Orientation & Geography

North America, Panama

Penonomé (pop. 21,748) is the capital of the Panamanian province of Coclé. The town is located along the Inter-American Highway in the wide, flat lowlands of central Coclé. Penonomé was founded in 1581. The name of this town comes from the words "penó Nomé". Nome was a chief of a local native American tribe, who was put to death by the Spanish colonial officials. "Penó Nomé" means "Nome was executed." The town was the capital of Panama for a short period after Panama City was sacked by Henry Morgan in 1671. The Catedral de Penonomé and the municipal government office (Casa de Gobierno) are located on the town's central plaza. The town also has a small museum, El Museo de Penonomé, which is often closed. The town has two main shopping streets, Avenida Juan Demóstenes Arosemena and the Inter-American Highway along the edge of town. The town is home to many descendants of Turkish, Chinese, and Arab immigrants. Penonomé is served by buses to many locations in Panama.