Penonomé, Coclé

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Penonomé Church
Penonomé Church
Penonomé is located in Panama
Coordinates: 8°31′07″N 80°21′19″W / 8.518722°N 80.355291°W / 8.518722; -80.355291Coordinates: 8°31′07″N 80°21′19″W / 8.518722°N 80.355291°W / 8.518722; -80.355291
Country Panama
Province Coclé
District Penonomé
Founded 1581
 • Land 53 km2 (20 sq mi)
Elevation 70 m (230 ft)
Population (2010)[1][2]
 • City 21,748
 • Density 410.7/km2 (1,064/sq mi)
 • Metro 88,143
  Population density calculated based on land area.
Time zone EST (UTC−5)

Penonomé (Spanish pronunciation: [penonoˈme]) is the capital of the Panamanian province of Coclé. The town is located along the Inter-American Highway in the wide, flat lowlands of central Coclé.[3]



Penonomé was founded in 1581.[4] The name of this town comes from the words "penó Nomé". Nomé was a chief of a local Native American tribe who resisted the Spanish conquistadores and was put to death by colonial officials. "Penó Nomé" means "Nomé was punished."[5][6] The town was the capital of Panama for a short period after Panama City was sacked by Henry Morgan in 1671.[4]

The town is home to many descendants of Turkish, Chinese, and Arab immigrants.[3] Its population as of 1990 was 12,117; its population as of 2000 was 15,841.[1]

Local legend[edit]

Local legend (unknown origin) has it that Penonomé was a chieftain in love with an indigenous woman named Zaratí. His tribe didn't want him to marry and so told him that his beloved had drowned. Trying desperately and without success to find her, he threw himself from a bluff, crying out "I'm coming Zara!" Hence the names of the Zaratí River and Penonomé ("Penó Nomé" in Spanish meaning "Nomé mourned", with subject and verb inverted).[citation needed]


The Catedral de Penonomé and the municipal government office (Casa de Gobierno) are located on the town's central plaza.[3] The town also has a small museum, El Museo de Penonomé, which is often closed.[3] The town has two main shopping streets, Avenida Juan Demóstenes Arosemena and the Inter-American Highway along the edge of town.[3]


Penonomé is served by buses to many locations in Panama.[3]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Cuadro 11 (Superficie, población y densidad de población en la República...)" [Table 11 (Area, population, and population density in the Republic...)] (.xls). In "Resultados Finales Básicos" [Basic Final Results] (in Spanish). National Institute of Statistics and Census of Panama. Retrieved May 26, 2015. 
  2. ^ Contraloría General de la República, Censo 2010 (Spanish)
  3. ^ a b c d e f Friar, William. Panama. Moon Publications (2008), p. 236–37. ISBN 159880085X.
  4. ^ a b Katzman, Patricia. Panama. Hunter Publishing (2006), p. 162. ISBN 978-1-58843-529-3.
  5. ^ Panama Now. Focus Publications (1986), p. 19. OCLC 15925937.
  6. ^ Jackson, Eric (2003). "Victoriano Lorenzo, a century after his execution". The Panama News. Archived from the original on 17 oct 2003.  Check date values in: |archive-date= (help)

External links[edit]

Media related to Penonomé at Wikimedia Commons