(Republic of Panama, República de Panamá)
• Location: Central America
• Capital: Panama City
• Language(s): Spanish
• Population: 3,563,463
• Total Area: 75,517 sq km
• Currency: United States Dollar, Balboa
• Curious Alcohol Fact: There is a popular eggnog made with rum!
• Annual Average Liquor Consumption Per Capita: 6.85 liters
• Most Popular Drink(s): Beers, fruit juices
Located in the southernmost corner of Central America, the Republic of Panama is located on the isthmus that links North and South America. The country shares borders with Colombia, which lies to the southeast, and Costa Rica, which is to the northwest. To the north of the country lies the Caribbean Sea and to the south are the calm waters of the Pacific. The capital city is Panama City.
Most of the residents are mestizos or those with both Indian and Spanish ancestors. This scenario repeats itself all over Central America. Other ethnic groups in the country are made up of indigenous Indians and Blacks. The Blacks are descendants of slaves shipped from Africa during the infamous Slave Trade Era. In addition to this, there is a considerable number of migrants from Asia and Europe. The most prominent religion in the country is Christianity with the Roman Catholic Church being the largest denomination. There are also followers of other faiths like Islam, Ba’hai religion and Buddhism. In some other parts of the country, there are still some followers of indigenous or traditional faiths. For many of the citizens, agriculture and tourism are important sources of income. Spanish is the official language although various indigenous languages are also spoken.
Eating and Drinking in Panama
For me, the most popular dishes in the country include chicken, rice, turkey (called pavo), fruitcake and chicken tamales. There are also numerous fruits and beverages that you will be offered by your gracious Panamanian host. You must also try out a local drink called the ron ponche, which is made from milk, spices, rum and eggs!
Sports and Recreation in Panama
Baseball, boxing and basketball are some of the most popular sports in the country. The citizens are especially good in baseball that many have turned pro in the United States. Football, golf and volleyball are also enjoyed throughout the country. As is the tradition in many nations in the Americas, there are various festivals and colorful events in the country, Christmas is a particularly nice time to visit Panama, and you will enjoy the countless parades, marches and dances.
Interesting Facts About Panama
• Panama is the first colony of Spain in the Pacific side of the region.
• Of all the countries in Central America, Panama is the southernmost.
• Panama was once part of Colombia.
• The famed Panama Canal was built by American soldiers and that was only possible after Panama seceded from Colombia.
• Panama is home to one of the largest rainforests in the world.
• The exact meaning of the word ‘Panama’ is still shrouded in mystery.
• Panama was once part of the Spanish Empire.
• The country’s economy is one of the fastest-growing in the world.
• Panamanian dresses are some of the most colorful and gracious in the world.
• There are hundreds of rivers in the country but most are quite short and cannot be easily navigated.
Story By World By Shotglass
©2013 World By Shotglass. All Rights Reserved
Special thanks to our contributors:
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria).