"The History that Unites Us": A traveling exhibition that will tour Panama

To promote an appreciation of the cultural and ethnic diversity in Panama, as well as the contributions of migrant communities throughout the country's history, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) inaugurated the exhibition "The History that Unites Us: An identity woven through Migration."

The traveling exhibition, in addition to providing educational information on the history of migration in Panama from pre-Columbian times to the present, highlights key elements of Panamanian culture and national identity that are not normally recognized as contributions of migrants.

Among the elements highlighted is baseball, which is considered the national sport; the pollera, the traditional gala costume and recognized as one of the most beautiful in the world; Carnival, one of the most appreciated festivities by locals and tourists; sancocho, many people's favourite soup; as well as reggae, a musical genre that is heard at all parties; and dim sum or Chinese breakfast.

Likewise, more than 15 works of art painted by young artists from the provinces of Darién and Coclé were exhibited at the Community Board of the Villa de Los Santos to complement "The History that Unites Us", promoting dialogue, mutual understanding and cultural enrichment in the public. The artists participated in several awareness-raising sessions conducted by IOM's technical team in Panama together with ISAE University, the Arte en el Parque Foundation and the RAM Organization.

"This exhibition highlights the positive and lasting influence of migrants on Panama's history and development," said Giuseppe Loprete, Director of the Panama Administrative Centre and IOM Panama Chief of Mission. "It is a reminder that diversity is our greatest strength and that together we can build a more inclusive, compassionate and caring Panama for all people," he added.

IOM implements evidence-based and participatory initiatives such as this one to promote social change in a sustainable manner through the Communication for Development methodology of the Western Hemisphere Program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM).

"The History that Unites Us: An Identity Woven through Migration" was exhibited from April 19 to 25, 2024, at the Community Board of the Villa de Los Santos, in the province of Los Santos, and will tour different parts of the country throughout the year.

For more information, contact IOM Panama's communications team at

SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals
SDG 16 - Peace Justice and Strong Institutions