Panama owns a cultural multiplicity that makes it unique in the region, one of the biggest contributors to this cultural richness is the constant presence of visitors from all parts of the world. The origin of this singular cultural mix is without a doubt the crossroads characteristic of the country. In addition, the intense connection of Panama with the sea makes it very similar to an island of the Caribbean.
Being a point of contact and a crossing site, this small strip of land is considered a true crucible of races. With almost 3 and a half million inhabitants, its population is compounded 67% of mestizos (amerindian with targets) and mulatos (white with black), 14% blacks, 10% whites, amerindian 6% (indigenous) and a 3% of people are from varied ethnic origins. This mixture is particularly rich, because although it comes from cultural origins and very diverse traditions, the mixture has been stimulated by the atmosphere of tolerance and harmony that always has reigned in the territory.
Although the free religious creed is respected, the population of the country mainly professes catholicism, this religion is deeply bound to the traditions and cultural expressions. In the interior of the country, for example, the greatest celebrations are related to diverse saints. These saints are even denominated as the owners of different towns. One of the greatest celebrations relating to cultural and catholic beliefs is the Carnival of Panama. The Carnival is a massive celebration of four days that precedes to the Cuaresma.
Also an Important part of the cultural wealth of the country are the traditions of the seven indigenous groups of Panama. These groups are based in semi-independent territories, in these territories they maintain the cheers and celebrations of their ancestral customs. These groups of indigenous origins cultivate music and dance traditions which date back many years, but their most appreciated cultural contribution are their abilities as masterful craftsmen. The artful pieces produced by some of these groups are true jewels, works of a great beauty produced by an art that has its roots in the pre-Columbian times. The Molas of the Kuna, chaquiras and chácaras of the Ngäbe, the miniatures of ivory palm and the baskets of the Emberá are of an unusual beauty.
Other many ethnic groups, of more recent arrival, complete the cultural enigma of Panama. Making it a warm and friendly place. The country has always been propulsive to the mixture of towns and cultures, which are then amalgamated here in a harmonic and dynamic way.