Blog Panamá

The Panama Canal: 100 years of history
2015-10-01
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Panama Canal, the most meaningful moment in the history of this Central American country and the world, for his role in trade and global history. 
The anniversary celebration is scheduled for next August, on the same date that a century ago, the SS Ancon ship crossed the waterway for the first time.

The amazing country linking the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea, combines tradition and modernity and offers varied activities that make it an ideal destination all year: from cultural tours that explore the ancient culture of their people, to the practice of hiking through the mountains or simply relax in the pristine beaches.

This year, Panama also offers an additional attraction: the celebration of the Centenary of the Canal.

Panamanians want to share the centenary of the waterway and celebrate the anniversary of this engineering marvel with activities planned for the months of July and August. The anniversary celebration culminates on August 14th with the Centennial Gala, a vibrant show of theater and music broadcast live on television to represent the epic construction of the Canal, the generational struggle to recover it and the extension thereof. Contributors of the Canal as part of the cast will attend the staging.

In the same month, will be held at the National Theatre the movie premiere “Canal Stories”, which includes five short films of 20 minutes of duration each. The stories show different fictional stories located in five significant moments in the history of Panama and the Canal.

Furthermore, during all July, the exhibition “Canal Centennial Experience” can be visited. The sample uses interactive audiovisual resources (maps, 3D, touch screens, pictures, etc.), interactive games, collectibles and educational and group activities.

Meanwhile, some cultural and sport events have taken place in recent months, like the canoe racing Ocean to Ocean, a three days cruise through the Panama Canal from the Atlantic to the Pacific; and the publication of three commemorative books: the Panama Canal, a deluxe edition of the writer Luis Blas Ariti; Transfer of the Panama Canal by Jorge Eduardo Ritter, and 100 years, 100 landmarks, by Manuel Nieto Orestes, with photographs and short texts that frame the main events in the history of the Canal in its hundred years.

The construction of the canal began in 1904. During the ten years of works, more than 56,000 people from over 30 countries came to Panama to participate in the project.

Most of the excavations for the construction of the waterway were performed in Corte Culebra in the Central Cordillera of Panama. An estimated 1,600 people participated in this project from 1907 to late 1913. Excavated soil during this step is equivalent to what is required for building the pyramids of Egypt.

Since its opening, the Panama Canal has registered the transit of more than one million ships of all over the world. With a length of about 80 kilometers, currently serves 144 maritime routes linking 160 countries, and reach more than 1,700 ports around the world.

Currently, the Panamá Canal is being expanded to the double of its capacity to strengthen the country’s position as a maritime and logistics center.

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