Panama — Balboa

The town of Balboa, founded by the United States during the construction of the Panama Canal, was named after Vasco Núñez de Balboa, the Spanish conquistador credited with discovering the Pacific Ocean. The name was suggested to the Canal Zone authorities by the Peruvian ambassador to Panama. Prior to being drained, filled and leveled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the hilly area north of Panama City was home to a few subsistence ranches and unused marshlands.

The town of Balboa, like most towns in the Canal Zone, was served by Canal Zone Government–operated schools, post office, police and fire stations, commissary, cafeteria, yacht club, service center, and recreational facilities. The town was also home to two private banks, a credit union, a Jewish Welfare Board, several Christian denomination churches, civic clubs, a masonic temple, and a YMCA.

Photos taken March 2010 (Fuji FinePix S9000).

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