Been There – Panamá

Starbucks Been There – Panama was released earlier this year and is finally getting here.
This country is probably the best known for the Panama Canal, and while I am not seeing it on the mug specifically, here are some interesting facts about this wonder of the modern world:
– The first attempts worth mentioning were done by France between 1881 and 1894 but were halted due to numerous issues on the engineering side. The high mortality rate of the workers was also a huge factor – thousands died due to yellow fever and malaria.
– The construction works were then taken over by the US and were finished in 10 years, between 1904 and 1914. At that time, it was the largest and most difficult engineering project completed.
– Panama only got partial control of the canal after signing Torrijos–Carter Treaties in 1977, with full control acquired in 1999.
– Gatun Lake is a large artificial lake created between 1907 and 1913 by building a Gatun Dam. This lake is located between two locks, the Atlantic and Pacific (simplified), This allowed less excavation to be made. At the time it was created, Gatun Lake was the largest man-made lake in the world. Because of the lake, the actual crossing is 85 ft above the sea level. When entering the canal, ships pass through the docks which lift them up to Gatun Lake. Upon leaving the lake, ships have to be lowered back to sea level.
– The mean sea level at the Pacific side is about 8in higher than that of the Atlantic side due to water density, currents and weather conditions.

There’s more in Panama to discover:
– Keel-billed toucan has a colorful bill which averages around 4.5–6 in and is about one-third of the bird’s length. Btw, it seems like Starbucks designers like toucans, you can see them on mugs from Brazil and Costa Rica.
– You can’t leave Panama without trying local food, especially seafood. Designers pictured grilled shrimps on sticks, given Panama’s location to both the Atlantic and Pacific ocean.
– Apart from the mainland, Panama has numerous islands, ranging from relatively large like Coiba Island to tiny ones like Kuna Yala islets. Most of the islands are perfect touristic destinations where you can fully relax. Other places to keep in mind: Bocas del Toro Islands and the Pearl Islands.
– The fish which can be seen twice on the mug is Giant Trevally, I believe. It seems like a mistake to me since Panama waters are not habitat for this species.
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