From the Blog

Central America in the not the largest continent in the world yet it still home to some important rivers. With the region being in area of equatorial climate there is enough rainfall to supply a number of different drainage basins.

Border control at Ciudad Juarez on the Rio Grande

Border control

One of the most famous rivers in the political world is the Rio Grande. It flows for 3000km from its source in south-central Colorado to its mouth in the Gulf of Mexico. For 2000km it acts as the border between the United States and Mexico. With their being so much pressure from the Trump administration to stop the illegal migrants crossing into the States, the Rio Grande is frequently in the news.  The largest city on the Rio Grande is Ciudad Juarez with a population of 1.5 million people. This is an international border city with 4 separate crossing points. There are 300 separate industrial plants situated around the city and the future looks as if the city will continue to grow and take advantage of its geographical location. At the mouth of the Rio Grande is the Mexican city of Matamoros with a population of 520,000 people. Located right on the coast the city has grown both as a result of its close relations with the United States plus the benefits of being a port. Fishing and tourism is also important in the region. The Choluteca River is only 350 km long rising in Lepaterique in Honduras then flowing all the way into the Gulf of Fonesca on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. On route the river passes through the centre of the Nation’s capital, Tegucigalpa.

This is a high capital with its elevation varying between 900 meters and 1400 meters. The river divides the city in half and its flow depends what season the country is in. The population of the city is 1.1 million and it shares its capital status with its twin sister city Comayaguela. The two cities are separated by the Choluteca River.  Comayaguela sits on the banks of the Choluteca River and is not quite as developed as its twin sister with the city being dominated by lower class housing. The size of the city is 650,000 people. The Suan Jan River flows east out Lake Nicaragua for 192 km into the Caribbean Sea. During its journey it acts as the border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Before the Panama canal was built people would use the river to cross from the Caribbean side to Pacific coastline. The last stage from the lake would have been completed by stage coach. Panama City is the capital of Panama, and the country contains 500 rivers of which most are unnavigable. However there are two rivers close to the capital city which have been used for hydro-electric power and they are the River Chepo and the River Chagres.

The River Chagres filling Gatun Lake

The River Chagres filling Gatun Lake

The River Chagres is the largest river in the Panama Canal’s watershed and was vital in its construction. It was dammed twice to form Gatun Lake and Lake Alajuela which are part of the Canal’s journey. In realistic terms the Canal can claim that it pours its waters both into the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, as it has still managed to carry water down to its natural mouth on the Caribbean coatline. The development of the Canal has improved Panama City and it now has a population of 900,000 people. Since the Canal was started the health of the region has been improved dramatically and this is as a result of the water being supplied by the River Chagres.

The River Chagres has made a vital contribution to the economic welfare of the region and reflects Central American Rivers. They may not be the biggest in the world but they have certainly made an impact on the continents development.