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Rome Reports

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Natural richness of Panama in lake with an “abundance of alligators and crocodiles”

Natural beauty is another attraction to be enjoyed in Panama. Sourced by two types of water, those from the Caribbean Sea to the north, and those from the Pacific Ocean to the south, there are a wide variety of species in the Central American country.

A sample of this biodiversity is here, Gatun Lake on the Chagres River, translating from their indigenous language to "abundance of alligators and crocodiles." It is a large artificial lake that supplies the Panama Canal. 

Gamboa Rainforest Resort
"The river sources the Panama Canal with between 60 and 70 percent of the water it uses for the transit of ships. Approximately 52 million gallons of water are used each time a vessel transits the canal. It is also used to provide the country with water by making it drinkable for everyone to consume."

This reservoir is a protected area of the tropical rainforest, where neither logging nor hunting is permitted. This is because a constant humidity must be maintained for rain.

When it was built at the beginning of the 20th century, Gatun Lake was the largest man-made lake in the world.

Here, there are about a thousand different species of birds. There are also several types of turtles and iguanas.

Gamboa Rainforest Resort
"As we have many species that are in danger of extinction this area has been protected since we are near the Soberania Park. However, not all the species we have are in danger of extinction. Everything is taken care of to be able to show how beautiful our country is and the biodiversity we have. In this way, we let the world and our visitors know how beautiful we are here."

With hosts like these, the titi monkeys ... and the white-faced monkeys, are one of the most intelligent species of primates and, by the looks of it, more sociable.

Gatun Lake is one of the most beautiful natural areas in Panama, within the reach of pilgrims who participate in WYD. It's an unique opportunity to reflect on the importance of taking care of Creation, just as Pope Francis requests.