You can travel by car from Alaska to South America, but you can’t drive the whole way. The road ends in southern Panama. You then have to take a ferry to Colombia. Colombia’s president would like to change that. He wants to build a 50-mile highway that would connect Colombia with its neighbor to the north. But the proposed road would cut through a jungle in Panama known as the Darien Gap, and many Panamanians worry what that road might bring. Lorne Matalon reports for The World from Panama.
It is a unique piece of biodiversity, a 60-mile-wide (100-kilometer- wide) emerald wilderness bordered by two oceans. It is the Darién Gap of Panama (see pictures), a landmass linking North and South America and straddling the Panama-Colombia border.
The Darién got its name because it is the only gap in the 16,000-mile (26,000-kilometer) Pan-American Highway, which stretches from Alaska to Patagonia.
But Colombia’s President, Alvaro Uribe, says he wants that gap closed and has requested that Panama pave a road through the Darién to complete the Pan-American Highway.