QUICK FACTS

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    1. Panamá is a constitutional democracy with a very stable government.
    2. Panamá has adopted U.S. currency as its own.
    3. The country has a 94% literacy rate.
    4. Rodrigo de Bastidas discovered the country in 1501, a year earlier than Christopher Columbus.
    5. Senator John McCain was born there, in the canal zone, which was considered a U.S. territory at the time.
    6. Panamá is about the size of South Carolina.
    7. Panamá exports bananas, pineapples, watermelons, gold, iron, sugar, and shrimp.
    8. It has a population of 4 million, just half a million more than Puerto Rico.
    9. Panamá has a friendly tropical climate and two seasons – rainy and dry
    10. Panamá is south of hurricane alley so it is rarely effected by tropical storms and hurricanes.
    11. It possesses the only place where you can watch the sun rise in the Pacific and set in the Atlantic ocean.
    12. The canal was built by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers and took 10 years to complete. It was started in 1904 and finished in 1914. It is considered one of the 7 Wonders of the Modern World.
    13. Panamá is in the central time zone, but does not practice day light savings time.
    14. One third of the country’s revenue is generated by the tolls from the canal.
    15. The lowest canal toll ever charged was paid by Richard Halliburton as he swam through it.
    16. Panamá has the oldest continuously running municipal council in the Americas
    17. In Panamá you can swim in both the Atlantic and Pacific in one day.
    18. Panamá City is the only capital city with a rain forest in it.
    19. Panamá has 2 independence days – The first was their independence from Spain in 1821 and the second was their independence from Colombia in 1903.
    20. Panamanian dishes combine Spanish, Native American, and African influences.
    21. Baseball and soccer are Panama’s main sports.
    22. Panamá has more bird species than the U.S. and Canada combined.
    23. the highest canal toll ever paid was $376,000 and was paid by the Norwegian Pearl cruise ship in 2010.
    24. Panamá has a saying, “Puento del mundo, corazón del universo” (Bridge of the world, heart of the universe).
    25. Panamá does not make Panamá hats, Ecuador does.
    26. Politeness and respect are very important. Men are addressed as Don and women as Doña.