Updated: Sep 19
Panama or officially the Republic of Panama.
Panama is a transcontinental country in Central America and South America. It is bordered by Costa Rica to the west, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the south.
Reason for Naming the country
The definite origin of the name Panama is unknown.
There are several theories. One states that the country was named after a commonly found species of tree (the Panama tree).
Another states that the first settlers arrived in Panama in August when butterflies are abundant and that the name means "many butterflies" in one or several indigenous Amerindian languages that were spoken in the territory prior to Spanish colonization. The most scientifically corroborated theory by Panamanian linguists, states that the word is a hispanicization of the Kuna language word "bannaba" which means "distant" or "far away".
The current Panamanian flag was adopted on December 20, 1903. The flag of Panama is sectioned into four quarters, the top left and bottom right quarters are white. The top right section is red and the bottom left is blue. In the top left white section, there is a blue, five-point star and in the bottom right white section, there is a red, five-point star. The Red and Blue colors represent the two political parties of Panama, the Liberals (red) and the Conservatives (blue). The white represents peace between them and the equal division of the colors states that they both govern the country at different times. The Panamanian flag colors also have alternative meanings. The blue represents the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea and the Red stand for the blood spilled for Panama's independence. The blue star represents the civic virtues of purity and honesty and the red star symbolizes the authority of the law. Together they represent loyalty and resilience.
Spanish is the official and dominant language. The Spanish spoken in Panama is known as Panamanian Spanish. The Spanish used in Panama differs from the one used in Spain.
Also, about 14 % of Panamanians speak English; Native languages, such as Ngäbere, are spoken throughout the country, mostly in their native territories.
Although the government of Panama does not collect statistics on religious affiliations, Roman Catholicism is the largest religion in Panama. Almost the entire remaining population is Protestant Christians.
A small number of followers of other faiths like the Bahá'í Faith, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and other Christian denominations also inhabit Panama. Indigenous religions like the Mamatata and Ibeorgun are practiced by the Kuna peoples and the Nogbes, respectively.
United States dollar (USD).
Unitary presidential constitutional republic.
The climate in Panama is tropical and hot all year. From May to November, the southwest currents dominate, bringing heavy rainfall, particularly on the southern side exposed to the Pacific Ocean; nevertheless, it also rains on the northern side, making this the rainy season.
From December to April, the northeastern trade winds control, bringing abundant rainfall on the north side overlooking the Caribbean Sea, especially in the first part (December-January), when the sea is warmer, while the dry season is on the south side, beyond the mountain ranges that stretch across the interior of the country like a backbone.
The rains generally fall in the form of torrential downpours or thunderstorms in the afternoon or evening, although they can last far into the night.
However, there are certain variances from year to year that make the weather rather unpredictable, especially on the northern side, whereas the seasons are more defined on the southern side.
Temperatures vary little throughout the year; nevertheless, the coolest months, or rather the least hot, are generally October and November, towards the conclusion of the rainy season, albeit the humidity makes the heat unbearable during this time.
The hottest months are usually March and April, before the rainy season.