Essay on Republic of Panama

Category: Culture
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The formal name of Panama is Republic of Panama and commonly called by its short name Panama. The citizens of Panama are termed as Panamanians. Panama City is the capital of Panama country.Panama’s total area is 74,177.3 km. It is located in Central America , between the borders of both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Lies between latitudes 7º and 10ºN, and longitudes 77º and 83º. Mainly it has the most diverse wildlife in Central America. Panama has a tropical climate .

Due to humidity temperatures are uniformly high. On a dry season , the early morning starts with a minimum 24º and on the afternoon it moves up to 30º and it exceed 32º for more than a limited time. But the variety in temperature is unpredictable during rainfalls. Now talking about the society and the populations it is estimated at 2.3 million when 40 % of whole population was under 15 years of age.

Population increased at a massive rate of 600% in the survey of 1911. Growth rate in 1970’s at an average annual rate was 3.1 percent. In mid 1980’s death rate was 5 persons per 1,000 which was a decline of nearly 50% from the 1960’s. Education began in Panama right after independence in 1903 when the got freedom from Colombia . By the 1920’s , a progressive educational system was subscribed specially designed to assist the ambitious and able students.

By the early 1950s, adult illiteracy dropped to 28 percent, further improvements were slow and the rate of gain also declined. Compulsory attendance for students of age 6 to 18 years . It was established that in 2010 94.1 % of population was literate. The Ministry of Health bore primary responsibility in the late 1980s for public health programs . Despite the conflicts and unfortunate events , health indicators showed significant improvement. By 1980s 85% of people had access to water.

Public health, was a high priority especially for rural Panamanians,. Under the slogan “Health for All by the Year 2000,” in the early 1970s the government embarked on an ambitious program to improve the delivery of health services and sanitation in rural areas. Spanish is the official language, Panamanian Spanish is spoken in Panama . The ones who work at international levels have to learn both Spanish and English. Ngäbere is a native language which is spoken throughout the country . Language and customs are kept by over 4 lakh Panamanians. French and Arabic is also spoken in small percentage.

Panamanians viewed their society majorly as three principal groups, the Spanish-speaking, Roman Catholic mestizo majority; the English-speaking, Protestant Antillean blacks; and tribal Indians. Hispanic blacks and Hispanic Indians ,These small groups were also a part of Panamanians ethnic groups. Christianity is the main religion in Panama. Survey of 2015 shared that 63.2% of the population called themselves as Roman Catholic, 25% as Evangelical Protestant and 1.4% as Jehovah’s Witnesses . Buddhist and Jewish communities are also a very large part of the country.Coming to agriculture, for centuries, agriculture was the most important and the dominant economic activity for most of Panama’s population but the construction of canal caused the decline of agriculture as its share of G.D.P fell to only 9% from 29 % . Rice and corn production increased in late 1980s. Several crops like coffee, sugar etc. were also mainly produced . Balboa is the official Panama currency at a rate of 1:1 with the US Dollar .

Since the independence dollar are legalised and used as a legal tender . Panama’s inflation was 2 % in 2006. Colombian peso was replaced by Balboa in 1904 and its banknotes were printed on 1941 and were the only banknotes ever issued by Panama. Panama’s political system suffered in late 1987 as they were unable to respond to the problems confronting the nation. Panama appeared to be in its most severe political crisis since the 1968 coup, which made the military the dominant political force in the nation. Arnulfo Arias who was ousted by military for the third time was killed by the charismatic General Omar Torrijos Herrera.

Torrijos also created the Democratic Revolutionary Party which became the official ruling party. The death of Torrijos on July 31, 1981 caused struggle of power which led changes in the government. Military rule was the era which brought some positive accomplishment of which the most noble was the successful negotiation of the Panama Canal treaties with the United States in 1977 but was jeopardised by the continuing crisis in civil-military relations and the inability of the Panamanian government to maintain a peaceful evolution toward a more open, democratic political system. The framework of Panama’s politics takes place as a presidential representative democratic republic the President of Panama is both head of state and head of government and of a multi-party system.

Government exercise the Executive power but Legislative power is vested in both the government and the National Assembly and the Political Culture has been good as Since the end of Manuel Noriega ‘s military dictatorship in 1989, Panama has successfully completed five peaceful transfers of power to opposing political factions. The 2019 Panamanian general election will be held on 5th of May. The Panamanian Public Force only act as a national security force as Panama is the second country in Latin America who has permanently abolish its standing army. Armed police and security forces, and small air and maritime forces are maintained by Panama and are tasked with law enforcement and can perform limited military actions.

Panama is a global crossroads from the beginning ever since humans first passed caroused the country. The earliest proof of humans is 12,500 years old in South Africa. It shows that human passed Panama before that. Spearheads discovered in Panama date back approx. 11,000 years ago, making them first proof of humans in history. [image: ] Despite the lack of influence from the pre-Columbian civilisations, Panama’s indigenous peoples were not fully-isolated. The region was and still part of Pan-American trade route. It was one of the main trading routes for gold, ornaments and pottery in all over Americas. The very first European who arrived in Panama was the explorer and traveller Rodrigo de Bastidas.

Arrived with Columbus in the New World on second voyage. On 1501 after exploring that Bastidas ended up reaching Panama. After a while, Columbus himself reached Panama in his coast down from Costa Rica in the final voyage. He followed the coast along the top of Panama which he named as Portobelo. After a decade Spanish arrived back in area in 1510. A settlement was found by them called Santa Maria de la Antigua del Darien which is now in modern-day Columbia being the first settlement of europe. The mainland of America and base for all the exploration held in near future.

