Is Panama part of Central America?

Firstly, we will look at the difference in the Independence Days:

  • Independence Day in Panama is on November 3, in Central America (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica) is on September 15th.

Geographically, Panama is a part of isthmus, but historically Panama is quite different from the rest of of Central America.

Every September 15 the Central American nations of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica celebrate their independence from Spain while Panama does not.

Panama celebrates it’s Independence from Colombia, on November 3rd, as from 1821 until 1903, Panama was part of Gran Colombia (a republic that also included modern-day Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador).
However, Panama wanted independence from Gran Colombia.

Panama is not part of the original Central American Federation, and if you ask anyone in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica to name the constituent countries of Central America then Panama is unlikely to be amongst the answers. Also, you will see “Centroamerica” on license plates in all five countries, which you won’t see in Panama.

Spanish Rule

During Spanish rule, Panama was part of the Viceroyalty of Peru, governed from Lima, and after the Spanish divided up the vast Viceroyalty of Peru, Panama was a part of Colombia in is different forms.

In the meantime, the rest of Central America was part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, administered from Mexico.

The Captaincy General of Guatemala, an administrative division of New Spain, comprised five of the modern Central American countries (Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Costa Rica).

History of Panama Independence

In 1819, New Granada finally achieved freedom from Spain and Panama and the other regions of former New Granada were technically free.

Panama considered a union with south America or with Central America, but Venezuela’s Simon Bolivar persuaded Panama to join the south, and In 1821, Panama declared independence and joined the southern federation.

Panama was part of the Republic of Colombia. In September 1831 forming a territory slightly larger that present Panama and Colombia combined, adopting the name Republic of New Granada. The alliance lasted 70 years.

In 1903, when, with the support of the U.S. government, Panama issues a declaration of independence from Colombia which was engineered by a Panamanian faction backed by the Panama Canal Company, a French-U.S. corporation that hoped to connect the Atlantic and Pacific oceans with a waterway across the Isthmus of Panama.

On November 6, 1903, the U.S. recognized the Republic of Panama, and on November 18 the Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty was signed with Panama, granting the United States exclusive and permanent possession of the Panama Canal Zone.

In Summary

Centroamerica is a political concept, a political union, while America Central is geographic.

Contact us for further information about Panama part of Central America.