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Surprising Facts about Panama

Surprising Facts about Panama

In spite of a slowdown in housing construction in much of the world, development life goes on as usual in Panama with the Panama Pacific project in Howard-Cocoli and Ciudad de Saber, formerly American territory when the US controlled the Panama Canal. There are still lots of construction cranes to be seen in the ritzy Costa Del Este area and the area around (Donald Trump’s) Trump Towers and the other massive high-rise developments that have come to compete with the ocean views in that area.

There are also the Pacific Beaches developments hoping to attract lots more Americans, Canadians, and Europeans. Not to be overlooked is the just as amazing number of developments and communities looking to cater to the huge number of Panamanians looking to buy their first home.

Of course, there’s also “Revolution Tower” and Panama City already having most of Latin America’s tallest high risers. The Panama Canal expansion project, about the biggest mega project in the world, is another success story in the making, and there is the new Metro under construction, a good part of it will be underground. This is a long way from the wrong way a lot of people still see Panama City in other countries of the world, “a land of danger, muggings, Noriega, and maybe lots of mud huts, and poverty”.

There’s an interesting move on to try to speed up travel exchange and reduce visa restrictions between the US and Panama making it easier for Panamanians to travel to the US as if it were a “domestic” flight. Likewise, this should make it even easier for American citizens to enter and stay in Panama a longer-term.

Surprising Facts about Panama

Smithsonian Tropical Research Center (STRI) or “Instituto Smithsonian Tropicales” celebrates its one hundredth year in Panama (2012) and Panama is the only country in the world where this natural science research center has a permanent base.

The U.S. Peace Corps or “Cuerpo de Paz” has about 250 volunteers in Panama. Panama is already one of the biggest bases for the Peace Corp in the world, and Lucy Molinar, Panama’s education minister, is open to an even stronger presence here.

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This article was first published in 2012. UPDATE As of today, in 2019, Spanish Panama Language School continues to receive students from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the Peace Corps. And the Revolution Tower is now called “F&F Tower”. And more great news as there are now two metro lines and Panama boasts one of the most modern subway-metro systems in the world.


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