In 1501, Vasco de Nuñez de Balboa was the leader of settlers first arrived in Panama with Bastidas with the ambitions of glory and fame. He was the firsts European who finally walked into the Pacific Ocean on September 25, 1513 after crossing isthmus and conquering it along the way. He then claimed the Spanish crown to the whole sea. After 6 years Spanish began colonising the Pacific side of Panama.

Afterwards Panama City became another point where pounded treasure from the conquest of Incas ended up in large numbers before being shipped to Spain. As a result of this settlement the town started becoming rich and so the city. Panama City was founded by Davila. It was founded three miles east of present Panama City as it was burned by the English Pirate Henry Morgan in. 1671. Being rich was the sole reason that the city was raided and burned as gold and other treasures were transported. Unlike the rest of Central America, Panama was the one which was part of the Viceroyalty of Peru. This meant that order was obeyed only when it was given by Lima rather than from Mexico or Guatemala City.

This crucial difference is still evident today. The Panamanians never see themselves as Central Americans or share that pride like the other countries on the Isthmus. They have a different history and have different thoughts related to this. Panama got the independence from Spanish in 1800s as their empire crumbled. New Granda got the independence in 1819 and was called Gran Colombia. Panama was only a province of their land at first but Gran Columbia broke itself up and Panama became part the Republic of[image: ] Columbia The US government gave the Panamanian pro-independence movement a boost as. Columbia rejected the American advancement to make a canal which was previously tried by French but failed and then US Government implied that they would give military support to Panama if it broke away from Colombia.

On November 3rd, 1903, Panama declared independence with the help of US protection. In return, US got control of what was to become the Panama Canal Zone in upcoming time by the new republic. When the people of Panama saw that the canal was dividing their country in two parts and it was occurring without offering them any profit, A Anti-American sentiment started to grow and they decided to protest against it. The situation reached its boiling point in 1964 when 27 students died during the protest against the US presence in Panama. Due to this event Panamanian Military led to dictatorship when Torrojis took over the country. A deal was made which stated that Panama would one day take over the control of the Canal by the end of 1999 and all the US troops will leave the country. Colonel Manuel Noriega filled the power vacuum when Torrojis died a plane crash, Panama faced difficulties during his rule and the situation weren’t good.

The Panamanian economy was in ruins after many months and the people were in open protest. On December 20th, 1989, Operation Just Cause began. More then 25,000 US troops invaded Panama and took over the Panama City after short but brutal battle with the Noreiga’s Defence Force. He surrendered on January 3rd 1990 after taking refugee in Vatican City. After this civilian rule returned to Panama.[image: ] Work started on rebuilding and stabilising the economy and the preparations to handover the Canal to Panama in 1999. Since January 1st 2000, Panama controls its own destiny and is truly freed even after so many years of independence. Cinema In Panama Cinema in Panama started in 1929 as the movie ‘Los Abismos da la vida’ which was directed by Alberto Santana released in the theatre of Panama. The movie was produced in Peru and was a movie with no sound.Cinema in panama was not as much developed as other places as the country was in a bad condition and was surrounded with problems like dictatorship and the US invasion.

Almost all the other movies that were released were produced in other countries and was released there. After the movie ‘Los Abismos da la vida’ released another black and white movie released in 10 April 1930 ‘Alma peruana’ also directed by Alberto Santana with the star-cast Pía Findelberg, Máximo Serrano, Perla Foucard , produced in Peru . Anothe movie released in Panama after 9 years of time ‘Almas en derrota’ directed by Sigifredo Salas also produced in Peru . Another two movies were released in other few years (1945’s A río revuelto , 1948’s Una Apuesta con Satanás). Not a single movie was released in another two decades because of the poor condition and ongoing protest and fights. In 6 January 1967 a movie ‘A la sombra del sol meaning Shaded from the sun’ directed and written by Carlos Enrique Taboada was released in Panama and its running time was 90 minutes, produced in Mexico and Peru which was shot in less than a month.[image: ] Many other movies released produced in another country and men and released in Panama until the first Panamanian movie ‘Strange Shadows in an Empty Room’ released in 9 March, 1976 directed by De Martino and was distributed by Fida. The film released in many other places and english speaking countries with different titles.

The movie was based on old film which the director had but was slightly rearranged. Movie was not liked by the critics but was a start of cinema that was produced by Panamanians. Another Panamanians movie also released between 1980-Present like May I Borrow Your Girl Tonight? released in 20 March 1978 was a Spanish-Panamanian film categorised as a musical and comedy film which was directed by Tulio Demicheli starring Manolo Escobar, Perla Faith and Antonio Garisa. Absurd released in 1981 Panamanian-Italian film categorised as a horror film directed,shot and also co-produced by Joe D,Amato starring George Eastmen, who also is the writer of the story and the screenplay.

It is a sequel to Antropophagus.

  • Invasion released in 2014, a documentary by Abner Benaim. Box 25, a documentary released in 2015 directed by Mercedes Ariasand Delfina Vidal.
  • Salsipuedes released in 2016, a drama film directed by Ricardo Aguilar Navarro and Manuel Rodríguez. Beyond Brotherhood released in 2017 directed by Arianne Benedetti.
  • Ruben Blades Is Not My Name(Spanish: Yo No Me Llamo Rubén Blades) released in 2018, a Panamanian documentary film directed by Abner Benaim.

But the first ever film that released in Panama directed and written by a Panamanian was a documentary film ‘Invasion’ released on 6th April 2014 which was based on the event of history when the US invaded the Panama and several death were occurred due to the brutal invasion by US troops. Film was appreciated by many and was the first to be selected at the Academy Awards. It was selected as an entry for the best foreign language film at 87th Academy Awards. It was also the first time Panama submitted a movie for this category at Oscars.

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