Panama Essay, Research Paper
Panama has rich folk culture, which Panamanians at all levels of
society enjoy. The country s folk music reflects Spanish, West Indian,
African, and even North American influences.
The mejorana is a folk song probably imported from Spain in the
eighteenth century. It can be either vocal or instrumental but is seldom
used for dancing. The national folk dances are the tamborito and the
cumbia. Couples perform the cumbia in a rotating circle to the sound of
maracas and drums. The dance reputedly mimics the behavior of the
colonial Spaniards and was brought to the area with the African slave
trade. The tamborito is also a dance with and old Afro-Spanish history. It
was popular in seventeenth-century Spain and is based on African
rhythms. The tamborito is performed to clapping hands and several
drums. Both dances are traditionally seen during fiestas and Carnival
festivities throughout Panama.
Nationalism has been the major theme of most Panamanian
literature. Ramon Valdes published Independence of the Isthmus of
Panama just after the country freed itself from Columbia. His work
became the basis for most of the historical treaties that followed. Ricardo
Miro became the national poet during this same period, and his
work, Patria inspired both schoolchildren and adults with feelings of
After independence, the national government promoted cultural
pursuits. It founded the first national music conservatory and helped to
build the National Theater. Panama s rich cultural life now centers on the
Panamanian Art Institute, the National Institute of music, and schools that
focus on instruction in music, art, dance, and theater. Traveling musical
groups and drama companies–as well as artists and poets–bring cultural
events to residents throughout the nation.
John and Daisy Whited are a non-profit, non-denominational ministry and
not affiliated with or supported by any one particular group of people.
They are members of the body of Christ, born again by the Holy Spirit and
therefore members of what the New Testament calls “Christ’s Church.”
They believe that they re called of God to the work which they are
currently about. That work being the spreading of the Gospel of Jesus
Christ to those who have not heard the good news. According to a study
done by “overseas Ministries Study Center,” in New Haven, Connecticut: 23
percent of the current world population or one billion two hundred thirty
one million (1,231,000,000) people have no knowledge nor have ever heard
of Jesus Christ and His Gospel. Also according to the study, 90 percent of
all evangelism is directed at Christians and 99 percent of the Christian
world’s income is spent on itself. This is a sad report card for us as
Christians. It is a sad commentary on how vital and significant we view
Christ’s Great Commission. It appears as though we have pushed the
spreading of Christ’s Gospel to the back-burner of our Christian walk.
In praying about this situation, God has given John and Daisy a burden. A
burden for those who might never have heard that precious name of Jesus.
A burden for the Indians and isolated peoples of Central America,
beginning with Panama. There are 8 different tribes of Indians in Panama
alone. Each with its own unwritten language and totaling approximately
33,000 people. In all of Central America there are 55 different tribes with
over 4.65 million people. These people are very isolated. They are scattered
throughout the jungles and mountainous rain forest of Central America.
Some still live in the same manner that they did hundreds of years ago. In
addition to these Indians, there are many Spanish speaking people who
are also very isolated due to terrain and the lack of road systems. These
are the people to whom they have been called.
Plans have been investigated and set in order for reaching these isolated
peoples. Simply put, they have made a long term commitment, a life long
commitment to the spreading of the Gospel to those who do not know
After the resurrection of Christ and before His ascension into heaven, He
gave His final command in person. Furthermore, Jesus stressed this
command no less than four times and it is recorded in Luke 24:46-47, Mark
16:15, Matthew 28:19 and Acts 1:8 to go and spread the Gospel into all the
world. Christ’s command is the reason for the existence of this ministry.
There are seven countries in Central America. Within each of these
countries are people who for various reasons are isolated from the world
and therefore from the Gospel. There are fifty-five aboriginal Indian tribes
which are isolated by language, culture and terrain. Also many of the
Spanish speaking people are isolated by terrain and a lack of roads. The
harsh conditions require a more extensive and intensive effort to reach
these people for Christ.
their mission, regardless of the difficulties, is to spread the “good news” of
Jesus Christ. They attempt to do this by evangelizing, planting churches,
building church structures and related activities. An important part of
their mission is working with the national church leadership. They also
endeavor to provide medical, agricultural and educational support as part
of their ministry in the name of Christ. The use of modern technologies,
where applicable and where they will increase their ability to minister, is
readily employed. They do not and will not seek to alter the individual
cultures to fit what we think they should be. Trying to “improve” the lives of
particular peoples by making them adopt our standards is not their goal.
Their main and only purpose, first and last, is to introduce the lost to the
saving power of Jesus Christ. Jesus will make the changes He sees fit in
those who accept Him.
We finally attained victory
In the happy field of union.
With glowing splendor,
The new nation is illumined.
It is necessary to veil with a curtain
The Calvary and Cross of the past,
And for you to adorn the azure of your skies
With the splendid light of concord.
Progress fondly touches your homes,
In time with the music of a sublime song.
You see, roaring at your feet, two oceans
Which give direction to your noble mission.
On your flower-covered soil,
Kissed by the warm breeze,
Warlike clamour has ended
And only brotherly love reigns.
Ahead, with spade and stone-mason’s hammer!
To work, without more delay!
In this way we shall be the honour and glory
Of this fertile land of Columbus.
Adopted in 1925
Words by JER+NIMO DE LA OSSA (1847-1907)