Operation Just Cause

A brief history of Colonel Chris Miller's experiences in Panama

Assault on Rio Hato : Howard AFB : Tour the AOR : Write Me

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Panama has a long history of association with the United States dating back to before the Panama Canal. The United States, under Theodore Roosevelt, needed the canal built to provide a shortcut between the Atlantic and Pacific for use by the US Navy and merchant shipping traffic. At the time, Panama was a province of Columbia. The United States backed an independence movement that eventually resulted in Panama becoming its own country. Immediately following independence, the USA negotiated a contract with the new country to dig the canal and grant the United States a military presence in the canal zone.

Satellite Photo of the Canal Zone
Despite (or in addition to) the military and commercial advantages of this arrangement, the military bases in the canal zone provided a wonderful jump-off location for Americans to visit this beautiful country. The canal itself has always been a big tourist draw, being one of the man-made wonders of the modern world. However, the natural beauty of the forests and beaches of Panama is also a tremendous lure.
City of Melia in the Canal Zone Hotel Colon in Melia Cana Parque Nacional Darien (by Willy Diggelmann)
Remains of abandoned British gold mine
With its huge expanses of tropical rainforest, the Isthmus of Panama is one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world. Its unique ecology stems in part from its connection to two continents.
Spanish Ruins in the Canal Zone Perlas Islands in the Free Trade Zone Baru Volcano
Birds are a primary indicator of biodiversity and Panama takes a grand prize: it has 936 species of birds, more than the United States and Canada combined. Until 1996 Panama held the Audubon Society's world record for identifying the most species of birds in a single day - 357 species were counted in one 24-hour period.
There are 125 animal species found only in Panama, and many kinds of animals can be seen including: tapirs, caiman, monkeys, sloths, jungle cats, deer, bats, possums, etc. Panama is also privileged to be home to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), the world's primary tropical scientific investigation center, which has been cataloging and monitoring this vast ecological heritage for nearly a century.
Capuchin Monkey Two-toed Sloth Coati Mundi

Photos from www.e-virtualservices.com/CT2Panama/monkeys.htm

EcoCircuitos is currently involved in projects of community assistance and is a contributor to environmental causes. They believe that tourism offers unique opportunities to improve the lives of Panama’s indigenous groups and local people, as well as unsurpassable experiences for the adventure traveler.

E-Mail Last updated on 23 May 2006 by Chris Miller Go Top

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