|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
Provincia de Colón
|— Province —|
|Capital city||Colón City|
|• Total||4,575.5 km2 (1,766.6 sq mi)|
|• Density||53/km2 ( 140/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Eastern Time (UTC-5)|
|ISO 3166 code||PA-1|
This province has traditionally been focused in commerce (through the Colón Free Zone, Panama Canal and its banking activities), but also has natural resources that are being developed as tourist attraction, such as coral reefs and rainforests. During the Spanish colonial period, the Colon region of Panama was the center of trade, commerce, and overall economy for the Spanish. They imported many black African slaves to this area to work in Panama and to ship to other Spaniard colonies.
Most of the black population in Panama is centered in the Province of Colon. Panama has two distinct groups of blacks. The first and earliest blacks were those who came as slaves as early as the fifteenth century, through much of the nineteenth century. They are of mixed African and Spanish descent. This group is known as Cimarrones, Afro Colonials, Nativos, Playeros, Congos. These terms have proven crucial in establishing that these are the first and original blacks of the Republic of Panama. Afro Colonials have held on to their culture and adopted Hispanic customs, traits, and cultures. They took and assumed Spanish names and surnames. They also developed the beginning of Panama's black population and culture, in pure and in mixed forms. They have been incorporated into Panamanian and Spanish-speaking society, as a result.
In the nineteenth century, beginning as early as the 1840s, blacks from the Caribbean and West Indies immigrated to Panama to assist to build the Panama Railway and the Panama Canal. Later many blacks from all over the Caribbean and West Indies, especially from Jamaica and Barbados, settled here between the years of 1880 and 1920 to build the Panama Canal. Many later settled in the Colon Province. This group of Caribbean and/or West Indian origin are called Afro Antillanos by the Hispanic Panamanians. They have assimilated to the Hispanic culture and Panama as well as holding on to aspects of their descent and culture. They have influenced the cuisine and music of Panama. Most importantly, their influence on music, especially from those of Jamaican descent invented and created Reggaeton.
The province is divided in 5 districts.
- Colón District and the capital Colón City. Corregimientos include Barrio Norte, Barrio Sur, Buena Vista, Cativá, Ciricito, Sabanitas, Salamanca, Limón, Nueva Providencia, Puerto Pilón, Cristóbal, Escobal, San Juan and Santa Rosa.
- Chagres District. Corregimientos include Nuevo Chagres (capital), Achiote, El Guabo, La Encantada, Palmas Bellas, Piña and Salud.
- Donoso District. Corregimientos include Miguel de la Borda (capital), Coclé del Norte, El Guásimo, Gobea, Río Indio and San José del Genera.
- Portobelo District. Corregimientos include Portobelo (capital), Cacique, Garrote, Isla Grande and María Chiquita.
- Santa Isabel District. Corregimientos include Santa Isabel (capital), Palenque, Cuango, Miramar, Nombre de Dios, Palmira, Playa Chiquita and Viento Frío.