The city of Cartagena, known in the colonial era as Cartagena de Indias, is a major port founded in 1533, located on the northern coast of Colombia in the Caribbean Coast Region. It was strategically located between the Magdalena and Sinú rivers and became the main port for trade between Spain and its overseas empire, establishing its importance by the early 1540s. During the colonial era it was a key port for the export of Peruvian silver to Spain and for the import of enslaved Africans under the asiento system, it was defensible against pirate attacks in the Caribbean. It is the capital of the Bolívar Department, had a population 971,592 as of 2016, it is the second largest in the region, after Barranquilla. The urban area of Cartagena is the fifth-largest urban area in the country. Economic activities include petrochemicals industries, as well as tourism; the city was founded on June 1, 1533, named after Cartagena, settlement in the region around Cartagena Bay by various indigenous people dates back to 4000 BC.
During the Spanish colonial period Cartagena served a key role in administration and expansion of the Spanish empire. It was a center of political and economic activity. In 1984, Cartagena's colonial walled city and fortress were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site; the Puerto Hormiga Culture, found in the Caribbean coast region in the area from the Sinú River Delta to the Cartagena Bay, appears to be the first documented human community in what is now Colombia. Archaeologists estimate that around 4000 BC, the formative culture was located near the boundary between the present-day departments of Bolívar and Sucre. In this area, archaeologists have found the most ancient ceramic objects of the Americas, dating from around 4000 BC; the primary reason for the proliferation of primitive societies in this area is thought to have been the relative mildness of climate and the abundance of wildlife, which allowed the hunting inhabitants a comfortable life. Archaeological investigations date the decline of the Puerto Hormiga culture and its related settlements to around 3000 BC.
The rise of a much more developed culture, the Monsú, who lived at the end of the Dique Canal near today's Cartagena neighborhoods Pasacaballos and Ciénaga Honda at the northernmost part of Barú Island, has been hypothesized. The Monsú culture appears to have inherited the Puerto Hormiga culture's use of the art of pottery and to have developed a mixed economy of agriculture and basic manufacture; the Monsú people's diet was based on shellfish and fresh and salt-water fish. The development of the Sinú society in what is today the departments of Córdoba and Sucre, eclipsed these first developments around the Cartagena Bay area; until the Spanish colonization, many cultures derived from the Karib and Arawak language families lived along the Colombian Caribbean coast. In the late pre-Columbian era, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta was home to the Tayrona people, whose language was related to the Chibcha language family. Around 1500 the area was inhabited by different tribes of the Carib language family, more the Mocanae sub-family.
Mocana villages of the Carib people around the Bay of Cartagena included: on sandy island facing the ocean in what is present-day downtown: Kalamarí on the island of Tierrabomba: Carex on Isla Barú a peninsula: Bahaire on present-day Mamonal, the eastern coast of the exterior bay: Cospique in the suburban area of Turbaco: Yurbaco TribeHeredia found these settlements, "...largely surrounded with the heads of dead men placed on stakes."Some subsidiary tribes of the Kalamari lived in today's neighborhood of Pie de la Popa, other subsidiaries from the Cospique lived in the Membrillal and Pasacaballos areas. Among these, according to the earliest documents available, the Kalamari had preeminence; these tribes, though physically and administratively separated, shared a common architecture, such as hut structures consisting of circular rooms with tall roofs, which were surrounded by defensive wooden palisades. Rodrigo de Bastidas traveled to the Pearl Coast and the Gulf of Uraba in 1500–01. On 14 February 1504, Ferdinand V contracted Juan de la Cosa's voyage to Uraba.
However, Juan de la Cosa died in 1510 along with 300 of Alonso de Ojeda's men, after an armed confrontation with indigenous people, before Juan de la Cosa could get possession of the Gulf of Urabá area. Similar contracts were signed in 1508 with Diego de Nicuesa for the settlement of Veragua and with Alonso de Ojeda for the settlement of Uraba, "where gold had been obtained on earlier voyages," according to Floyd. After the failed effort to find Antigua del Darién in 1506 by Alonso de Ojeda and the subsequent unsuccessful founding of San Sebastián de Urabá in 1517 by Diego de Nicuesa, the southern Caribbean coast became unattractive to colonizers, they preferred Cuba. Although the royal control point for trade, the Casa de Contratación gave permission to Rodrigo de Bastidas to again conduct an expedition as adelantado to this area, Bastidas explored the coast and sighted the Magdalena River Delta in his first journey from Guajira to the south in 1527, a trip that ended in the Gulf of Urabá, the location of the failed first settlements.
