The New Panama Canal!

Impact on World Economies…Opening New Markets!

COSCO in new locks 2

The PANAMA inaugurates the new Panama Canal Expansion

The Chinese Megaship COSCO, recently renamed PANAMA, is the first ship to transit through the expanded Panama Canal! Aided by tugboats, rather than the traditional “mules,” or trains, used in the original locks to guide the ships, the PANAMA successfully navigated the new locks at Agua Clara on the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal.

Frank & Norma in Canal

Our 2015 visit to the Cocoli Locks on the Pacific side before flooding

The Panama Canal: A place where I can spend not just hours, but days! This was the destination of our trip planned for June 16, just 10 days before the opening of the new locks. Since we didn’t receive an invitation to the grand opening of the new locks, we decided to go at a time when we could avoid the huge crowds that we can still remember when we  attended the completion of the locks, still dry, at Cocoli, on the Pacific side, more than one year ago. This time, we decided to go to the Atlantic side rathern than the Pacific side, which is also much closer to our home.

Since we are currently enjoying Panama’s “green season,” we have to count on a few bursts of tropical rains, but also dramatic vistas of the rain forest when driving near and along the canal.

Our first surprise of the trip was our arrival in Colon. Since our first trip to Colon 3 years ago, this place has developed into a clean and very modern city. Even the former US Housing area close to the canal looks like a million-dollar development! The road leading to the locks has been resurfaced, has directional signs and is free of trash! Panama–especially the Colon area–is ready to welcome world leaders of Industry and Politics. Thanks to our timing for our pre-opening visit, we were able to enter the visitor area of the Agua Clara Locks without waiting in line and for a very reasonable entry fee–generously reduced for resident retirees!

The Panama Canal was built by the United States and opened August 15, 1914 with the passage of the SS Ancon from the Atlantic to the Pacific. From this time on, the United States had possession of the Canal and the surrounding lands until December 31, 1999. At this point, by treaty, Panama took over ownership and operation of the Panama Canal. According to Wikipedia, new locks were proposed as early as 1930 to ease congestion in the locks. This plan was abandoned in 1942.

The new expansion of the Panama Canal and the new longer and wider locks was approved in 2006 by a national referendum. Construction began in 2007 to double the waterway’s capacity. The original Canal has been able to accept Panamax Ships with a maximum length of 950 feet (289.52 meters) and a maximum width of 106 feet (32.10 meters) and with a cargo capacity of 5,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent).

Expansion aerial view

Aerial view of new locks & water retention basins

The Canal expansion allows new dimensions for ships. The New Panamax Ships may have a length of up to 1,200 feet (366 meters) and a width of up to 161 feet (49 meters) and the cargo capacity can be up to 12,000 TEU, more than twice the capacity formerly allowed! The Canal itself extends 80 meters (about 55 miles) from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The Expansion adds a 3rd lane to the existing 2 lanes to accommodate larger ships by deepening the access from the Atlantic and Pacific sides, widening and deepening the Gatun Lake channel and deepening the Canal at the Culebra Cut, which traverses the continental divide, while also building new locks with water reutilization basins and raising the operational level of Gatun Lake as well as a new 6 Km access channel to the Pacific–and all for only $5.4 billion!

With this masterpiece, Panama has positioned itself among the top nations in this world. They did not just dump 5 million cubic feet of earth into the rain forest. No. Their planning was extremely sensitive in regard to the environment and sustainability. Just the fact that the new locks have water-reutilization basins that will save up to 60% of the water used in the locks demonstrates their concern over water conservation. The larger ships now using the new canal will be producing significantly less CO2 by means of the tremendous time savings they will experience by shortening their routes.

Also, the Panama Canal is not just a waterway cutting through the isthmus.

The Jungle Tunnel

The Jungle Tunnel

Canal is surrounded by wonderful rain forests which are visited by scientists worldwide at a time when, sadly, we are seeing the disappearance of so much rainforest throughout the world.

Economically, Panama is increasing in growth and stability. While countries like the United States increases the numbers of their population living below the poverty line, more and more of Panama’s poor are joining the middle class. With a total of 110 million man hours of work at the Canal expansion project, everyone in Panama is a partner and a witness of this country’s great success!


 Buy Your Own Chocolate Farm in Panama or Peru!

If you don’t have a big stash of cash on hand, you should still continue reading!

You can start producing your own Chocolate, world class quality, at a price as low as $5,000! This investment is ecologically and socially responsible. PureCocoa is actually more than just an investment. By integrating the Cocoa trees in Primary Forest, you are also protecting endangered plants and animals.

Cocoa fruit on the tree

Cocoa fruit on the tree

Granos de Cacao

Oro Moreno: Handmade in Panama with Cocoa grown in Panama

The ultimate goal is to have world class Cocoa growing in a re-created, species-rich mixed forest which is a perfect location for growing extra high-quality Cocoa.

The Cocoa growing forests in Panama have been UTZ certified since 2014. This guarantees sustainable farming methods and improved working conditions for employees.

Whether you invest $5,000 or $20 million in PureCocoa, you will receive income starting in year 5. Your income is not only from Cocoa, but also from the sale of seedlings from your plantation and also possibly carbon credits.

PureCocoa forests, high quality fine cocoa varieties, are cultivated and harvested while adhering to the highest social standards, guaranteed child-labor free. With PureCocoa, you enable the protection of rare plants and animals in a region that is considered to be a biological hotspot. As an owner, you will receive a certificate with the GPS data of your forest area, designating you as an active rainforest conservationist!

For detailed information on the PureCocoa Program, click here.

PureCocoa is an excellent choice for an Impact Investment, with no fees or charges imposed by a slew of investment peddlers to maintain their comfortable digs in or around Wall Street. The management company has an excellent reputation as experienced managers of forest restoration around the world. Putting you money in Cocoa–called the world’s best commodity–will help not only the seller or buyer, but also communities, through employment and education.

Oro Moreno, the company which produces the chocolate from the Cocoa, will be happy to have some of their delicious handmade chocolate for your enjoyment– and they also will be using the Cocoa your trees grow in the production of their wonderful chocolates!

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