The Panama Canal opened in 1914. Six decades later, the United States agreed to transfer its ownership of the Canal to Panama. In 1989, a US invasion ended decades of military rule. Today, Panama is a democratic country with a robust economy. Tourism and other service industries have displaced the Canal as the primary source of income. Many North American retirees now call Panama home, lured there by its relative stability, lower cost of living, and government-sponsored incentives. However, the country is still dealing with the legacy of its past in the form of social and economic inequities among segments of its population.

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