We´ve spent some time in Panama City. Nice place.. With many hotels, restaurants, skyscrapers, attractions and tourists of course:-) But, definitely, this town is not only about the famous Panama Canal. You can find soul and real life there, but you need to go on places, where you do not find tourists, just real people and real life.. They don´t have money, but they have heart and smile:-) Welcome in El Chorrillo!
One of the poorest areas in Panama
El Chorrillo was founded in 1915, when immigrants started settling down to work on the construction of the Panama Canal. The US Americans were living in a strictly separated zone, where locals were not allowed to go until the 1990. During the US Invasion in Panama, from Dec. 1989 to Jan. 1990, numerous people got killed and El Chorrillo was where most of the civilian casualties occurred. The poor neighborhood El Chorrillo has a bad reputation in Panama. It is widely known for social problems, crimes, violence and former gangs. It is one of the poorest areas in Panama with a population of about 20.000 people. But today it is a really interesting place where to go, but you need a local guide.
It is like entering another world within just a few minutes. There are apartment buildings, with colorful, but mostly old facades, where freshly washed clothes are hanging for drying. There’s the sports hall, where the famous boxer Roberto Duran trained.
The neighborhood is very lively, with children, people and Latin music in every corner.
Top tips before you visit El Chorrillo
- Not a lot of tourists (or Gringos) visit this area, so the locals looked at you quite surprised when they saw you. But they always greeted you friendly with a smile.
- There is police station and policemans on every corner.
- El Chorrillo is a safe place to walk around during a day, but you have to go there with someone, who knows this area, people there and local people know him. We met Victor, who is teaching children in El Chorrillo English language and tour with him was a real experience.
- The tour in El Chorrillo takes around 2 hours.