Hundreds of Panamanians visited the school ships of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela, which anchored between Friday and today in the port of Balboa in the framework of the event "Velas Latinoamérica 2018".
The regatta celebrates its third edition this year and for the first time makes a stop in the Central American country, where its crew will perform several civic activities, such as a parade tomorrow on the promenade that runs along the coast of the capital.
Some visitors told local television that they were "happy" about this "different" and free activity on a weekend.
The fleet makes a journey that includes several ports in South America and the Caribbean with different activities aimed at cultural exchange.
On Friday, during a formal ceremony, the commander of the Chilean school ship "Esmeralda", Sebastián Gutiérrez, said that the presence of the boats on each scale is intended to generate bonds of friendship and fellowship between the crews and the peoples of the countries.
"The activities that take place as a group of sailboats are the exchange of allocations, visits to professionals from different armies, cultural parades and visits to low-income schools, the idea is that they know us and create fraternity," Gutiérrez said.
More than 1,100 men and women participate in the race, sailing around 12.00 nautical miles (about 19.312 kilometers).
So far, in the 11 ports of the 6 countries of South America to which they have arrived, it has been counted that some 100,000 people have visited the ships.
According to the Ministry of Security of Panama, three cadets and officers of the National Aeronaval Service are trained on the international vessels that visit the country.
The brigantines that will be from July 7 to 11 in the port of Panama are: "Cisne Blanco", from Brazil; "Libertad", from Argentina; "Esmeralda", from Chile; "Unión", of Peru; "Cuauhtémoc" of Mexico; "Guayas", from Ecuador; "Gloria" from Colombia and "Simón Bolívar" from Venezuela.
The regatta "Velas Latinoamérica 2018", promoted by the Chilean Navy, departed on March 25 from Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and has already passed through Montevideo (Uruguay), Buenos Aires and Ushuaia (Argentina), Cape Horn, Punta Arenas, Talcahuano, Valparaíso and Antofagasta (Chile), Callao (Peru) and Guayaquil (Ecuador).
After visiting Panama, the sailboats will depart for Curacao, Cartagena de Indias (Colombia), La Guaira (Venezuela), Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic), Cozumel and their last destination will be Veracruz (Mexico), culminating on September 2.
This event, which takes place every four years, was born in 2010 at the initiative of the Armed Forces of Argentina and Chile, which this year is in charge of its organization, on the occasion of the celebration of the bicentennial of South America’s independence.