de Veraguas, PANAMA
Veraguas is located
in the central provinces area of the Republic
of Panama, it has the Caribbean Sea to the
north and the Pacific Ocean to the South.
To the east it has Colon, Cocle, Herrera and
Los Santos and to the west it has Chiriqui
and Bocas del Toro. It is made up of 11 districts:
Atalaya, Calobre, Cañazas, La Mesa,
Las Palmas, Montijo, Río de Jesús,
San Francisco, Santa Fe, Santiago and Soná.
Its name comes from the term "Veracua",
which is how the indigenous people called
this territory. It is also the only province
in the republic that touches both oceans,
and it has a great diversity of flora and
fauna in its jungles and mountains.
Santiago being the capital
of Veraguas is still a small town vibrant in
traffic with a recent increase in banks like
Banco General, Multi Credit Bank, BanIstmo,
Caja de Ahorros, Banco Nacional de Panama and
Credit Corp Bank among others. Presently the
city has about 55 thousand inhabitants.
Veraguas has for a
long time being a gateway to Chiriqui.
It is almost always a stop for travelers going
to and coming from Chiriqui. There is a McDonalds
(very clean by the way) on the main highway
and a KFC restaurant there.
Santiago, is also a marketing centre
for the rice, coffee, corn, livestock,
and other products from the hinterland. It
also has a modern bus terminal, where you
can find buses to take you to the different
cities around the country. The buses to Panama
City leave every 30 minutes during the daytime.
An airport is being built now to accomodate
people wishing to fly in instead of driving.
The city's saint is apostle Santiago,
and it celebrates on the 25th of July every
year with catholic walks, parades ,parties
and other religious activities that take a
turn to show off folkloric customs . This
celebration is not just a religious celebration
but also an opportunity to celebrate the history
of the town and its legacy in the panamanian
Thousands of people
flock yearly to nearby Atalaya to
celebrate the Cristo de Atalaya, better known
as Jesus of Nazareth, to give thanks and to
ask spiritual, physical or material favors.
Some drive, some walk, some crawl and some
get there by taking 2 steps forwards and 3
steps backwards, sometimes taking almost a
week to get there.
The celebrations start the
day after carnivals end and go on until sunday
of that week. The local priest who is appointed
to the Basilica Menor de Jesus de Nazareno
at Atalaya, says that there are at least 200
thousand people who come to the district from
different parts of the country and abroad.
Santiago has about 15 hotels, 5 motels, more
than 60 restaurants and some 20 places for
The people of Santiago are simple and joyous
people who are glad to help tourists in any
way they can.