¡Feliz Día de la Independencia, Panamá!
Colorful polleras and intricate headdresses filled the streets of Panama City this month as dancers wearing the national folk dress joined the military procession celebrating their independence from not one, but two countries. November 3, 1903 may be held as the beginning of the country’s sovereignty but, 82 years before the celebrated date, Panama obtained its first independence--their liberation from the Spanish crown.
Panamanians strike up the band and cue the military procession each Nov. 3 to commemorate their separation from Colombia. Once part of Gran Colombia, (which consisted of present-day Colombia, Venezuela, Panama and Ecuador) Panama seceded in 1903, soon after the end of the Thousand Days’ War.
Interest in the Panama Canal, and failure to ratify the Herrán-Hay treaty in the Colombian senate, prompted the United States to support Panama’s separation from Gran Colombia. Separatist in Panama, unlike Colombia, eventually did come to an agreement with the US, and on February 23, 1904 the new Republic of Panama gave President Theodore Roosevelt control of the Panama Canal Zone for $10 million US dollars.
Then there's November 28th, the date on which Panama commemorates its independence from Spain.
To celebrate these two important days in Panama's history, take this tour of the central american country that offers visitors vast ocean views of both the Atlantic and the Pacific, eco-tourism through its lush rain forests, cultural encounters with traditional wear and indigenous people that call this literal “bridge of the americas” home.
Start the adventure below!: