Panama is more than just a canal; it is an S-shaped isthmus - linking Mexico with South America. It is 80 km across at its narrowest point and 193 km at its widest point.
The canal has a checked history. Started by the Ferdinand de Lesseps in 1882 it went bankrupt in 1893 and was completed by the Americans in 1914 who ran the canal until 1999 when they handed it back to the Panamanian authorities. The Panama Canal is a feat of civil engineering, which connects the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean. It is 67km long and lifts ocean going liners 26m to Lago Gatún.
The national language is Spanish, but English is widely spoken.
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