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Research Paper On Panama Essay.

Research Paper On Panama Essay.


Rodrigo de Bastidas is believed to have been the first Spanish to discover Panama while on an expedition in search of gold. He was then followed by Christopher Columbus who proclaimed Panama’s sovereignty, one year after de Bastidas arrival. The Republic of Panama, initially inhabited by the Spanish, split with Spain to join Republic of Gran Colombia. However, in November 1903, Panama officially declared its independence from Colombia with a backing by the United States of America (Hassig, and Quek 21). The overarching reason behind U.S.s support for an independent Panama was that U. S. wanted to construct a canal through Panama; an endeavor that was evidently not possible if Panama was still under the rule of Colombia (Hassig, and Quek 21). As Hassig, and Quek further note, Jose Augustine Arango organized Panama’s independence uprising (21). Panama soon became a protectorate of United States with Arango forming the De facto government. It is worth noting that Panama through the Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty granted United States ownership of the yet to be completed Panama canal as a well a right to intervene in Panama’s politics- the U.S. was to in turn help Panama hold back the Colombian troops.Research Paper On Panama Essay.


Located in Central American between Costa Rica and Colombia on coordinates 9 00 N, 80 00 W, Panama occupies an area of Approximately 78 000 sq km with the area under water summing roughly to 1000 sq km (Hassig, and Quek, 21; Howard 2). The country boasts of a democratic political system. Howard contends that the country has a superb investment climate owing to the existence of a plethora of investments opportunities (Howard 2). Further, Howard asserts that, because of favorable weather and cheap life, the quality of life in this country whose capital is Panama City is fantabulous.
Panama city was discovered in 1519 by Pedro Aria Davilla who named it Castillo del Oro. Currently the city harbors over 1 million people (Hassig, and Quek 14). The city runs 7 miles along the pacific coast, south of Panama Canal while displaying a wide range of architecture. It has esteemed neighborhoods such as Obarrio, Paitilla, Alto de Golf and Dos Mares (Howard 6). Panama City is known to have the best shopping centers with prices of various commodities being similar to prices in the United States because of the countries characteristic low import duties (Howard, 8).
Immediately after independence, Panama was famous for political instability as well as premature presidential terminations (Soley 11). Corruption was widespread- typic of a new republic. Currently under democratic rule, Panama was under military rule for the better parts of 1960s prompting U.S. intervention. Again, besides military rule being limited by Panama’s constitution, the likes of General Antonio Noriega climbed to power by ousting the civilian government rendering it virtually powerless but he was later booted out by the United States on allegations that he was responsible for the attack on U.S. embassy Panama City as well as drug trafficking (Soley 12). The year 1989 saw Guillermo Endara win the presidential elections to succeed the ousted Noriega. At present, government of Panama is stratified into executive, legislative and judicial branches. Panama’s constitution has since experienced several crucial amendments for instance the 2004 amendment that took effect in 2009 (Soley 12).Research Paper On Panama Essay.

The official language in Panama is Spanish. Notably, the Panama people commonly referred to as Panamanians, hail from four cardinal ethnic groups- Mestizo, Afro-Caribbean, Indians and Caucasian. Mestizo, the largest ethnic group (about 70%), have a mixed ancestry of natives and Europeans. Afro-Caribbean is second largest with a population of about 14% of the total Panama’s population. Caucasians and Indians make up 10% and 6% of the total population respectively (51). With the bulk of the population residing in the Panama Province, Panamanians prefer to classify themselves into a different set of three ethnic groups perhaps because of the disappearance of the initial functional ethnic groups. In light of this classification, the emergent ethnic groups are Spanish Speaking Roman Catholic Mestizos, English Speaking Protestant Afro-Caribbeans, and Indigenous Indians (51). The people are further stratified socially into elite, middle class, and the lower class social groups based on wealth, occupation, education, culture and family background (54).

