Places of interest
Metropolitan Natural Park
Located within the limits of the city of Panama Capital. This is the closest protected tropical forest to an urban area in the Americas.
It is here where the Smithsonian Institute conducts scientific research on the ecology of the forest canopy. In this park you can walk the marked trails, surrounded by orchids and cedar trees, and see more than 200 different species of birds, mammals, and reptiles.
The Panama canal
According to Internetsailors.com, the history of the construction of the Panama Canal is the saga of human ingenuity and courage, years of sacrifice, great defeats, and ultimate victory. More than 22,000 people lost their lives in the effort.
The beginnings of the works were the period of the French construction (from 1880), and the end of the construction was 1914 by the United States of America.
The Panama Canal is approximately 80 kilometers long between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and uses a system of locks. Recognized as the eighth wonder of the world, the Panama Canal represents much more than an unprecedented milestone in engineering:
Excellent adventure excursions and bird watching, just a few minutes from the city center or a visit to the most studied forest in the world: Barro Colorado Island in Gatun Lake where the natural laboratory of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Center is located.
- The ninth
- Logs and Coal
- Bennigan’s Grill & Tavern
- My little ranch
- KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken)
- Tinajas Restaurant
- The Seafood House
- Mediterranean Restaurant
- Beirut Restaurant
- Cafe La Musa de Chai
- Manolo’s Cafeteria
- Miraflores Restaurant
- Relic Bar
- TGI Friday’s
- Manolo Caracol
- Rinos Ristorante
- Rancherito Paisa
- The Mexican Patio
- Bucanero’s Restaurant Panama
- Il Coltello
- VanGogh Corner
- Luminous Bar Restaurant
- Tamburrelli Pizza & Pasta
- Continental Hotel & Casino
- Marriott Panama
- Sheraton Panama Hotel & Convention Center
- Veneto to Wyndham Grand Hotel
- Radisson Decapolis Panama City
- Hotel Covadonga
- Courtyard by Marriott Panama Real Hotel
- Costa Del Este Apartments
- Crowne Plaza Panama
- Central American Hotel
- Breezes Resort & Spa Panama- All Inclusive
- Hotel Roma Plaza
- Canal House Panama
- Benidorm Hotel
- Hotel La Cresta Inn
- Deville Hotel
- Hotel Via Spain
- Montreal Hotel
Basic quantitative data of Panama
- residents: ~ 3,322,000
- Area of Panama: 75,517 km²
- Currency: Balboa (PAB), US Dollar (USD)
- Spoken languages: Spanish, English
- Borders with: Colombia, Costa Rica
- Capital: Panama City
- Congress / Parliament venue: Panama City
- Headquarters of the government: Panama City
- President of state and government: Ricardo Martinelli
- Typical products: Beautiful painted fabrics, hauca baskets.
- Voltage: 120V / 60Hz
- Panama prefix for phone calls: +507
- Time zone: GMT / UTC -6 hours
To broaden the potential beneficiary base, Panama must further increase the competitiveness of the private sector and improve access to health and education. A greater emphasis on developing talent and encouraging innovation will also be necessary.
Panama faces even greater challenges in reaching its poorest residents. Indigenous communities living in isolated areas have been disproportionately impoverished compared to the average Panamanian. Around 95% of the residents of indigenous areas live in poverty and more than 80% in extreme poverty.
While social advances and access to services have improved, there is a need for greater efficiency and effectiveness in public investment to create greater opportunities for all.
To address these challenges, Panama has implemented several programs to reduce poverty and increase access to public services. For example, the conditional cash transfer program Red de Oportunidades offers 50 dollars to the poorest mothers so that their children can go to school and receive basic health and nutrition services.
The Martinelli government has maintained its support for these social programs and has facilitated the public investment necessary to generate employment and human development opportunities beyond traditional urban areas. The Martinelli administration has also committed additional financial resources for social protection programs such as “100 at 70”, which provides $ 100 for retirees over 70 who are not covered by pension programs, and the Universal Scholarship program, which annually awards a $ 180 scholarship to elementary and middle school students in public schools, as well as eligible students in private schools whose annual fees do not exceed $ 1,000.
World Bank support
The World Bank and the Government of Panama have designed a new Country Partnership Strategy 2011 – 2014 with the objective of increasing the World Bank’s involvement in Panama and strengthening collaboration between the institution and the country.
