In the year 1880, the idea of building the canal came into reality when the French made a treaty with Gran Colombia (Panama was a part of Colombia at the time) to dig a long trench through the skinniest part of the country. However, the french lost all the money they needed and everyone got sick so they where forced to abandon their work. Before the canal started, it was just a footpath used by the Indigenous. It then became a railroad, and finally, a canal. The U.S picked up the work of the French and made a treaty with Panama a week or so after they declared their independence from Colombia. They built the canal with three sets of ‘ship steps’ or ‘locks’. These locks are pretty much big rectangular prisms that drain and fill up with water to allow the ships to go up into the lake that is in the heart of panama and then back down to sea level. Mom, Dad, a friend and I all went to Panama City (witch is on the Pacific side) to the the first (or last) set of locks called Miraflores. The canal is approximately 80 kilometers long which is about 50 miles. The types of ships that go trough the canal are car carriers, tankers, cargo ships, fishing boats, sail boats, and cruise ships. Do I want to go through the Canal? Maybe if I was on a cruse ship or one of the bigger ships where I could see more, but on our little sail boat, I would feel like a mouse and may still get sea sick. The panama canal has just opened its new locks which are bigger and can fit the newer and bigger boats. Maybe someday they’ll make a cool crane sort of thing that lifts the boat up and over the land from one ocean to the next.