Panama

Capital: Panama City

Official Language: Spanish

Population: +3.8 Million

Government: Constitutional Democracy

Currency: US dollar (referred to as Balboas)

Major Industries: Pharmaceutic Medicines, Petroleum, Transportation, Brewing, Paper Products, Furniture, Textiles, Sugar Milling.

Major Trading Partners: U.S.A., Spain, Costa Rica, Mexico, Colombia, Netherlands

 

Culture

Canglon, Panama - Anju Nair

On one of the last few days of the 2016 Winter Panama brigade, the community members brought supplies and taught the brigadiers how to make Panamanian tamales. Each brigadier got to wrap their own tamale in a banana leaf and tie it down with a string. The community members were very excited to teach and clapped whenever a brigadier finished making their tamale. In the indigenous community, there was a cultural exchange on the last day. They shared dances, and at the end they taught the dances to the brigadiers so they could dance with the community members. The women dressed in their traditional skirts which were available for purchase at the end. The women also drew tattoos that were made out of some sort of seed. They showed hand crafts and creations they made out of the nature around them. There were many wood carvings. For our meal in the indigenous community, we got arroz con pollo, which is a traditional Panamanian dish

Safety

Zika Virus

As of December 2015, there have been 4 confirmed cases of Zika infection in Panama. The Zika virus was first identified in the 1950s, however it was not until 2015 that cases of infection were discovered in the Americas. As a club, Global Business Brigades understands the concerns of parents. We would like to reassure everyone that our parent organization Global Brigades (an NGO) monitors this epidemic and would not send students into affected areas. During the ebola outbreak, Global Brigades ceased operations in Ghana despite there being no outbreaks in the country or any of its neighboring countries. Please understand the precaution and planning that goes into each brigade.

Accomodations

Fundacion Pro Ninos de Darien

Brigaders stayed in a room with bunk beds and a shared bathroom. The small living space is part of the reason bridgaders bond so quickly, you are always around each other. It was meant mainly for smaller children and was established by a priest. At times there may be water shortages and power outages. There is a very kind staff around to cook meals, an open field for soccer games, and a small hut for team meetings and late night card games. Behind the living space there is a large farm and forest area where a hike can be taken if accompanied by the GB staff due to the howler monkeys that can be heard in the early morning. There is also a small playground that hasn't been used in a while.