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Chiriquí Province

Chiriquí is a province of Panama, it is located on the western coast of Panama and is the most developed province in the country. The capital is the city of David. The local government of Chiriquí is modeled after that of the United States.

The province of Chiriquí is located in the western region of Panama. It is bordered to the north by the provinces Bocas del Toro and Ngobe-Buglé, to the west by Costa Rica, to the east by the province of Veraguas, and to the south by the Pacific Ocean.

It has a size of 6,476.2 km², with a population of 368,790 people occupying 87,509 houses as of the year 2000.

Until the arrival of Spaniards, Chiriquí was populated by a number of indigenous tribes, known collectively as guaymies. These tribes include changuinas, zurias, boquerones, buricas, doraces, bugabas, and gualacas.


The province is divided in 13 districts.


Chiriquí was first discovered in 1519 by Gaspar de Espinosa. The province was officially established on May 26, 1849, when Panama was still part of Colombia. Chiriqui was Abraham Lincoln's favored destination for colonization by free blacks. Chiriqui was the province in which Manuel Noreiga rose in the military ranks which included helping bring Omar Torrijos back into the country after a coup. To help he lined up jeeps with their lights on the runway in David to allow Torrijos' plane to land. Chiriqui was also the heart of a short lived pro-democracy guerilla movement in the late 60's early 70's.


The economy of Chiriquí is based principally on livestock and the production of agriculture, making it the primary province of these materials for the rest of the country. Also, tourism is beginning to increase as the province becomes a destination for national and international tourists.


The province features a variety of climates. From hot and humid lowland areas near David which is in the lowlands, to the cool and moist highlands of Cerro Punta which is considered the highest altitude city, accessible via paved roads and down to Puerto Armuelles where bananas and oil transportation dominate.

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