De Nicuesa and De Ojeda noted the existence of a big bay on the way from Santo Domingo to Urabá and the Panama isthmus, that encouraged Bastidas to investigate. Under contract to Queen Joanna of Castile, Pedro de Heredia entered the Bay of Cartagena with three ships, a lighter, 150 men, 22 horses, on 14 January 1533, he soon found. Proceeding onwards to Turbaco, where Juan
Panama Canal Railway
The Panama Canal Railway is a railway line linking the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean in Central America. The route stretches 47.6 miles across the Isthmus of Panama from Colón to Balboa. Because of the difficult physical conditions of the route and state of technology, the construction was renowned as an international engineering achievement, one that cost US$8 million and the lives of an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 workers. Opened in 1855, the railway preceded the Panama Canal by half a century. Known as the Panama Railroad Company when founded in the 19th century, today it is operated as Panama Canal Railway Company. Since 1998 it has been jointly owned by Kansas City Southern and Mi-Jack Products and leased to the government of Panama; the Panama Canal Railway provides both freight and passenger service. The principal incentive for the United States to build the rail line was the vast increase in passenger and freight traffic to California following the 1849 California Gold Rush; the United States Congress had provided subsidies to companies to operate mail and passenger steamships on the coasts, supported some funds for construction of the railroad, which began in 1850.
Referred to as an inter-oceanic railroad when it opened, it was also described by some as representing a "transcontinental" railroad, despite transversing only the narrow isthmus connecting the North and South American continents. For a time the Panama Railroad owned and operated ocean-going ships that provided mail and passenger service to a few major East Coast and West Coast cities, respectively; the infrastructure of this railroad was of vital importance to the construction of the Panama Canal over a parallel route half a century later. The Spanish improved what they called the Camino Real, the Las Cruces trail and maintained for transportation of cargo and passengers across the Isthmus of Panama; these were the main routes across the isthmus for more than three centuries. By the 19th century businessmen thought it was time to develop a cheaper and faster alternative. Railroad technology had developed in the early 19th century. Given the cost and difficulty of constructing a canal with the available technology, a railway seemed the ideal solution.
President Bolívar of La Gran Colombia commissioned a study into the possibility of building a railway from Chagres to the town of Panama City. This study was carried out between 1829, just as railroads were being invented; the report stated. However, the idea was shelved. In 1836, United States President Andrew Jackson commissioned a study of proposed routes for inter-oceanic communication in order to protect the interests of Americans traveling between the oceans and those living in the developing Oregon Country of the Pacific Northwest; the United States acquired a franchise for a trans-Isthmian railroad. In 1838 a French company was given a concession for the construction of a road, rail, or canal route across the isthmus. An initial engineering study recommended a sea-level canal from Limón Bay to the bay of Boca del Monte, 12 miles west of Panama; the proposed project collapsed for lack of funding needed. Following the United States' acquisition of Alta California in 1846 and the Oregon Territory in 1848, following the Mexican–American War and with the prospective movement of many more settlers to and from the West Coast, the United States again turned its attention to securing a safe and speedy link between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
In 1846 the United States signed a treaty with Colombia by which the United States guaranteed Colombian sovereignty over Panama and was authorized to build a railroad or canal at the Panamanian isthmus, guaranteeing its open transit. In 1847, a year before gold was discovered in California, Congress authorized subsidies to run two lines of mail and passenger steamships, one in the Atlantic and one in the Pacific; the Atlantic lines ran from New York City, Havana and New Orleans, Louisiana, to Panama's Chagres River on the Caribbean Sea, at a $300,000 subsidy. The proposed Pacific line ran with three steamships from Panama City, Panama to California and Oregon on the Pacific Coast, at a $200,000 subsidy. None of the steamships used in the Pacific was built. In 1847, the east–west transit across the isthmus was by native dugout canoe up the dangerous Chagres River. Travelers had to go overland by mules for the final 20 miles over the old Spanish trails; the trails had fallen into serious disrepair after some 50 years of no maintenance.
