I went around and around on this one, trying to decide how I could post just one photograph of the many I took while playing the role of tourist/guide in Casco Antiguo, Panama City. I ultimately limited my choice to the statues and busts erected in the old French Plaza, leaving the other statue pics for another time, but still giving my blog followers an opportunity to glimpse what they may not get to see in person.
Pablo Arosemena (1836-1920) was an attorney who passionately presented his ideals in the political arena, eventually becoming the first Vice President of Panama from 1910-1912, as well as acting President during that time. In 1910, his initiative authorized the Bank of Panama to produce the balboa, Panama’s official currency.
Ferdinand de Lesseps (in the following two photos) was a French diplomat and developer of the Suez Canal who attempted to repeat his efforts by building the Panama Canal in the 1880’s. Devastating epidemics of yellow fever and malaria, as well as financial problems, defeated de Lesseps and the project was abandoned. Eventually the project was bought and resurrected by the US and completed in 1914.
And these busts in my final photo have me stumped. They each have a place in Panama’s history, but what their stories are or who they are is unknown to me. I didn’t note their names on the plaques. Mea culpa!