NAME:                              República de Panamá

POPULATION:                 3,300,000 (2007)

ETHNIC GROUPS:           Mestizo and White (70%); Mulatto (14%); Amerindian (6%)

CAPITAL:                         Panamá, 2,000,000)

INDEPENDENCE DAY:  November 3, 1903 (independence from Spain)

LANGUAGES:                  Official language: Spanish

RELIGION:                       Roman Catholic (85%); Protestant (15%)

LIFE EXPECTANCY:       Men (73); women (78)

LITERACY:                       92%

GOVERNMENT:              Democratic constitutional republic

            President:               Torrijos Espino

            Legislature:             Unicameral Asamblea Nacional

MILITARY:                       No regular military forces

ECONOMY:                     Exports: bananas, shrimp, sugar, coffee, and clothing

MONEY:                           balboa (PAB), which is pegged directly to the US dollar (USD) (1.00 PAB = $1.00 US)                       

GEOGRAPHY:                  Panamá is bordered by Costa Rica to the NW and Colombia to the SE .

INTERNET CODE:           .pa





11,000 BCE        (or up to 34,000 BCE): pre-Colombian settlers

500-900 CE        Conte civilization with polychrome potter in the Coclé style

1821                   Panamá got its independence from Spain automatically when Colombia won its independence from Spain. Panamá then joined the new, and brief country of
República de Gran Colombia, which was comprised of the current countries of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, and Panamá.

1830                   Panamá remained a part of Colombia when the short-lived Republic of Greater Colombia dissolved.

1903                   Panamá seceded from Colombia and signed a treaty with the United States of America so that American engineers with the US Army Corps of Engineers could build the Panama Canal. Panama ceded the strip of land on either side of the canal—the Panama Canal Zone—to the United States.

1904-1914          The Panama Canal was built.

1977                   Under President Jimmy Carter of the USA, Panama and the US signed a treaty ceding the Panama Canal to Panama in the last minute before then end of 1999.

1983-1989          Gen. Manuel Noriega seized power.

1989                   The US Army invaded Pananá and seized presidential dictator Manuel Noriega on the grounds that he was supporting drug traffickers.

2004                   Martin Torrijos Espino elected president.

2006                   Panama began a plan to expand the Canal by doubling its size. Construction is planned to be completed by 2015.




            Democratic Change (CD)

            Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD)

            Nationalist Republican Liberal Movement (MOLIRENA)

            Panamenista Party (PA)

            Patriotic Union Party (PU)

            Popular Party (PP)  



            Synchretism of European humanities with African and Amerindian cultures. A famous Panamanian dance is the tamborito, which fuses an originally Spanish dance with Amerindian rhythms, music, and choreography. Panamá also features dance and music derived from jazz, blues, salsa, reggae, and contemporary rock. Crafts such as basket weaving, woodcarving and pottery are prominent. A piece of clothing called the mola (a woman's blouse) is derived from patterns created by the Kuna Indians.