Republic of panama

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Panama (Listeni/ˈpænəmɑː/ pan-ə-mah; Spanish: Panamá), officially the Republic of Panama (Spanish: República de Panamá [reˈpuβlika ðe panaˈma]), is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. Thecapital is Panama City. Explored and settled by the Spanish in the 16th century, Panama broke with Spain in 1821 and joined a union of Nueva Granada, Ecuador, and Venezuela – named the Republic of Gran Colombia. When the latter dissolved in 1830, Panama and Nueva Granada stayed joined. Nueva Granada later became the Republic of Colombia.

With the backing of the United States, Panama seceded fromColombia in 1903, allowing the Panama Canal to be built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers between 1904 and 1914. In 1977, an agreement was signed for the complete transfer of the Canal from the United States to Panama by the end of the century.[4]

Revenue from Canal tolls represent today a significant portion of Panama's GDP. Panama has the third or fourth largest economy in Central Americaand[5] it is also the fastest growing economy and the largest per capita consumer in Central America.[6][7] In 2010 Panama ranked 4th among Latin American countries in terms of the Human Development Index, and 54th in the world in 2010.[8] As of 2010, Panama is the second most competitive economy in Latin America as well according to the Global Competitiveness Index from the World Economic Forum(WEF). Panama has the largest rainforest in the Western Hemisphere outside the Amazon Basin and its jungle is home to an abundance of tropical plants, animals and birds – some of them to be found nowhere else in the world.[9]
Contents
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* 1 Etymology
* 2 History
o 2.1 Pre-Columbian period
o 2.2 Conquest era
+ 2.2.1 1800s
o 2.3Post-colonial Panama
+ 2.3.1 Post-1970
o 2.4 Post-invasion era
* 3 Politics
o 3.1 Provinces and regions
* 4 Geography
o 4.1 Waterways
o 4.2 Harbors
o 4.3 Climate
* 5 Demographics
* 6 Culture
o 6.1 Religion
o 6.2 Sports
* 7 Education
* 8 Economy
o 8.1 Economicsectors
+ 8.1.1 Tourism
o 8.2 Currency
o 8.3 International trade
* 9 See also
* 10 Further reading
* 11 References
* 12 External links

[edit] Etymology

There are several theories about the origin of the name "Panama". Some believe that the country was named after a commonly found species of trees. Others believe that the first settlersarrived in Panama in August, when butterflies abound, and that the name means "many butterflies" in an indigenous language.

The best known version is that a fishing village and its nearby beach bore the name "Panamá", which meant "an abundance of fish". Captain Antonio Tello de Guzmán, while exploring the Pacific side in 1515, stopped in the small indigenous fishing town. This was communicated tothe Crown and in 1517 Don Gaspar De Espinosa, a Spanish lieutenant, decided to settle a post there. In 1519, Pedrarias Dávila decided to establish the Empire's Pacific city in this site. The new settlement replaced Santa María La Antigua del Darién, which had lost its function within the Crown's global plan after the beginning of the Spanish exploitation of the riches in the Pacific.

Blendingall of the above together, Panamanians believe in general that the word Panama means "abundance of fish, trees and butterflies". This is the official definition given in Social Studies textbooks approved by the Ministry of Education in Panama. However, others believe the word Panama comes from the Kuna word "bannaba" which means "distant" or "far away".[10]
[edit] History
Main article: History...
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