Panama – Center of the world, heart of the universe

Panama, “center of the world, heart of the universe”, is a country located on Central
America. It has a mixture of cultures since always due to its geographical position.
The official language is the Spanish and the currency is the United Stated Dollar or the
Panamanian Balboa.
Here’s a quick look at some of the country’s other cultural aspects:

History
The city of Panama was founded on August 15th, 1519 by Pedro Arias Dávila; it is one of
the first Spanish cities established on shores of the Pacific Ocean. From here start the
exploration of many countries of South America like Peru. Also the country has a lot of the
transit of the gold sent to Spain.
On 1821, there was an independence from Spain and union to Colombia. In 1903 Panama
declared the separation from Colombia.
Panama Canal is one of the icons of the country; it started activities on 1914 under the
administration of US Government until 2000, now days the administration is on charge of
the Panama Canal Authority.

Traditional Food
One of the traditional dishes is the “Sancocho” or chicken soup with yam; it is eaten usually
after a party to prevent the hangover.
Other meal you can try is the “tamal” made of corn stuffed with minced meat or other
eatables, boiled in the husk of the banana leaf.

Music & Dance
Varieties of music are being listened on the country; its traditional music is the “típico”;
also there is a great influence on the Latin (salsa, merengue) and the Caribbean (reggae,
reggaeton) music. The electronic & rock music is also present with regular events.
There are many academies to teach you how to dance the Latin music if you are interested.
Calle Uruguay is the zone for bars & discos.

Economy
The Panamanian economy has been among the fastest growing and best managed in Latin
America. It is mainly based on a well developed service sector heavily weighted towards
banking, commerce, tourism, and trading.

Places to Visit
For sure one of the places you must visit is the Miraflores locks where you can see the
transit of the boats through the Panama Canal, this place has a Museum that explores the
history and the magic involved on this master piece of the engineering.

The Tower of Panama La Vieja is also a place to see if you want to visit the ruins of the old
city (Founded on 1519); there are beaches outside the city with hotels all included (Playa
Blanca, Decameron).
Bocas del Toro, San Blas, Chiriquí (Boquete, Volcan) are also places with a tourist boom
for their beaches, people, real state offers, and beautiful views.

On Panama there is also a Nitro City Hotel for those who like the extreme sports.

Souvenirs
You might be interested into buy one Mola; they are works of art created by the women of
the Kuna tribe (Indigenous group). It is composed of several layers of cloth, varying in
color, that are loosely stitched together.

KunaWomanSellingMolas CC BY-SA 3.0

KunaWomanSellingMolas CC BY-SA 3.0

Festivals
One of the most known festivals is the Carnival; people usually went outside the country to
places such as Las Tablas, Chitré, Penonomé and others.
There are also traditional parties with polleras (traditional Panamanian women’s clothing);
originated in Spain in the 16th century; these clothing has received international prices.

To uncover more about Panama and its unique, cultural elements, visit the QPasa Calgary
website!