Panama's strategic location at the crossroads of trade in the Western Hemisphere has driven its economy for nearly a century - the nation currently has the highest growth rate in Latin America.
Nearly 100 years after first building its famous canal, the country is now expanding the waterway to allow the world's largest vessels to pass through. It is similarly trying to expand free trade agreements, such as one with the United States that has yet to be ratified in Washington, DC.
But Panama's thirst for growth runs the risk of sidelining its working population, as roughly a third of the country remains in poverty.
Al Jazeera's Monica Villamizar reports from Panama City.