According to the Panama’s constitution, education is compulsory for all Panamanians. There is a close relation between the education system of Panama and the United States. Panama’s educational system is structured into six years of Primary education, three years middle school, and three years of high school education (Soley 7). The duration of university education depends on the type of course that one is enrolled into (Soley 7). It should be noted that admission into university depends on one attainment of the cut-off entry points into the university as well as the availability of spaces in the universities. Panama is endowed with three most respected institutions of higher learning; Panama University, Technological University (Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá) and Universidad Santa Maria la Antigua (Soley 8).
Established in 1935, following a decree by Harmodio Arias Madrid, the then president of Panama, followed by its inauguration in October the same year, the University of Panama is the principal University of Panama offering various courses such as commerce, education, Medicine, and Pharmacy. It currently boasts of over 18 faculties, more than 4000 instructors and a student population of up to 55 000. Technological University of Panama (UTP) is the second largest university of Panama after University of Panama. Formerly the engineering school of Panama, UTP was promoted to become a fully-fledged university in response to increasing demand for a distinct university that offered technological courses. On the same note, Universidad Santa Maria la Antigua is the largest private university of Panama. However, the catholic owned university is ranked third after University of Panama and UTP nationally (Soley 8). Apart from the universities mentioned above, there are other satellite campuses of some of the world’s largest university existing in Panama (Soley 8).
As one of the key tourist attraction sites in Central America, Panama is blessed with an impressive geography. The country has a number of mountains and ranges inclusive of Serrania de Tabasara that spans from the Panama-Costa Rican border to the a region in proximity with the Panama Canal, and Cordillera de San Blas on the eastern side of the Panama Canal (Hassig, and Quek 8). Most of the mountains and ranges are infested by dense rain forests marked with over 1000 species of plants. Besides, the country has plains that are commonly known as lowlands (Hassig, and Quek 8). The plains act as settlement sites for a majority of Panamanians. Aptly, the climate of Panama is hot and humid with temperatures averaging 26 oC. Basing his argument on the fact that Panama is close to the equator, Howard maintains that Panama has a tropical climate qualified by two seasons, summer (varano) and rainy seasons (invierno) (5). Rains mostly come between the months of May and December. Panama is rich with over 1 400 species of trees and close to 10 000 species of other types of plants. There is an abundance of mangoes, cocoa, bananas, and guava, among other fruits that warrant Panama as one of the largest fruit producing nations in the world (Hassig, and Quek 12). As a home of some of the most rare species of fauna in the world, Panama vaunts of 15 national parks inhabited by over 900 species of birds- Panama’s Soberania National Park holds the world’s record for that most number of birds sighted within a 24-hour period (Hassig, and Quek 13). As Holtz notes, Panama is home of over 200 species of reptiles, 1500 species of butterflies, 143 species of amphibians, and slightly above 200 species of fish (558).Research Paper On Panama Essay.
Panamanian cuisine is perhaps the best in Central America. Rice (arroz) is the staple food and is served with well nigh all kinds of dishes. Katzman attests that Traditional Panamanian foods are mostly flavored using garlic, culantro and onions (27). Interestingly, Panamanians have a Sunday traditional dish called sancocho prepared form “heavenly” chicken soup commonly served with rice with an additional cob (on request) (Katzman 28). Other traditional meals include; Yuca frita (French fries made from yuca instead of potatoes), sun dried smoked beef called Tasajo, and boneless chicken served with rice (Arroz cone pollo), among others (Katzman 28). Literally, the term “panama” implies “teemingness of fish”- fish is very abundant in Panama. Panamanians fish-based delicacies include; ceviche (raw fish marinated in limejuice with garlic together with octopus or shrimp), and corvina flavored fish commonly served with ceviche (Katzman 28). In the same light, there is nothing as tantalizing as taking a Panamanian delicacy with a Panamanian Calypso, Tamborito, Congo, or Cumbia music playing in the background. It is worthful to note that most of Panamanian’s music, inclusive of the ones mentioned above have Spanish roots as well as substantive African percussive ingredients.
Panama’s economy is primarily based on service provision. The key players in Panama’s economy are; Panama canal banking and Colon Free Trade Zone (Soley 9). It turns out that Panama Canal is profoundly responsible for the stability of Panama’s economy. Notably, other industries role-play in stabilizing the Panama’s economy. These industries include; construction, petroleum refining, brewing, sugar milling, cement industries, among others. Tourism is yet another economic stabilizer for the Republic of Panama (Holtz 558). According to the World Bank, agriculture is not the principal economic activity in the rural Panama. Agriculture account for a mere 7% of Panama’s Gross Domestic Product while providing employment to over 20% of the total Panamanians population (World Bank 108). Nevertheless, as mentioned above, the country is endowed with a vast number of different types of fruits. It is quite conspicuous that Cables and Wireless Panama in the only telephone company in Panama (Holtz 558).
With regards to healthcare delivery, by 2008, Panama had about 22 public and privately owned hospitals with a majority of the hospitals existing in Panama province followed Chiriqui province with 3 hospitals (Holtz 570). Herrera, Veraguas, Los Santos, San Blas, and Chorrera provinces have one hospital each (Holtz 570). Panamanians often perceive public hospitals to be expensive compared t government owed hospitals. Though Panamanians suffer from a wide range of ailments, the leading causes of deaths by 2008 as reported by Holtz were malignant neoplasm, accidents, cerebrovascular diseases, coronary diseases, and diabetes mellitus (571). Additionally, Panamanians embrace the use of herbs to treat assorted kinds of ills. The CIA website hints that there are over 20000 people living with HIV in Panama- over 1500 HIV related deaths occurred in Panama in the year 2009.

Concisely, Panama was first discovered by Rodrigo de Bastidas, during one of his gold expeditions. Initially part of Colombia, Panama obtained its independence in 1903 with the help of the United States who was tremendously interested in completing the construction of the Panama canal that was left unfinished after the contracted company to construct it went bankrupt. The Panama Canal puts Panama in historical books. The Capital city of Panama is Panama City, a city that was discovered by Pedro Aria Davilla in 1509. The country boast of a rich geography and world life that renders it one of the leading tourist attraction countries in the world. Panama has a multifaceted economy that is stabilized considerably through the service industry and the Panama Canal. The country has about 22 hospitals with Panama province having the most number of hospitals.Research Paper On Panama Essay.

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