The meaning of happiness in Panama

Americas Now

A 2014 Gallup global poll called Panama the happiest place on the planet, but does it live up to the title? The Central American nation has experienced unprecedented growth and development in the past several years. The unemployment rate is the lowest it’s ever been thanks to a spike in foreign investment and a boom in construction that has transformed Panama City’s skyline.

The expansion of the Panama Canal, the country’s main source of income, is steaming ahead with the potential of doubling the volume of the ships using it every year. Some say these indicators paint a very fragmented picture while the country’s poverty, inequality and corruption show the complex reality the survey overlooks.

Others point to a cultural component to the Panamanian state of bliss. “It must be because of our nature,” a local told correspondent Gerry Hadden. “We Panamanians tend to forget our problems very quickly. If we can find a quick fix to our problems we do so, then we party all week-end and go back to worrying about them come Monday.”

In fact, researchers at Gallup point out that all Latin American countries score pretty high on the “happiness scale.” Apparently, it’s an indication of a culture that accentuates the positive.

Follow Americas Now correspondent Gerry Hadden on his journey to discover the meaning of the Panamanian state of bliss.

The meaning of happiness in Panama

The meaning of happiness in Panama

A 2014 Gallup global poll called Panama the happiest place on the planet, but does it live up to the title? The Central American nation has experienced unprecedented growth and development in the past several years. The unemployment rate is the lowest it’s ever been thanks to a spike in foreign investment and a boom in construction that has transformed Panama City’s skyline. Follow Americas Now correspondent Gerry Hadden on his journey to discover the meaning of the Panamanian state of bliss.

  • Very well done documentary! I will use the video in an article this week. I have been living in Panama for 4 years and do believe it is the best decision I have ever made. Life here is not perfect but it sure beats the life I had back in the USA.

  • John A.

    Thank You,,, great documentary… Job well done, I’ll buy you a Balboa and some ceveche when I see you in Panama.. keep up the great work..

  • John A.

    Great Docu on Panama… Toured the country recently and had a great time.. Even better as I looked up some long lost family members who are all doing well… See you soon for some ceveche and a cold Balboa beer…