season's liberal spirits are in the air for many weeks, Carnaval starts in earnest on the first Thursday in February, designated as "Compadres" - technically "godfather" but here closer to "drinking buddies."