The word “Panama” comes from an indigenous language and means abundance of fish or butterflies, although some colonial writers believe that “Panama” was a majestic tree, under which aboriginal families used to meet.
As a crossroads of the Americas, Panama is a country forged by various cultures and traditions that come together to create a complex human group. The country’s ethnic diversity is reflected in its arts, cuisine, festivals, folklore and traditions, and many other particular features of the Panamanian people.
Visiting Panama is an exciting journey to observe the combination of indigenous, European and African cultures. Panamanian people can be defined geographically as “Central American”, because of its geographical location; historically “South American”, since Panama has had strong links with South America since the conquest of the Inca Empire by Spaniards, and because it used to be part of Colombia in the past until its formal separation in 1903; and particularly, Panamanian people are “Caribbean” in their character, due to their warm heart and cheerful attitude toward life. In addition, Panamanian people are, to a certain degree, pragmatic, which come from 96 years of U.S. presence in the Isthmus.
Courtesy: Panama Tourism Bureau (IPAT) – 3 minutes