Panama is located between the North and South American continents and is a connector between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The U.S. constructed, and held control over, the Panama Canal from 1914 until 1999 . It takes about eight hours to pass through the canal compared to the two week it would take to go around South America. Its location and convenience makes Panama a hub for shipping and trade, therefore it is crucial to ensure port security. Around 14,000 vessels pass through the Panama Canal annually. However, panama faces challenges as it has also become a transit point for illegal immigrants, drugs and weapon smuggling. Panamanian law enforcement have been engaging in training programs and have invested in patrolling, surveillance equipment, and have arranged for liaison officers to be aboard vessels.
About the Program
The IVLP is a professional exchange program that seeks to build mutual understanding between the U.S. and other nations through carefully designed short-term visits to the U.S. for current and emerging foreign leaders. Over the last 70 years, the IVLP has developed into the premier professional exchange program in the U.S. and brings over 200 emerging leaders to Jacksonville every year.