This Alliance Strategy is characterized by being results-oriented and is based on three pillars designed to help Panama face its development challenges: Economic growth based on Panama’s competitive advantages; generate more opportunities for all and a public, transparent and efficient sector that provides benefits to society.
The current World Bank portfolio in Panama includes six projects focused on health, social protection, rural development, environment, infrastructure and efficiency in the public sector, for 230.4 million dollars. Another project financed by a grant of 6 million dollars for rural productivity and environmental conservation complements these investment operations. These are some of the projects:
The goal of the Project for Equity and Better Performance in the Health Sector is to increase the access of rural communities to basic health services whose quality guarantees better maternal and child health and to support the preparation of strategic planning, regulation and monitoring mechanisms that contribute to improving the performance of the health system.
The objective of the Water Supply and Sanitation Project for Low-Income Communities is to increase sustainable access in poor communities to water supply and sanitation services. To date, more than 25 thousand beneficiaries are registered in rural communities.
In addition, the implementation of two new operations: the Technical Assistance Project to Improve the Efficiency of the Public Sector, to help public institutions to produce, take advantage of and disseminate information for a more efficient and transparent use of public funds, and the Project of Potable Water and Sanitation Improvement of the Metropolitan Area, to improve the quality, coverage and efficiency of the water supply and sanitation services in low-income neighborhoods of the metropolitan region of Panama.
The role of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in the expansion of the Panama Canal is consistent with one of IFC’s strategic priorities for Central America to support the development of infrastructure to improve competitiveness and regional integration.
Panama is a very unequal country in terms of health. On the one hand, there is a 10% rich population (which owns almost 40% of the total national wealth) that enjoys enviable health opportunities, similar to those observed in the most advanced societies in the world; another 20% of the population belongs to the middle class whose health status is reasonably good; 30% of the economically disadvantaged population, with a poor but not very poor health condition; and 40% of the population deeply immersed in poverty, hungry, exposed to diseases typical of poverty and with no future for improvement.
While health ministers come and go, boasting of building hospitals and working for the poorest in the country, the diseases prevalent in African regions (tuberculosis, diarrhea, malaria, hepatitis, parasitosis, malnutrition) continue to scourge and decimate marginalized sectors of our nation, especially in the indigenous area. AIDS continues its unstoppable progression, unwanted pregnancies among girls and adolescents occur daily, smoking increasingly pollutes the lungs of smokers and non-smokers, the price of drugs and the quality of generic substitutes go into anarchy, and health institutions remain inefficient, corrupt and duplicating their activities.
Faced with journalistic questions, the leaders of the sector enthusiastically allude to the rates of infant mortality, maternal mortality and life expectancy in our country. They seem to believe that we are fools and novices in epidemiological indices, by publicly fanning ourselves some acceptable figures within the average context of Latin American nations. Logically, if we compare ourselves with Haiti, Belize, Honduras, Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay, we are kings. Why don’t we compare ourselves with Costa Rica or Uruguay, countries similar in population and economic power? Because we would be ashamed. In Costa Rica, Uruguay and Panama, respectively, the most recent infant mortality rates per thousand are approximately 11, 15 and 20, maternal mortality rates per 100,000 are 38, 28 and 71 and life expectancy at birth is 77, 75 and 75 years. Even more, childhood vaccination programs are more timely and comprehensive in those two countries than in ours. The prevalence of AIDS in Panama (0.9%), infection closely linked to poor sexual education, pregnancies in young women and minimal use of contraceptives –not that we are more promiscuous–, is four times higher than that reported in Costa Rican or Uruguayan lands.
The solution to most of the public health problems that occur in Panama can be achieved through prevention and health promotion activities. The eight main causes of mortality in the country (cancer, accidents, cerebrovascular events, heart attacks, diabetes, chronic lung disease, AIDS and perinatal pathology) can be significantly reduced through early detection programs, driver education, nutritional and sexual, promotion of healthy life habits, frontal fight against smoking, use of safe sex techniques and adequate prenatal control. With efficient use of resources, elimination of corruption, transparency in bidding, establishment of an essential and unique list of medicines throughout the country and elimination of the duplication of MINSA-CSS, there would be sufficient funds to also face the high costs of specialized treatments, necessary for the proper management of patients with complex third-level diseases that escape the primary or secondary solution. An optimal subspecialized medicine would avoid the frequent public collections that are carried out locally to send Creole patients to receive care abroad.