Keyla Pedraza • Panama is also know as The Republic of Panama • Capital: Panama City • Population: 3.6 million • Panama has the Caribbean Sea to the north, Colombia to the east, the Pacific Ocean to the south, and Costa Rica to the west. It is roughly shaped like the letter "S" sideways. A volcano in the west named Baru is the highest point in the country, which is approximately 11,401 feet high. The climate is tropical but about only 25 percent of the land is suitable for farming. • Panama has the largest rainforest - Gamboa Rainforest - in the western hemisphere, outside the Amazon Basin. • The jungle is home to an abundance of tropical plants, animals, birds – some only can be found here. • Panamanian's ancestry and culture have been greatly influenced from being a junction to the world. Most residents today are descendants of three main ethnic groups - American Indians, Europeans, and black Africans with very few true Indians remaining in the country. Many of the people are mestizos, or those of mixed EuropeanIndian ancestry. • Spanish is the official language in Panama although English is commonly used. Free religion is allowed in Panama although most Panamanians are Roman Catholic. • Carnival In Panama- Panama’s Carnival celebrations take place the four days prior to Ash Wednesday. Since the early 1900s, Panama’s Carnival is the second largest in the entire world. The main streets of Panama City and Las Tablas, where the celebrating takes place, fill up with parades, costumes, floats, masks, and confetti. The highlight of many celebrations includes the selection of the Carnival Queen and her attendants. • For centuries, agriculture was the dominant economic activity for most of Panama's population. After construction of the Panama Canal, agriculture declined; its share of GDP fell from 29 percent in 1950 to just over 9 percent in 1985. Currently, agriculture and fisheries comprise 7.4% of the country's GDP. Agriculture employs such a large number of Panamanians because many farmers are engaged in subsistence farming and only produce enough for their family to consume. • Currency: In Panama, US dollar bills are used but Balboa coins are used • Panama faces the challenge of shaking off its reputation as a major transit point for US bound drugs and illegal immigrants, and money laundering. • 40% of the population is in poverty • Panama Canal is an 82-kilometre (51 mi) ship canal in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean (via the Caribbean Sea) to the Pacific Ocean. The canal cuts across the Isthmus of Panama and is a key conduit for international maritime trade. • Work on the canal, which began in 1880, was completed in 1914, making it no longer necessary for ships to sail the lengthy Cape Horn route around the southernmost tip of South America and to navigate the dangerous waters of the Strait of Magellan. • The panama flag was adopted on November 3, 1903. the flag was modeled after the USA flag, however, the colored stars are said to represent the country's conservative (red) and liberal (blue) parties. White symbolizes peace. The stars and quarters represent the rival political parties. The flag was made be Maria Ossa de Amador. • Brig. Gen. Omar Torrijos Herrera – A strong military man (the commander of the Panama national Guard and the de facto leader of Panama) and loved by the people. Was never offically president but hed titles like: “Maximum Leader of the Panama Revolution” and “Supreme Chief of Government”. Signed treaties of the Panama Canal which helped export goods. Also negotiated with other countries like he was president and tried making Panama a better place to live in for the people.