The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)
Preserving Panama’s history
In Panama City, UNOPS is helping restore and modernize a historic landmark.
The Palacio Bolivar, a historical building once used by Simón Bolivar to lead discussions on uniting the Spanish colonies into a single confederation, is now home to the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
More than two centuries since its construction and several remodels later, the palace structure continues to deteriorate and is putting employees, visitors and tourists at risk.
Providing regional support for Latin America and the Caribbean, our office in Panama provides a wide range of services aimed at improving sustainable development throughout the region.
Similarly, a wall that was built to protect Panama’s city centre from pirate attacks in 1671 has been affected by water damage over the years.
To help improve safety and preserve the cultural landmark, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs partnered with UNOPS to modernize the infrastructure of both the wall and palace.
“The wall was a key part in the context of the new Panama City, known today as Casco Antiguo,’’ said Ramón Boyd, architect and restorer of the project. “The Casco is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and within this approach, the wall is intrinsically part of the value of the building – a value that should be noted at the time of intervention.”
UNOPS is working alongside the National Historical Heritage Direction to ensure the preservation of the infrastructure.
“Preserving history and culture is key in a place like Panama's Casco Antiguo, one of the main attractions to the more than 100,000 monthly visitors that the country receives,” said Carlos Ladaris, UNOPS project manager.
We’re proud to help preserve such an important cultural landmark.
Having restored the wall, works are now focused on modernizing the palace infrastructure. Efforts are also being made to enhance the internal operations and capacities of the Foreign Ministry to upkeep the palace and ensure its lasting legacy.