On the Panama Peninsula in Central America is the country Panama, which with the help of the United States gained its independence from Columbia in 1903. The country borders Costa Rica in the west, Colombia in the southeast, the Caribbean in the north and the Pacific Ocean in the south. The capital of Panama is called Panama City and is home to about half of the country’s 3.6 million inhabitants (2014). Until the beginning of the 19th century, this country was a Spanish colony, but in 1821 it broke with Spain and instead joined a union with Ecuador, Venezuela and Nueva Granada. The union was called the Republic of Gran Colombia and it was dissolved in 1831, after which Panama and Nueva Granada remained united and eventually became the Republic of Colombia.
The Panama Canal
The United States helped Panama become independent from Colombia in 1903, enabling the US military to build the Panama Canal. This canal connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans via the Caribbean Sea and is a very important source of income for Panama, which receives money through customs duties in the canal. In 1977, an agreement was signed in which the channel was transferred from US hands to Panamas. Panama is Latin America’s second largest economy and they have an enormous natural wealth in the form of tropical plants, animal species and birds. Some of these species can not be found anywhere else.
Geography and climate
According to Bridgat, Panama has a strategic position in the Central American headland, and since the year 2000, the country has full control of the Panama Canal, which connects the Atlantic with the Caribbean Sea. The country is not very large and with a land mass of 75,515 square kilometers, you end up in 118th place compared to all the other countries in the world. Dominant in the country’s landscape are the mountains and hills that create a continental division. It is believed that this mountain range comes from a land uplift from the lake bottom where peaks recover from volcanic activity. The highest point in the country is the volcano Volcán Barú with a height of 3,475 meters. Between Panama and Columbia, there is a dense jungle that is considered a rather frightening area used by drug dealers and other criminals who are taking hostages.
Panama’s wildlife is very exciting and here are species that belong in South America as well as in North America. The climate is tropical with temperatures that are slightly lower on the nose side than they are near the Caribbean Sea. Higher up in the mountain areas, lower temperatures are also common. You have a rainy season that is usually between April and December but which can vary slightly in length from year to year. The most common is that it rains more on the Caribbean side than on the Pacific side. The tropical climate means that you have a rich flora and fauna.
Tourism to Panama is becoming increasingly popular, which is largely due to the fact that the government offers tax deductions and discounts for foreigners and pensioners. This has made many people see Panama as a good alternative to retiring to after retirement. In 2012, about 2,200,000 visitors came to Panama and it has also become more common with tourism from Europe. The new trend has had a very positive effect on the country’s economy and certain parts of the country have been designated as special tourist zones where certain tax benefits are provided specifically for tourist activities.