The historical memory of the Panama Canal is a global, loca,l and family plot. From the beginning of the movement of goods through the Camino Real to the transit of Neopanamax ships, the route links Panama to the world. The interoceanic waterway serves 180 maritime routes connecting every continent on Earth. Its recent expansion renewed its status as a major player in world trade.
For Panamanians, the Canal represents their greatest pride and their best fought struggle. History and art narrate this period of the Panamanian nation with passion in countless literary and audiovisual pieces. The image of bloodied young men in uniform fuels the flame of an idealistic and daring “Panamanianness”. The Canal raises the self-esteem of the Panamanian.
But this epic has also left effects in the intimacy of homes and souls. The intense migrations caused by the construction enriched the community and family fabric; the stories of great-grandparents and grandparents who survived those days are part of our personal narrative.
That combination of spheres makes the memory of the Canal an intricate weave.
In this edition of El Faro, we will emphasize the strength of this heritage. A tour of the cemeteries of El Chorrillo will bring us back to the awareness of the literal existence of the heroes of the homeland, our ancestors. We will see the ritual of throwing rose petals into the waters of Corte Culebra to honor that memory that makes our families proud. The inauguration of the IV Citizen Action Laboratory is the bet that the youth of today will be the expected change.
The memory of the construction and defense of the Canal will give us the energy to make this plot grow. To make family pride grow. To protect the Canal’s water, its institutionality and its maintenance. If we succeed, those of us who inherited the struggle will also make history.
Marianela Dengo de de Obaldía
Vice President of Communication and Corporate Image
Image credit: Ricardo Vargas.