What does this mean for Panama? a huge change culturally and economically.
Panama has the amazing good fortune of having oceans to both sides of the country. However, when the main capital of the country grew in population and houses, infrastructure was left aside. In time, pollution of the bay, one of our finest beaches and entertainment sites became so common that we decided to forget about it and continue to grow with our backs towards the ocean.
In recent years the population gained concience of this important problem and have been lobbying government after government a way to re gain green areas and to clean the bay. Finally a master plan was approved, and slowly works have started. Today, great news came out in the papers: Panama got a 40 million financing to clean the bay. Didn´t even make it to the first page, but its positive impact is far more important than any of those news on the cover: a clean beach in the middle of the city. This alone has been the key for success in many other countries. Not to mention Miami Beach, our closest example. Keep in mind that according to the official news Panama grew 11.3% on it´s last trimester. Imagine the city with a great beach…! there´s even a surfable wave out there that only the very adventurous know about.
And what does this mean for Casco Viejo? very few remember the Casco is surrounded by water and small pockets of beaches. Even today, it is possible to spend lazy sunday afternoons at one of them… just don´t get in the water… All this will change soon. Imagine, not only living in a colonial city 5 minutes away from a cosmopolitan modern city, but having beaches walking distance from your home.