Editorial Dept. Voz de la Diaspora
In this month of the Fatherland we relive stories and legacies of emblematic places of Panama, transformed today into communities, as in the case of the Panama Pacific Special Economic Area.
Howard's aerated exbase, current Panama Pacific, consists of 1,400 hectares of land and like the rest of the North American military bases in Panama, it was established at the beginning of the 20th century to guarantee the security of the recently built interoceanic highway..
These bases remained in force until the signing of the Torrijos-Carter treaties in 1977, which established that all territories, both military and civilian who were under the jurisdiction of the United States, they would revert to Panama, gradually until the year 2000.
“Howard's base, Being a facility that managed a military airport, it is one of the last stages in the evolution of the defense systems of the Panama Canal ”, Katti Osorio points out, National Director of Cultural Heritage of Panama.
In the case of this old base, we find the bunkers that are preserved in the area. Interesting places to visit, live with them, and even do photo shoots, taking advantage of these historical tourism scenarios.
Among them, highlights the Baterry Murray Bunker, build in 1942, named after General Arthur Murray, member of the Inspection Group of Fortresses of the Panama Canal of the United States Navy Joint Army. In its beginnings this bunker had two cannons of 16 inches that protected the Panama Canal and Fort Bruja Hill, what we know today as Panama Pacifico.
El Telegraph Hill, route used by the military of the time during their practices for training, is another place to visit.
El Trillo Tití is another interesting place to know. Formerly used for US Army maneuvers, it is now an adventure trail for 6 kilometers full of flora and fauna typical of the area for cycling tours, running or walking. Each step or pedal takes you to an unmatched connection with nature. The 55% The area where Panama Pacifico is located is a humid tropical forest with a biodiversity that includes more than 360 animal species.
In order to preserve these historical legacies, It is contemplated to encourage tourism in the area and coexistence around them.
Another structure that remains is the Olympic pool of the exbase, that remains in operation and is part of a gym installed in the area.
“An element that we must highlight is that the Panama Pacifico project has respected the regional plan that protects those vestiges of the old North American bases with a presence in our country.. Thus, the value of this special economic area remains incalculable ", affirms the National Director of Cultural Heritage of Panama.
Former US military bases have been widely featured in literary works, between them "The wings on Canal: Wings over de Canal. The Sixth Air Force” by author Dan Hagedorn. Also Dr. Stanley Heckadon of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute has highlighted the importance of the forest preservation of the bases and their vestiges that are faithful witnesses of a key moment in the history of Panama.
About Panama Pacifico
The Panama Pacific Special Economic Area, includes 1,400 hectares, more of 4,000 residents, where 300 multinational and national companies are part and more than 10,000 contributors, of which 90% They are Panamanian labor. A great connected and constantly growing community.