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Panama votes to widen canal

SmarterTravel

In eight years, you may be able to sail on a gigantic mega-ship through the Panama Canal. According to the Associated Press, Panamanian citizens voted this week to approve construction of a third lock, which would double the capacity of the canal. Currently, only ships of a certain size, dubbed “Panamax” ships, can fit through the locks.

The current size of the canal limits the cruise lines as to which ships they can send on Panama Canal itineraries. A wider channel would enable the larger, more modern vessels to sail between the two seas.

Even better, this project could create 40,000 new jobs for Panama’s citizens. Currently, 40 percent of the country is impoverished, and 9.5 percent of residents are unemployed. It’s nice to know that a vacation that spoils you so completely could actually be extremely beneficial to people in this world who might not be able to afford anything close to a luxury trip.

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