59 Facts About Panama


Panama, officially the Republic of Panama, is a transcontinental country spanning the central part of North America and the northern part of South America.

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Panama was inhabited by indigenous tribes before Spanish colonists arrived in the 16th century.

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In 2019 Panama ranked 57th in the world in terms of the Human Development Index.

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In 2018, Panama was ranked the seventh-most competitive economy in Latin America, according to the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Index.

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Panama is a founding member of the United Nations and other international organizations such as OAS, LAIA, G77, WHO, and NAM.

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Commonly relayed legend in Panama is that there was a fishing village that bore the name "Panama", which purportedly meant "an abundance of fish", when the Spanish colonizers first landed in the area.

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When Panama was colonized, the indigenous peoples fled into the forest and nearby islands.

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Vasco Nunez de Balboa's tortuous trek from the Atlantic to the Pacific in 1513 demonstrated that the isthmus was indeed the path between the seas, and Panama quickly became the crossroads and marketplace of Spain's empire in the New World.

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Panama was under Spanish rule for almost 300 years, and became part of the Viceroyalty of Peru, along with all other Spanish possessions in South America.

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In 1538 the Real Audiencia of Panama was established, initially with jurisdiction from Nicaragua to Cape Horn, until the conquest of Peru.

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However, Panama was enormously important to Spain strategically because it was the easiest way to transship silver mined in Peru to Europe.

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In 1579, the royal monopoly Acapulco, Mexico; had with trading with; Manila, Philippines; was relaxed and Panama was assigned as another port that was able to trade directly with Asia.

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Panama was the site of the ill-fated Darien scheme, which set up a Scottish colony in the region in 1698.

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Those in the capital region in turn regarded the Azueran movement with contempt, since the separatists in Panama City believed that their counterparts in Azuero were fighting not only for independence from Spain, but for their right to self-rule apart from Panama City once the Spaniards were gone.

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From 1903 to 1968, Panama was a constitutional democracy dominated by a commercially oriented oligarchy.

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Panama revealed details of electoral fraud, accused Noriega of planning Torrijos's death and declared that Torrijos had received 12 million dollars from the Shah of Iran for giving the exiled Iranian leader asylum.

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Panama accused Noriega of the assassination by decapitation of then-opposition leader, Dr Hugo Spadafora.

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The U S stated the operation was "necessary to safeguard the lives of U S citizens in Panama, defend democracy and human rights, combat drug trafficking, and secure the neutrality of the Panama Canal as required by the Torrijos–Carter Treaties".

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Panama won the election with only 33 percent of the vote when the major non-PRD forces splintered into competing factions.

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Panama's administration carried out economic reforms and often worked closely with the US on implementation of the Canal treaties.

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Panama formed a National Anti-Corruption Council whose members represented the highest levels of government and civil society, labor organizations, and religious leadership.

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Panama is located in Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, between Colombia and Costa Rica.

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Dominant feature of Panama's geography is the central spine of mountains and hills that forms the continental divide.

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Farther east it becomes the Serrania de Tabasara, and the portion of it closer to the lower saddle of the isthmus, where the Panama Canal is located, is often called the Sierra de Veraguas.

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However, the Rio Chagres, located in central Panama, is one of the few wide rivers and a source of hydroelectric power.

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The Trans-Panama pipeline, running 131 kilometres across the isthmus, has operated between Charco Azul and Chiriqui Grande since 1979.

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Panama is one of three countries in the world to be carbon negative, meaning that it absorbs more carbon dioxide that it releases into the atmosphere.

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Panama had a 2019 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 6.

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Panama's politics take place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Panama is both head of state and head of government, and of a multi-party system.

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Since the end of Manuel Noriega's military dictatorship in 1989, Panama has successfully completed five peaceful transfers of power to opposing political factions.

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Panama is the second country in Latin America to permanently abolish its standing army.

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Panama maintains armed police and security forces, and small air and maritime forces.

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In 2017, Panama signed the UN treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

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Panama is divided into ten provinces with their respective local authorities .

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In more recent years, Panama's economy has experienced a boom, with growth in real gross domestic product averaging over 10.

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Panama's economy was among the fastest growing and best managed in Latin America.

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The Latin Business Chronicle predicted that Panama would be the fastest growing economy in Latin America during the five-year period from 2010 to 2014, matching Brazil's 10 percent rate.

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Expansion project on the Panama Canal is expected to boost and extend economic expansion for some time.

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Panama signed the Panama–United States Trade Promotion Agreement which eliminates tariffs to US services.

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Since the early 20th century, Panama has with the revenues from the canal built the largest Regional Financial Center in Central America, with consolidated assets being more than three times that of Panama's GDP.

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Panama still has a reputation worldwide for being a tax haven but has agreed to enhanced transparency, especially since the release in 2016 of the Panama Papers.

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Panama was removed from the FATF gray list in February 2016.

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Panama is home to Tocumen International Airport, Central America's largest airport.

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Currently, Panama City has buses known as Metrobuses, along with two Metro lines.

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Tourism in Panama has maintained its growth over the past five years due to government tax and price discounts to foreign guests and retirees.

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Real estate developers in Panama have increased the number of tourism destinations in the past five years because of interest in these visitor incentives.

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Panama enacted Law No 80 in 2012 to promote foreign investment in tourism.

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In practice, Panama is dollarized: U S dollars are legal tender and used for all paper currency, and whilst Panama has its own coinage, U S coins are widely used.

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Panama's economy is very much supported by the trade and export of coffee and other agricultural products.

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Ethnic groups in Panama include Mestizo people, who are a mix of European and Amerindian ancestry.

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The second wave of black people brought to Panama came from the Caribbean during the construction of the Panama Canal.

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Panama has a considerable Chinese and Indian population brought to work on the canal during its construction.

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Panama is home to a small Arab community that has mosques, practises Islam, as well as a Jewish community and many synagogues.

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Education in Panama is compulsory for all children between ages 6 and 15.

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Panama participates in the PISA exams, but due to debts and unsatisfactory exam results it postponed participation until 2018.

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Culture of Panama derives from European music, art and traditions brought by the Spanish to Panama.

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Panama's blended culture is reflected in traditional products, such as woodcarvings, ceremonial masks and pottery, as well as in Panama's architecture, cuisine and festivals.

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Since Panama is a land bridge between two continents, it has a large variety of tropical fruits, vegetables and herbs that are used in native cooking.

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Traditional clothing in Panama can be worn in parades, where the females and males do a traditional dance.

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