Home History and Culture Baru District Celebrates 83 Years of a History Full of Contrasts and...

Baru District Celebrates 83 Years of a History Full of Contrasts and Economic Bonanza

On July 12, 2024, 83 years of history and founding of the district of Barú is celebrated, located in the southern part of Panama in Chiriquí Province, will be celebrated. Its capital is the community of Puerto Armuelles, which extends from the Pacific coast to Charco Azul Bay.

The Creation of a Special Government
The Baru District was part of Alanje and Bugaba, but due to the economic boom of the time in these lands, and the North American banana company Chiriquí Land Company (former Panama Sugar Co.), a special government was created to expedite the procedures and the creation of the Baru Region, in 1938; under the administration of the President Juan Demostenes Arosemena. This being the prelude to the creation of the District through Law 103 of July 12, 1941, which was made official under the presidential mandate of Dr. Arnulfo Arias Madrid.

The Great Economic Boom
Once this district was created, an important demographic and economic boom arose like foam due to its geographical and strategic position, which served to carry out other economic activities such as fishing, agriculture and livestock; in addition to the export of bananas and years later the transfer of oil that departed from the Panama Petroterminal (PTP), located in the bay of Charco Azul and that years later, by October 1982, would inaugurate the interconnected pipeline to Changuinola.

The Emergence of Differences between Social Classes
The economic boom called upon foreign businessmen, owners and employees of the banana company, to establish in the Puerto Armuelles region, a small “North American Zone”, exclusive for the Managers and Administrators of the Chiriquí Land Company and the Petroterminal. Becoming an exclusive and restricted area for the rest of the residents of the entire district; At that time, a difference between classes was marked, very similar to that existing in the former Canal Zone occupied by the Zonians and the military, until December 1999.

The Decline of the Economic Bonanza
For many decades, the economic boom in the Baru district was greatly envied by other regions of the country, however, this economy began to gradually show its decline with greater accentuation after the United States Invasion of 1989, and then due to other factors related to this tragic historical event; such as the closure and disappearance of the Railway, the withdrawal of the Chiriquí Land Co., the closure of the Fiscal Dock and the fall of the commercial banana industry, an economic sector on which its population was dependent.

The Beginning of a Diversified Economy
Currently, Baru develops its economic activity based on the primary agricultural sector. Likewise, it has begun to develop on the basis of a diversified economy in which its main resources to take advantage of are the sea, the land and tourism due to the natural beauty that it still preserves in its mountain ranges with a rich fauna of wonderful species, its rivers, coasts and majestic beaches.

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