A transit from the Atlantic to the Pacific or vice versa would take four to eight days by dugout canoe and mule. The transit was fraught with dangers, travelers were subject to contracting tropical diseases along the way. William H. Aspinwall, the man who had won the bid for the building and operating the Pacific mail steamships, conceived a plan to construct a railway across the isthmus, he and his partners created a company registered in New York, the Panama Railroad Company, raised $1,000,000 from the sale of stock, hired companies to conduct engineering and route studies. Their venture ha
Panama the Republic of Panama, is a country in Central America, bordered by Costa Rica to the west, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the south. The capital and largest city is Panama City, whose metropolitan area is home to nearly half the country's 4 million people. Panama was inhabited by indigenous tribes before Spanish colonists arrived in the 16th century, it broke away from Spain in 1821 and joined the Republic of Gran Colombia, a union of Nueva Granada and Venezuela. After Gran Colombia dissolved in 1831, Panama and Nueva Granada became the Republic of Colombia. With the backing of the United States, Panama seceded from Colombia in 1903, allowing the construction of the Panama Canal to be completed by the US Army Corps of Engineers between 1904 and 1914; the 1977 Torrijos–Carter Treaties led to the transfer of the Canal from the United States to Panama on December 31, 1999. Revenue from canal tolls continues to represent a significant portion of Panama's GDP, although commerce and tourism are major and growing sectors.
It is regarded as a high-income country. In 2015 Panama ranked 60th in the world in terms of the Human Development Index. In 2018, Panama was ranked seventh-most competitive economy in Latin America, according to the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Index. Covering around 40 percent of its land area, Panama's jungles are home to an abundance of tropical plants and animals – some of them found nowhere else on the planet. Panama is a founding member of the United Nations and other international organizations such as OAS, LAIA, G77, WHO and NAM; the definite origin of the name Panama is unknown. There are several theories. One postulates that the country was named after a found species of tree. Another that the first settlers arrived in Panama in August, when butterflies abound, that the name means "many butterflies" in one or several of indigenous Amerindian languages that were spoken in the territory prior to Spanish colonization. Most scientifically corroborated theory, that by Panamanian linguists, states that the word is a hispanicization of Kuna language word "bannaba" which means "distant" or "far away".
A relayed legend in Panama is that there was a fishing village that bore the name "Panamá", which purportedly meant "an abundance of fish", when the Spanish colonizers first landed in the area. The exact location of the village is unspecified; the legend is corroborated by Captain Antonio Tello de Guzmán's diary entries, who reports landing at an unnamed village while exploring the Pacific coast of Panama in 1515. In 1517, Don Gaspar de Espinosa, a Spanish lieutenant, decided to settle a post in the same location Guzmán described. In 1519, Pedrarias Dávila decided to establish the Spanish Empire's Pacific port at the site; the new settlement replaced Santa María La Antigua del Darién, which had lost its function within the Crown's global plan after the Spanish exploitation of the riches in the Pacific began. The official definition and origin of the name as promoted by Panama's Ministry of Education is the "abundance of fish and butterflies"; this is the usual description given in social studies textbooks.
At the time of the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century, the known inhabitants of Panama included the Cuevas and the Coclé tribes. These people have nearly disappeared; the Isthmus of Panama was formed about three million years ago when the land bridge between North and South America became complete, plants and animals crossed it in both directions. The existence of the isthmus affected the dispersal of people and technology throughout the American continent from the appearance of the first hunters and collectors to the era of villages and cities; the earliest discovered artifacts of indigenous peoples in Panama include Paleo-Indian projectile points. Central Panama was home to some of the first pottery-making in the Americas, for example the cultures at Monagrillo, which date back to 2500–1700 BC; these evolved into significant populations best known through their spectacular burials at the Monagrillo archaeological site, their beautiful Gran Coclé style polychrome pottery. The monumental monolithic sculptures at the Barriles site are important traces of these ancient isthmian cultures.
Before Europeans arrived Panama was settled by Chibchan and Cueva peoples. The largest group were the Cueva; the size of the indigenous population of the isthmus at the time of European colonization is uncertain. Estimates range as high as two million people, but more recent studies place that number closer to 200,000. Archaeological finds and testimonials by early European explorers describe diverse native isthmian groups exhibiting cultural variety and suggesting people developed by regular regional routes of commerce; when Panama was colonized, the indigenous peoples fled into nearby islands. Scholars believe that infectious disease was the primary cause of the population decline of American natives; the indigenous peoples had no acquired immunity to diseases, chronic in Eurasian populations for centuries. Rodrigo de Bastidas sailed westward from Venezuela in 1501 in search of gold, became the first European to explore the isthmus of Panama. A year Christopher Columbus visited the isthmus, established a short-lived settlement in the Darien.
