Why is Panama so poor

Hanisauland: Lexicon @todo: from Preprocess

Official name:
Republic of Panama
Balboa, US dollars
National holiday:
November 3rd, Independence Day

North and South America are connected by a narrow land bridge: Panama is exactly there in Central America. Costa Rica is the western neighbor and Colombia the eastern.

Democratic country

Panama has a presidential democracy. The country's president is also the head of government. Every five years the people elect the president, the vice-president and the members of parliament. The capital of Panama is called Panama City.

The Panama Canal

The Panama Canal is a specialty of the country. It's a waterway that divides the country in half. The canal is 80 kilometers long. It connects the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean and is an important sea route for shipping around the world. It is very important for the economy of the country as the ships have to pay fees for its use. Thanks to this income, Panama is one of the richest countries in Central and South America. The work around the canal offers many people a job, but many people in the country are very poor. Because only two out of three Panamanians have a permanent job.

Two currencies

Panama's history is closely linked to the Spanish conquest of South America. The Spaniards stole the gold treasures of the indigenous people of South America, the Inca, from Panama. Later the ships that brought slaves from Africa to America landed in Panama.
Today Panama is known as a so-called tax haven. Since the tax rate in the country is very low, many rich foreigners want to invest their money there. In this way, they want to avoid paying taxes in their home country. Incidentally, there are two currencies in Panama: the US dollar and the balboa, Panamanian money. However, there are no Balboa banknotes, this currency only knows coins.

Rich in foreign influences

Panamanians love to party and dance, and their carnival is also famous. The festivals are colorful, as Spanish, African and local influences shape the folk customs. The kitchen is also rich in foreign influences. A stew made from chicken and vegetables called sancocho is popular. Tamales are made from corn dough filled with meat, cheese, raisins or other ingredients and wrapped in plant leaves and steamed. The Mayans and Aztecs ate this dish centuries ago. Besides baseball, soccer is one of the most popular sports for the people of Panama.

Wonderful biodiversity

Panama's flora and fauna are extremely rich in species. There are many different trees, orchids and ferns to be found in the warm, humid rainforests. There are also about 300,000 species of insects and more than 200 species of mammals. For example, all four known anteater species live there. Many rare birds and also corals, fish, sharks and whales live in the national park of the island of Coiba and in the adjacent sea.