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Panama, a Country that Historically Welcomes People from All Over the World with Open Arms

Panama is a country that has historically welcomed people from all over the world. Since the emergence of the isthmus on the continent allowing the migration of people and animals from North to South America and vice versa, it was clear that one of the greatest purposes of this region was to connect the world.

Although the Spaniard Rodrigo de Bastidas arrived on the Panamanian coasts in 1501 and began a process of colonization of the indigenous peoples who lived in this region, it gave rise to the arrival of hundreds of Spaniards in search of opportunities. A difficult part of history, but it would also trigger new waves of people who would arrive in Panama in search of a new life.

Wave of People with the Trans-Isthmic Railway

Just as the Spanish came to Panama in search of Peruvian Gold, the construction of the world’s first trans-isthmus railroad that began in 1850 with the purpose of creating a faster and safer path for people coming from the Eastern United States to reach California in the West where the famous Gold Rush of 1849 took place. At that time Panama was part of La Gran Colombia and welcomed workers from the United States, Europe, the Antilles, and even slaves from Africa. A period that began the formation of the Chinese and Hindustan colonies and which are currently very important in the country. Just as thousands of people crossed the Panamanian isthmus to go to California, many also stayed, either because they could not get a place on the ships that set sail or because they found a place in Panama to start a new life.

Wave of People on the Construction of the Panama Canal

Half a century after the construction of the railway, the construction of a waterway for ships along the isthmus began to take shape to facilitate world trade. Although the French could not continue with the construction because the company fell into bankruptcy due to problems of all kinds. The United States resumed construction work, attracting more than 56,000 workers from all over the world over 10 years of construction. People from countries like Barbados, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Trinidad, Costa Rica, Colombia, Panama, United States, Spain and many countries from Europe. At the end of the construction of the Canal, a small part returned to their country of origin, another large part went to work in the banana plantations and the rest decided to stay in Panama starting a new life.

Wave of Expats in the 21st Century

Although Panama was established as a multicultural and diverse country since the construction of the Panama Canal, it was not until the beginning of the 21st century that a sustained wave of people began, mainly from the United States, Canada, Europe and even South Africa, arrived in the country seeking to live in Panama to enjoy a better quality of life than in your country of origin.

Figures indicate that almost 40,000 people, between Americans and Canadians, live permanently in Panama without counting people from other countries.

All this was not thanks to colonization or the construction of some mega project, but to the desire to enjoy the natural beauties, the culture and economic advantages that Panama offers.

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