Lying at the crossroads of the North and South American continents and the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, Panama is of immense strategic importance.
They recently celebrated their independence with great enthusiasm with a week of interesting activities ending in an elegant cocktail at the J.W. Marriott Hotel.
Panama has the largest rain forest in the Western Hemisphere outside the Amazon Basin, and its jungle is home to an abundance of tropical plants, animals and birds. However, it is a marvel of engineering; a canal connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, that makes the country very famous. Every year hundreds of thousands of visitors make the eight-hour journey through the waterway, this generates a large proportion of Panama’s GDP.
Panama is mulling plans to widen the canal. It is more than 90 years old and operating almost at full capacity. The scheme would have to be backed by Panamanians in a referendum. Offshore finance, manufacturing and a shipping registry generate jobs and tax revenues. Panama’s services-based economy also benefits from the Colon free trade zone, home to some 2,000 companies, the second largest in the world.
The hotel was beautifully decorated with flowers throughout the salón, and an enormous Panamanian flag was placed at the back where the delicious buffet was served. After the warm welcome words by Cecilio Simom, Panama’s chargé d’affaires, two singers evoked amazing rhythms, and all the panamanians residing in Venezuela that attended the event happily danced until the early morning.
By Virginia Casulo
Daily Journal Staff
Photos by Nélida Mosquera