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Nombre de Dios
Nombre de Dios, translated to Spanish as “Name of God,” is a city located in the Colón Province, on the Atlantic Coast. The city was founded in 1510 as a Spanish colony by conquistador Diego de Nicuesa as one of the first settlements in the New World and is currently the oldest city in Panama. Notable pirate Francis Drake ransacked Nombre de Dios fairly easily in 1572 due to its lack of fortification and soon thereafter lost its luster to the then-blooming city of Portobelo.
Coco Solo was settled in 1918 on the Atlantic Ocean area corresponding to the Panama Canal Zone in the province of Colón. It was first utilized by the United States Navy as a submarine base, additionally serving as a Naval Aviation Facility during World War II. After the war the base was underutilized until the 1980’s, when it started being used as a residential/administrative area for the country’s Galeta Island facility. In present day, Coco Solo is the home to the Manzanillo International Terminal, the largest of its kind in the region.
The town of Chagres is located in the Colón province, with a natural harbor that is admittedly very difficult to get to (it has a varying depth of 1-10 feet!). Discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1502 during one of his travels, The Chagres sea port filled the void left by the decline of Portobelo as an attractive harbor for ships in the 18th century, and was instrumental to the Gold Rush in 1849.
Galeta Island is located east of Colón City. The island is located on the country’s Atlantic Coast, and it used to be the home of a U.S. Army communications facility in the early 1930’s until 2002, when it was turned over to the Republic of Panama as per the stipulations of the Torrijos-Carter treaties. It is currently the site of a Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute facility
The town of Gatún is located on the Atlantic side of the country south of Colón City where Gatún Lake meets with the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. The town is located in the province of Colón, Republic of Panama. Gatún used to be part of the Panama Canal Zone until the area was reverted to the Republic of Panama thanks to the Torrijos-Carter treaties of 1979. Gatún (the town) is the site of the Gatún Locks and Gatún Dam, both part of the Panama Canal.
Filed under: Colón on June 3rd, 2008