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Friday, April 19 2019 @ 08:24 PM UTC

Tourism Plan Would Recreate 15th Century Spanish Culture in Panama

Travel & Tourism A descendant of discoverer Christopher Columbus presented a proposal for a tourism project on Friday, to recreate Spanish colonial cultural and religious traditions in Panamanian towns. Spaniard Cristóbal Colón, Duke of Veraguas and descendant of the discoverer of America, chairs the Foundation Castilla de Oro, which presented a preview of what visitors could see when touring the villages where European settlers and adventurers lived during the sixteenth century. This project intends to make the "Castilla del Oro" (Castle of Gold) as that time in Panama was known, "a tourism development that will create a new momentum," said Colon. The Castilla de Oro Foundation says residents can convert their homes into tourist accommodations, shops, or undertake activities related to tourism, which would help them increase their income. "We are offering residents the opportunity to become agents of their own destiny," said Pascual Montańés, a partner in the Castillo de Oro Foundation, who said that about a thousand residents have expressed and interest in participating in this initiative.

The target area includes towns in the Panamanian provinces of Los Santos, Herrera, Cocle and Veraguas. The latter founded the first Catholic church in America, Natá de los Caballeros. "The first time there was gold in the Castilla de Oro, this gold was taken by the Spanish. Spain took 21 tons of gold from the Castillo de Oro and used it to finance the greatest empire the world has ever known," said Montańés. Now "it is guaranteed the Spanish are not going to take the gold, and what there is in this project itself is an invitation for the Spanish to come and spend their money," he said. "Columbus sought the friendly approach to the inhabitants of those lands and the chronicles tell us about hawks of gold and other ornaments they exchanged for Castilian goods," said the descendant of the navigator on the activities of his ancestor along the Panamanian coast.

He said at the mouth of the Belén river, on the Panamanian coast, the navigator learned of the existence of gold mines, which is why he had the "intent of founding the first Spanish population of the Americas," but "the hostile position of chief Quibian" stopped him. Legend has it that the Spanish traded glass beads for gold with the natives, but Colon rejected on Friday that it was "only gold that motivated" the Admiral. Christopher Columbus arrived in Panama on his fourth voyage (1502-1504) sailing from the coast of Honduras in search of a strait that would allow him to reach the Spice Islands, of which Marco Polo spoke in his description of Asia. (Source - Telemetro)

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