Identity and living heritage: riches of the Trans-Isthmian Colonial Route

Panama- The proposal of the Transisthmian Colonial Route like Pworld heritage of the Unesco I knowwill enrich, integrate and will put in value living heritage and the identity of the indigenous populations and Afro-Panamanian around him, managed through consultations and public policies.

To make and be able to present a world heritage nomination it is important the Public consultationand that query “just” is between the settlers who live around the monumental areas and also environmental, Emma Gómez, general coordinator of Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Ministry of Culture of Panama (MiCultura), told EFE.

“In the consultation – he added – he’s going to integrate into that living heritage that is around, that heritage has to be involved and was involved in the process. So, since the beginning populations will be taken into account”.

They are, in that sense, according to Gómez, different types of population that are in the environment. Some are very close because they live within the community, as is the case of the Portobello (Caribbean) with the congos and their cultureto the devotees of the black christ that with all their practices are part of the intangible heritage declared by UnescoAs the Corpus Christi in the same Portobello area and part of the Colón province, northern Panama.

They are also there “all bearers of gastronomy, both of the afrocolonial as the Afro-Antillean what has been merged in that area”, and around those monuments, especially in Portobello, “people who are essential to appropriate that heritage in their daily lives, to rebuild, to make the narratives of their own history.”

There are also the communities of the Emberá indigenous ethnic group in thes banks of the Chagres river that ends in front of where the San Lorenzo el Real Castle, that, “Although they are not so close, it is an area that is going to develop as a tourist destination.”

Those are the communities “that they live in it around and what are they going to benefit a lot with this colonial route as part of world Heritageat least in this structure that now has the Trans-Isthmian Colonial Route”.

“A heritage cannot be isolated (…) it has to be a place where children and heritage representatives are taught how to live around that monument, how to support”, and it is through “the public politics in which the communities participate, that receive training, funds, scholarships, for them to be custodianyes in all these areashelp to integrate the communities”.


The Trans-Isthmic Colonial Route of Panama is made up of a series of historical monuments, sites and cities which include the SArchaeological site of Panama Viejo and the Historic District of Panama (World Heritage since 1997), the Fortifications of the Caribbean Coast of Panama: Portobelo and San Lorenzo (on the list of Heritage in Danger since 2012), and the colonial roads that unite them: the Camino de Cruces and the Camino Real.

He proceedings “with the first stage” was delivered in February passed to the Unesco, that this month of March “did the first positive observation” that the dossier “is complete”assured Gómez, who pointed out that this first phase could be given the “ruling” in December 2024, because all of 2023 and part of 2024 “will be under evaluation.”

In July 2019 he UNESCO World Heritage Committee postponed the inscription of the Panamanian proposalwaiting for that Panama will deliver one prevised proposal that fulfilled with a series of recommendations.


The Committee asked Panama for a proposal that will justify the outstanding universal value of the route and that guarantees long-term financial sustainability for the conservation and management of this set of sites through the appropriate allocation of funds.

The nomination seeks to turn the Route into a tangible cultural heritage, according to MiCultura.

The country has natural heritage such as the Darién National Park and the Coiba National Park, and intangible cultural declarations such as the traditional “pintao” hat and dances and expressions related to Congo culture and Corpus Christi.EFE

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J. A. Allen

Author, blogger, freelance writer. Hater of spiders. Drinker of wine. Mother of hellions.

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