Panama Celebrates Its Bicentennial

Panama has planned a series of programs and events to commemorate 200 years of independence from Spain.

By Redacción Panorama de las Américas

Photos: Courtesy


Panamanians are celebrating 200 years of independence from Spain. The process through which the Isthmus of Panama broke its ties with the Iberian Empire took place from November 10 to 28, 1821, after 321 years of colonial rule.

To commemorate this important event, the “Panamanian 1821 Independence from Spain Bicentennial Commission” was created one year ago. The Commission, chaired by the Ministry of Culture, is made up of five public institutions and ten public figures well versed in topics such as history, research, anthropology, and sociology, as well as representatives from the public and private sectors, labor unions, and the Afro-descendant and indigenous communities, all of whom worked together to create an agenda of commemorative activities.

To ensure citizen participation and promote teamwork, subcommittees were formed to address various aspects of the bicentennial celebrations including Municipal Participation; National Events; Culture and Communication; Finance; Youth; Research and Documentation; Indigenous Peoples; Afro-descendants and Diversity; and Regional Integration. 


Projects and Activities

The Bicentennial Commission designed more than 200 activities, which kicked off in September 2020 with a competition to design the Bicentennial’s official logo. Artist Alberto Weand Ortiz’s winning design represents Panama’s various flags since colonial times, beginning with the Villa de los Santos flag (the site where the Isthmus launched its first cry for independence) and ending with the red, white, and blue flag that represents the current united and resilient nation.

On August 20, the 100-day countdown began, featuring at least one activity each day. In October, the “200 Wishes for Panama” campaign launched, inviting citizens to share their visions and wishes for Panama over the next 200 years. This November, the Commission invites you to visit these sites associated with this important date: Villa de Los Santos, where the independence struggle began two centuries ago; Plaza Catedral, which played a major role in the struggle; and Boquete (in Chiriquí) and Chorrera (western Panama), where parades and related activities are held every November 28.

A number of new history books have come out to mark the bicentennial celebration, including: “1821: Panamanian Independence and its Time,” by historian Alfredo Castillero Calvo; “Selected Works of Armando Fortune,” by sociologist, writer, and filmmaker Gerardo Maloney; and “Heraldry, Coats of Arms, and Blazons in Panama,” by Vladimir Berrio.

Remain up-to-date on all activities by following the Ministry of Culture of Panama on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. For more information on the Bicentennial Commission and its commemorative events, visit

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