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Overview

Gamboa, located 30 km north of Panama City, is a small town located on the east bank of the Panama Canal, north of the Chagres River.

STRI provides laboratories and accommodations for researchers who work at the adjacent protected areas. Adjacent to the Gamboa facilities there is an extended forested protected area, where researchers conduct field studies.

Gamboa facilities include the following:

  • School House (Building 56) – hosts academic courses upstairs and contains laboratories downstairs.
  • Building 183 (Housing and Laboratory/Office building).
  • Plant Physiology Experimental Facility.
  • Green Houses, Insectaries and Bat Cages.
  • Amphibian Rescue Center.
  • Dock Facility.

How to activate STRI's Emergency Response Plan?

Call 212-8911 or 212-8211
Radio “Garita”
(STRI’s HQ’s Security Post)

Provide the following information:

  • Name
  • Location
  • Assistance Needed
  • Call-back Information

Incident Commanders

  • Raineldo Urriola
    (212-8124; 6614-9831)
  • Mario Santamaría
    (6151-3408)

Meeting Places

  • Primary meeting places: Parking Lot – Bldg. 183 or Rotonda – Infront of Schoolhouse.
  • Secondary meeting place (to be used if the primary meeting place is affected by the emergency): Playground next to bldg. 183 or playground next to the schoolhouse.

Areas of Refuge

  • Internal stairs/Hallways
  • Dormitory bathrooms – School House
  • Downstairs bathrooms – Bldg. 188

Portable Defibrillation Machine

  • Gamboa School House downstairs next to the First Aid Kit
  • Gamboa 183 Administrative Office # 6
  • Greenhouse Service Area

Additional Security and Safety Information

In addition to the security information about Panama in general and STRI’s security and safety policies, the following applies to Gamboa.

  • Aquatic activities – Swimming in the Gatun Lake and the Chagres River is prohibited due to boating activities, the presence of crocodiles and dense aquatic vegetation. Consult with the Gamboa Administrator for advice on other aquatic activities.
  • If you will be driving in the jungle, take a saw or machete for use in removing downed trees from the roadway.
  • Drinking water – Water at the facilities is generally safe to drink; however, seasonal weather-related conditions might negatively affect its quality.
  • Dangerous fauna – Consult with the Gamboa administrators about any dangerous fauna that could be encountered such as crocodiles, snakes, felines, African bees and insects that carry tropical diseases.
  • Criminal activities in the area
    • Robberies have been reported; keep your belongings (e.g., money and personal documents) secure and room and laboratory doors locked.
    • Be aware that El Renacer Penitentiary is less than 2 km from the Gamboa Bridge.

Safety & Security Officials

The Panama Ecological Police are headquartered in Gamboa. They provide support to STRI in the BCI Natural Monument and oversee security in Gamboa. Private guards provide security at the STRI dock and the Plant Physiology Experimental Facility/Greenhouses. Gamboa is also served by a fire station.

Emergency Information

  • STRI Headquarters Security Guard Booth 212-8911/212-8211
    (from Gamboa facilities phones dial 28911 or 28211)
  • Incident Commanders

    Meeting Places for Building 183

    • Primary meeting place: Parking Lot
    • Secondary meeting place (to be used if the primary meeting place is affected by the emergency): Playground next to bldg. 183
  • Areas of Refuge for Bldg. 183
    • Internal stairs
    • Dormitory bathrooms
  • Meeting Places for School House (Building 56)
    • Primary meeting place: Rotonda
    • Secondary meeting place (to be used if the primary meeting place is affected by the emergency): Playground between Civic Center and School House
  • Areas of Refuge for School House (Building 56)
    • Internal hallway away from windows (upstairs)
    • Downstairs bathrooms
  • Portable Defibrillation Machine
    • Gamboa School House downstairs next to the First Aid Kit
    • Gamboa 183 Administrative Office # 6
    • Greenhouse