In 1904, Panama had just gained its independence from Colombia the previous year when U.S. construction of the Panama Canal began. At that time, Panama City consisted of Casco and nothing more; the entire city was the neighborhood. The sprawling city that exists today was wilderness, but that would soon change.
Foreigners who adopt Casco as their residence live side by side with its long-established Panamanian population, rich and poor, as well as with fellow-foreigners of the tourist variety. More so than anywhere else in Panama, Casco is an integration of not only different nationalities but different social classes and cultures.