Panama is often enough associated with the tremendous engineering work of the canal which has been operating for more than a century and it is considered to be the eighth wonder of the world. Nevertheless, the country is also fascinating due to its historical past which is palpable in the “Old Quarter”, the historical center of Panama City, a true colonial jewel. The little town of Portobelo gets open toward the Caribbean Sea with the ruins of its fortress and its cultural wealth. The Forts of San Lorenzo and Portobelo have been inscribed as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. In the central area, the little town of Natá de los caballeros preserves a large church that evokes the period of the Spanish domination, and Parita that with its little colonial center revives memories of the glorious colonial past where the time seems to have stopped.
The country charms and conquers because of its impressive cultural wealth that stands out mainly in the central part and in the provinces of Los Santos, Herrera, Veraguas and Coclé with their traditions and folklore which are the pride of their inhabitants. It is easy to be amazed by the ability craftsmen have in order to create clay vases by using the same system that has been used for centuries, by the works made up with paper mache for producing incredible masks that show off Diablicos Sucios during the celebration of Corpus Cristi, or by the elaboration of the Pollera, the typical Panamanian dress.
Furthermore, the true surprise of the country is undoubtedly its extraordinary biodiversity, constituted thank to its privileged position where the Americas converge. In fact, more than thirty-five percent of the National territory is protected by National Parks or Natural reserves that preserve the habitat of 800 bird species, 200 mammals, 240 reptiles and more than 10,00 species of plants. Not leaving aside, the idyllic beaches spread in islands and gulfs both in the Caribbean coast and in the Pacific one; some of them remain still unexplored, other are worldwide famous among surfers who search for the perfect wave.
Few people didn’t imagine that Panama was able to hide a surprisingly ethnographic wealth, but it suffices to think in San Blas, part of Guna Yala district, in Darien with the communities of Emberà-Wounaan, and in the Ngöbe-Buglé group which is the most numerous group settled among the provinces of Veraguas, Chiriquí and Bocas del Toro.