. Situated on the isthmus
connecting North and South America
, it is bordered by Costa Rica
to the northwest, Colombia
to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea
to the north and the Pacific Ocean
to the south. The capital is Panama City
. Explored and settled by the Spanish in the 16th century, Panama broke with Spain
in 1821 and joined a union of Nueva Granada, Ecuador
, and Venezuela
– named the Republic of Gran Colombia
1519 Panama City, Panama, is founded.
1670 Henry Morgan captures Panama.
1821 The Republic of Gran Colombia (a federation covering much of present day Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, and Ecuador) is established, with Simón Bolívar as the founding President and Francisco de Paula Santander as vice president. thumb|right|220px|[[Brazil]] declares independence.
1821 Cry of Independence by Rufina Alfaro at La Villa de Los Santos, Panama setting into motion a revolt which lead to Panama's independence from Spain and to it immediately becoming part of Colombia
1903 With the encouragement of the United States, Panama separates from Colombia.
1903 Panama adopts its flag one day after it separated from Colombia
1903 The Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty is signed by the United States and Panama, giving the United States exclusive rights over the Panama Canal Zone.
1909 Colombia recognizes the independence of Panama.
1941 A coup in Panama declares Ricardo Adolfo de la Guardia Arango the new president.
1953 Ernesto "Che" Guevara sets out on a trip through Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador.