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Panama Index page

Panama facts & history in brief       Panama Canal facts & history in brief

Map of Panama

Panama is a small Central American country and significant transportation centre and plays an important role in world transportation system.

A narrow strip of land that curves from west to east between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, at the southern end of North America, with Colombia to the east, and Costa Rica to the west and covers an area of 78,200 square kilometres.

Mountains cover much of Panama's interior, and there are jungles and swamps in the east.

Panama City is the country's largest city and capital.

Mestizos (people of mixed American Indian and white ancestry) and mulattos (people of mixed black and white ancestry) make up more than two-thirds of the population of Panama.

Spanish conquistadors conquered the native Indians in the 1500's and ruled Panama for about 300 years.

In 1821, Panama broke away from Spain and became a province of Colombia.

In 1903 Panama became an independent nation.

Panama is a constitutional republic, with universal franchise at 18 years of age or older.

Population of about 25 million and as most other countries more than half the population live in the larger urban areas.

Panama City lies near the Pacific end and Colon is at the Atlantic end of the Panama Canal. The two cities are active centres of commerce, trade, and transportation, with modern, high-rise office buildings, hotels, night-clubs and bars.

Many Panamanian farmers wear straw hats while working, these hats, although made in Panama, are mistakenly called Panama hats. The real Panama hats are made in Ecuador. They received the name Panama hats during the 1800's, because Panama was a centre for the shipment of the hats to other countries.

The official language is Spanish and spoken by nearly all the people.

About 95 per cent of the population are Roman Catholics.

Panama has a warm, tropical climate that varies little from season to season.

The Panama Canal is a waterway that cuts across Panama to link the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

It is one of the greatest engineering achievements in the world.

The Canal is the most important single factor in the country's economy.

The Canal was built and was finished in 1914 to connect the two oceans and plays a important role in world transportation system.

About 12,000 ships pass through the Canal yearly, to avoid a long trip around South America.

In 1979 a treaty transferred the control of the canal of the Canal Zone and in 1999 the whole canal to Panama.

The transfer of the Canal and the Panama Canal Zone presents challenges to Panama.

The Panama Canal Commission, collects tolls from ships that pass through the Canal.

The Canal also directly and indirectly provides jobs for many Panamanians.

The canal's operation and maintenance requires many technical skills.

Links my pages in this Panama series.

Panama Canal photos            Panama City photos

Site Index         Back to Top         Photos Index

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