I found this coin the other day while packing for our move and it brought back a funny memory of a trip we once took with our kids.

Un Decimo de Balboa

We were sitting in a little breakfast cafe on Isla Colon, in Bocas del Toro, Panama, when a young group of American backpackers walked in looking for some breakfast. At the counter one of the girls, who seemed very confused about the exchange rate was coming up short for her meal.

She shouted across the cafe “does anyone have ten cents Panamanian?”

“I really need ten cents Panamanian!” She proclaimed.

She continued, “I only have a dime.”

Her friends quickly started checking their pockets to help her out, while the four of us all enjoyed a good laugh.

You might be asking yourself why in the world would we laugh at this poor girl who was just trying to buy breakfast in a foreign country?

You see in Panama the Balboa is equal to one US Dollar, and Panamanian and US Currency are both often used interchangeably.

That means that ten cents Panamanian, un decimo de Balboa, is the equivalent of a US dime.

I couldn’t help but text the photo to my family and ask them “does anyone need ten cents Panamanian?”

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