In Panama City’s booming colonial core, locals fight to stay; Juan Zamorano; AP
PANAMA CITY (AP) – Esther Marina Sanchez has watched her neighborhood – the heart of Panama City – transformed by its designation as a UNESCO world heritage site. Tourists and well-heeled Panamanians now stroll the paving-stone streets among gaudy hotels, fancy restaurants and trendy discos that have popped up in once-dilapidated colonial-era buildings. Gone are the gangs, the decay and abandoned structures – as well as Sanchez’s home, and those of most of her neighbors. Sanchez recalled how her landowner offered the family money 2½ years ago, but said they didn’t really have a choice: “Take it or leave it, but you’re leaving.