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
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
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
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
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
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
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
The transfer of the Canal and the
Panama Canal Zone presents challenges
The Panama Canal Commission, collects
tolls from ships that pass through
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 City photos
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