The First Modern Hospital in Puerto Armuelles

During the community building of the United Fruit Company (later Chiquita Banana) an impressive hospital was built in Puerto Armuelles. The hospital of the Chiriqui Land Company was built in 1932. It was one of the best and most modern hospital centers in the country and Central America at that time.

It was a spacious, cool and beautiful building. The hospital’s base was made of cement and hardwoods were used in its three floors, topped by a high tower in its upper central part. The Puerto Armuelles Hospital provided medical and health services to the entire region, not only to banana workers and employees, until 1970, when the mandatory regime of the Panamanian Social Security Fund took over. The institution continued to use the building until 1972 when it moved to it’s new location, where the Dionisio Arrocha Hospital is today.

Photo courtesy of Historia Humana y Economica de Puerto Armuelles

Read about the progress of the NEW hospital here: New Hospital in Puerto Armuelles-Progress Report

Trivia – The current hospital site used to be the garbage dump of the Chiriquí Land Company and the municipality!

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  1. Michael Hamar

    Love the pictures of the old hospital. My grandfather was administrator of that hospital in the late 1930’s.

    1. admin (Post author)

      Wow! That is amazing news. Would your grandfather have any old photos of Puerto Armuelles that you could share? We have a LOT of history buffs here!

      1. Michael Hamar

        I can look to see what photos I have. We have many photo albums at my brother’s home as well. I know I have seen old home movies filed at the pool in Las Palmas.

        1. admin (Post author)

          It would be amazing to see the old videos of the Las Palmas pool! Thanks for the photos that you sent already. I’ll be posting some of them on the website and look forward to possibly getting some more cool pics & videos from you. Thanks again!

          Debbie Fishell


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