Dress Code in El Valle de Antón, Panamá
Latin American countries have always been very specific in their dress code, for both men and women. And Panamá is not the exception.
If you are in the main city (what the locals here refer to just as "Panamá"), where social activity is very important, the code is implemented very differently than if you are in the "interior" (the "countryside," which would include places like El Valle de Antón).
If you are socially active and participate in international events, lunches at top hotels or clubs, like to go out for dinner at restaurants, it is very common to see everyone dress very nicely.
For formal events like weddings or cocktail parties, various stores compete to offer the best of the best, as expensive and beautiful dresses are like a fashion show.
As you pass by the Panamá Canal (by any of the bridges), go out of the city and you enter into the countryside, the dress code changes. You can see very well dressed people, if you go to any of the resorts or hotels. But if you are only at the beach, like Coronado or Pedasí, the dress code is more relaxed, and people wear shorts and casual attire, especially the foreign visitors.
In El Valle de Antón, there is a mixture. Locals and visitors dress nicely to go for dinner or church. Now, if you are only enjoying the day, walking, or horseback riding, it is very common to see everyone in jeans, sneakers or sandals. El Valle de Antón is a small and beautiful town, full of flowers and surrounded by mountains. Many times it is foggy, rainy and cool.
One thing to point out is that the residents in El Valle, many of whom are farmers or people from the mountains, are very conscious of the dress code, and you will never see them in shorts or sandals. They always wear shoes (sometimes work shoes or boots, as they work the yard and fields), long pants (or dresses) and long sleeves (men), and of course, they can´t be without their hat. They usually are at the public market selling their products, very proudly.