Vasco Núñez de Balboa's tortuous
Colombia the Republic of Colombia, is a sovereign state situated in the northwest of South America, with territories in Central America. Colombia shares a border to the northwest with Panama, to the east with Venezuela and Brazil and to the south with Ecuador and Peru, it shares its maritime limits with Costa Rica, Honduras, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. Colombia is a unitary, constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments, with the capital in Bogota. Colombia has been inhabited by various indigenous peoples since 12,000 BCE, including the Muisca and the Tairona, along with the Inca Empire that expanded to the southwest of the country; the Spanish arrived in 1499 and by the mid-16th century conquered and colonized much of the region, establishing the New Kingdom of Granada, with Santafé de Bogotá as its capital. Independence from Spain was achieved in 1819, but by 1830 the "Gran Colombia" Federation was dissolved, with what is now Colombia and Panama emerging as the Republic of New Granada.
The new nation experimented with federalism as the Granadine Confederation, the United States of Colombia, before the Republic of Colombia was declared in 1886. Panama seceded in 1903. Beginning in the 1960s, the country suffered from an asymmetric low-intensity armed conflict and rampant political violence, both of which escalated in the 1990s. Since 2005, there has been significant improvement in security and rule of law. Colombia is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse countries in the world, with its rich cultural heritage reflecting influences by indigenous peoples, European settlement, forced African migration, immigration from Europe and the Middle East. Urban centres are located in the highlands of the Andes mountains and the Caribbean coast. Colombia is among the world's 17 megadiverse countries, the most densely biodiverse per square kilometer. Colombia is a middle power and regional actor in Latin America, it is part of the CIVETS group of six leading emerging markets and a member of the UN, the WTO, the OAS, the Pacific Alliance, other international organizations.
Colombia's diversified economy is the fourth largest in Latin America, with macroeconomic stability and favorable long-term growth prospects. The name "Colombia" is derived from the last name of Christopher Columbus, it was conceived by the Venezuelan revolutionary Francisco de Miranda as a reference to all the New World, but to those portions under Spanish rule. The name was adopted by the Republic of Colombia of 1819, formed from the territories of the old Viceroyalty of New Granada; when Venezuela and Cundinamarca came to exist as independent states, the former Department of Cundinamarca adopted the name "Republic of New Granada". New Granada changed its name in 1858 to the Granadine Confederation. In 1863 the name was again changed, this time to United States of Colombia, before adopting its present name – the Republic of Colombia – in 1886. To refer to this country, the Colombian government uses the terms Colombia and República de Colombia. Owing to its location, the present territory of Colombia was a corridor of early human migration from Mesoamerica and the Caribbean to the Andes and Amazon basin.
The oldest archaeological finds are from the Pubenza and El Totumo sites in the Magdalena Valley 100 kilometres southwest of Bogotá. These sites date from the Paleoindian period. At Puerto Hormiga and other sites, traces from the Archaic Period have been found. Vestiges indicate that there was early occupation in the regions of El Abra and Tequendama in Cundinamarca; the oldest pottery discovered in the Americas, found at San Jacinto, dates to 5000–4000 BCE. Indigenous people inhabited the territory, now Colombia by 12,500 BCE. Nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes at the El Abra, Tibitó and Tequendama sites near present-day Bogotá traded with one another and with other cultures from the Magdalena River Valley. Between 5000 and 1000 BCE, hunter-gatherer tribes transitioned to agrarian societies. Beginning in the 1st millennium BCE, groups of Amerindians including the Muisca, Zenú, Tairona developed the political system of cacicazgos with a pyramidal structure of power headed by caciques; the Muisca inhabited the area of what is now the Departments of Boyacá and Cundinamarca high plateau where they formed the Muisca Confederation.
They farmed maize, potato and cotton, traded gold, blankets, ceramic handicrafts and rock salt with neighboring nations. The Tairona inhabited northern Colombia in the isolated mountain range of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta; the Quimbaya inhabited regions of the Cauca River Valley between the Western and Central Ranges of the Colombian Andes. Most of the Amerindians practiced agriculture and the social structure of each indigenous community was different; some groups of indigenous people such as the Caribs lived in a state of permanent war, but others had less bellicose attitudes. The Incas expanded their empire onto the southwest part of the country. Alonso de Ojeda reached the Guajira Peninsula in 1499. Spanish explorers, led by Rodrigo de Bastidas, made the first exploration