The Río Grande River and the Interoceanic Corridor in Panama´s Transit Region, 1500-1914




Rivers, Panama Canal, Environmental history, , Chagres River, Transitism


The environmental history of the río Grande, a Panamanian river which drained into the Pacific and whose valley was devastated by the construction of the Panama Canal across the isthmus, offers an early case of a Latin American river subject to a hydro-metabolic fracture, and of a key riverscape in the environmental history of Panama´s transit region. This paper will reconstruct the trajectory of the river through a narrative based on the realist approach to environmental history, especially its concepts of social metabolism and the metabolic rift, as a way to trace the roots of Panama´s current environmental structures. Due to the size of the territory of the Republic of Panama, the watershed´s transformation was determined by national political economy, at various scales and across a longue durée delimited by transitismo as the dominant paradigm among decision makers.


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How to Cite

Bonilla, F. J. (2021). The Río Grande River and the Interoceanic Corridor in Panama´s Transit Region, 1500-1914. Agua Y Territorio Water and Landscape, 19, e5461.