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Bernie Williams

Panama

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Motto: “Pro Mundi Beneficio” “For Worldly Benefit”
Anthem: Himno Istmeño  

Capital Panama City
Official languages Spanish
Demonym Panamanian
Government Constitutional Democracy
Independence from Spain – 28 November 1821 / from Colombia – 3 November 1903

Area 75,517 km² (118th) / 29,157 sq mi
Population Dec 2006 estimate / 3,320,000 (133rd)
Currency Balboa, U.S. dollar

[show-map id=’15’] Geography
The southernmost of the Central American nations, Panama is south of Costa Rica and north of Colombia. The Panama Canal bisects the isthmus at its narrowest and lowest point, allowing passage from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean. Panama is slightly smaller than South Carolina. It is marked by a chain of mountains in the west, moderate hills in the interior, and a low range on the east coast. There are extensive forests in the fertile Caribbean area.  The mountain range of the divide is called the Cordillera de Talamanca near the Costa Rican border.  The highest point in the country is the Volcán Barú (formerly known as the Volcán de Chiriquí), which rises to 11401 ft.  A nearly impenetrable jungle forms the Darien Gap between Panama and Colombia. It creates a break in the Pan-American Highway, which otherwise forms a complete road from Alaska to Patagonia.

Culture
Derived from European music, art and traditions that were brought over by the Spanish to Panama. Hegemonic forces have created hybrid forms of this by blending African and Native American culture with European culture. For example, the tamborito is a Spanish dance that was blended with Native American rhythms, themes and dance moves. Dance is a symbol of the diverse cultures that have coupled in Panama. The local folklore can be experienced through a multitude of festivals, dances and traditions that have been handed down from generation to generation. Local cities host live Cuban, Reggaeton, Colombian, jazz, blues, salsa, reggae and rock performances. Outside of Panama City, regional festivals take place throughout the year featuring local musicians and dancers. Another example of Panama’s blended culture is reflected in the traditional products, such as woodcarvings, ceremonial masks and pottery, as well as in its architecture, cuisine and festivals. The best overview of Panamanian culture is found in the Museum of the Panamanian, in Panama City.

*Content gathered from Wikipedia