Old July 11th, 2006, 11:58 AM
Raymond Grant Raymond Grant is offline
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Location: Falls Church, Virginia
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Default The city of Colon: The Big door to Panama



The Province of Colon in the Republic of Panama is located on the heavily transited Atlantic ocean side of the Panama canal. The port city of Colon was once known as " the big door to Panama and it still shows great potential for further development.

Becasuse of its ideal location on the canal, much of the import export merchandise from the Atlantic shipping lanes comes trhough Colon. Furthermore, Colon produces a great number of comercial products for Panamanian consumtion.


If you are looking for a metropolitan athmosphere exclusively, Panama city is the place to spend your time. The facilities are great and so are the people and its only about 50 miles from Colon, via car or train.

Otherwise, if you also want to see traces of history of the country from colonial times to the constructions of France and United states sponsored interoceanic projects and if you want to enjoying the best beaches in the country, the province of Colon is the place to spend some of your vacation time in Panama.

The Melial Hotel or the Washington hotel in Colon, are the points of contact and the best places to stay and or arrange a visit.


1. Portobelo, home of the Spanish conquest, gretest treasure vault during colonial times. This is where the Spaniards held the famous "Portbelo Fair" Trading in gold at this place during those times was of historical and monumental dimention and now its all gone.

2. Isla Grande. Home of the best beaches in Panama along with accomodations that lends for some relaxing days away from the more noise Panama city. Its a place where you can enjoy excellent sea food and you also get to observe the local people tryng to make a living by providing service and the likes.

3. Fort San Lorenzo. During colonial times, the Spaniards and the British went at it for control of the resources from the new found land. Spain's, built San Lorenzo fort, still stands as a memory of thir defensive posture during their conflict with British.

4. Panama Canal Gatun Locks The building of the Panama canal was a fight between man against man and against nature. The work as stood the test of time. Much credit goes to the United States engineering know how along with the physical efforts from the international labor force that made it possible.

Building a transoceanic railroad and the Panama canal, saw thousands of workers from around the world sucumb to the environment. Great credit more so than public recognition is given to the people of Caribbean descent, the most numerous group amongst the international labor force during the projects, and the one's wich sustained the most number of casualties.

Sad story with the Chinese and other etnic groups from around the world whom also sustained casualties and was not able to stand up to the environment.


If you look at Panamanian tourism marketing and post cards; they all point you in one direction, Panama City, and they also give you a sense of a homogeneous population.

But when you look at the Panamanian soccer team you get a different picture. Panama's is mostly mestizos from the Colonial era, Blacks from the Colonial and Interoceanic era, and nationals from other countries whom have made their home there.


Panama Centralized government, creates a sense of unity amongs its society, but does not heavily promote or encourage a system of state hood like in the United States or other developed countries. Its a legacy from their past which also caused them to seek independence from Spain and then from Colombia because of development neglect.


The city and province of Colon development needs has not kept pace with its comercial potential as co-host of the Canal, its famous Colon import export Free Zone and one of the largest port system around the world.

Still, todays, residents in Colon are banking once again on the Panama canal potential expantion project as a means to gain a straight cut of canal revenues, at least from their side of the thing.

When you get to Colon, and as you see the development needs in that city and its location on the canal, two questions will come to mind:

a. Whats going on with Panama's distribucion of resources.
b. Should I Invest here and build this gold mine city.

If you travel the road from Colon to Panama you will note what many of them complain about.

Colon is the home of Panama's best athletes. Despite budgetary shortfalls and a sofocating unemployment, Yes, Yes, there has been some youth violence in the City. The police department and the American embassy in Panama are helping out. After 911 and the always present treath of a repeat, nothing scares me anymore.


In the city of Colon there are several historical patrimonies from the railroad and canal construction era. on a guided tour, the pictures you may obtain will preserve memories of history hard fought by Spanish, British, French and American entreprenuers, during a time when Panama's Black population was their mayor labor force whom help build their monuments and enterprises.
Ray Grant
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