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On January 1, 2000, Panama recovered sovereignty over the inter-oceanic canal that crosses its territory, 85 years after its inauguration. During those years, the approaches to the Panama Canal were an American colony, an area of 1,400 square kilometers, nicknamed "La Zona", the area. Since the handover to Panama, most Americans have left this strip of land connecting the Atlantic to the Pacific. In the footsteps of what was a bubble of wealth from which Panamanians were excluded, our reporters went to meet those who did not leave, the traditions they have maintained and the sometimes very bitter memories that they left behind. administration of the canal. </p><div> <p><strong>The Panama Canal, a few points of reference:</strong>
– 77 kilometers of seaway that connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans across the narrowest strip of land in Central America.
- The construction of the canal began in 1882 under the direction of the French Ferdinand de Lesseps and the first ship took it in August 1914. The United States completed the work and 24,000 to 28,000 workers are believed to have died during the 30 years it took to build it.
– The Panama Canal area, which came under US domination a few days after the country’s independence in 1903, was returned to it in 1999.
– At the peak of its occupation, in the 1950s, nearly 100 000 American citizens resided there, isolated from the rest of the country. They had recreated a little America with a campus, baseball and American football fields, shops with entirely imported products, colonial-style houses.
>>> See also on France 24: After nine years of work, the Panama Canal ready to welcome giant ships (2016)
Source site www.france24.com