Saturday, June 5, 2010

PANAMA - Country profile




The flag of Panama was made by Maria Ossa de Amador. It has been officially adopted by the "ley 48 de 1925" ; the flag is celebrated on November 4, one day after Panamanian independence from Colombia.

The first flag proposed in 1823 consisted of 7 horizontal stripes of red and yellow, with a blue canton containing 2 golden suns, joined by a narrow line to depict the oceans to be united by the Panama Canal. However, this was not accepted by the Panamanian leader, Manuel Amador Guerrero, whose family designed a new flag.

The stars and quarters are said to stand for the rival political parties, and the white for the peace in which they operate. Blue was the color of the Conservatives, and red the color of the Liberals.


Himno Istmeño (in English: Hymn of the Isthmus) is the national anthem of Panama. The music was written by Santos Jorge, and the lyrics by Dr. Jeronimo de la Ossa.

The song is directed to the average, working-class Panamanian with such lyrics as "Ahead the shovel and pick ; At work without any more dilation".


Official Name:
República de Panamá
short form: Panamá
int'l long form: Republic of Panama
int'l short form: Panama

ISO Country Code: pa

Capital City: Panama City (830 000)

Other Cities:
Colon (140 000), David (100 000).

Type: Constitutional democracy.
Independence: 3 November 1903 (from Colombia).
Constitution: 11 October 1972; amended 1983 and 1994 and reformed in 2004.

Location: Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Colombia and Costa Rica. Panama occupies the southeastern end of the isthmus forming the land bridge between North and South America.
Area: 78 200 sq. km. (30 193 sq. mi.)
Terrain: Mountainous (highest elevation Cerro Volcan, 3,475 m.--11,468 ft.), upland plains; coastal areas.

Climate: tropical maritime; hot, humid, cloudy; prolonged rainy season, short dry season (January to May)

Nationality: Panamanian(s).
Population: 3 million.
Annual growth rate: 1.31%.
Ethnic groups: Mestizo (mixed Amerindian and European ancestry) 70%, Amerindian and mixed (West Indian) 14%, Caucasian 10%, Amerindian 6%.
Religions: Roman Catholic 84%, Protestant 15%, other.
Languages: Spanish (official); 14% speak English as their native tongue; various indigenous languages. Many Panamanians are bilingual.
Literacy: 93%

Natural resources: Copper, mahogany forests, shrimp, hydropower.

Agriculture products: Bananas, rice, corn, coffee, sugarcane, vegetables; livestock; shrimp.

Industries: Construction, brewing, cement and other construction materials, sugar milling

Exports partners: USA 12.2%, Nigeria 9.4%, Germany 8.4%, South Korea 8.2%, El Salvador 5.7%, Peru 5.1%, Costa Rica 5.1%, Japan 4.1% (2004)

Imports partners: Japan 32.9%, China 10.6%, USA 9.8%, South Korea 7.2%, Singapore 7.1%, Italy 4.5% (2004)

Currency: Balboa (PAB); US Dollar (USD)

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