A little-known collection of photographs and memorabilia from the canal construction days is contained within the old Balboa High School.

  • The old High School is now the Centro de Capacitación Ascanio Arosemena, a training school for Canal employees
  • It was here in on January 9, 1964 that Zonians attacked students attempting to raise the Panamanian flag, triggering the “flag riots”. Three days of rioting left 21 young Panamanians and four Americans dead, and more than 500 people injured.
  • One monument to this “Day of the Martyrs” is outside the Balboa High School. An eternal flame with the flag of Panama is surrounded by columns with a martyr’s name on each one.
  • During the 1989 invasion, the school was used as a detention camp for Panamanian prisoners, some of whom were allegedly executed by US soldiers
  • Contains an excellent collection of photographs of the Canal construction and other memorabilia, including rusting tools, porcelain from the Tivoli Hotel – the grandest hotel of the Canal Zone era – and Goethals’ hat rack
  • To reach the displays, enter the former school gates at the main entrance, go through the double doors in the first building on the right, across a courtyard and into a second building, then upstairs towards the library
  • Bilingual labelling