Along with Rainbow City and Los
Rios, Curundu got its name by popular vote. The area now known as Curundu was
once called Skunk Hollow. But some residents decided that it should be changed and
suggested Jungle Glen as a more fitting name. Others were for keeping the name of Skunk
Hollow. An editorial in The Star & Herald of March 18, 1943, was in favor of
retaining the name stating: "Friends of tradition and Skunk Hollow need to arouse
themselves if they want to save the name. They deserve encouragement. This world tends to
become a dreary and orthodox place. Whatever piquancy and humor is inherent in the name of
Skunk Hollow should be preserved for the coming generations. They, to whom the old place
has the associations of home and friends, cling to the old name. They might agree that a
rose by any other name would smell as sweet but not Skunk Hollow."
A letter to the Panama American urged compromise. The writer said: "We do not suggest that the warring factions compromise by agreeing to such a name as Jungle Hollow, although something might be said for such a name. But we see no reason why everyone could not at once agree to the adoption of the name Skunk Glen. This would retain the saltiness of the original name and would preserve the memories of the oldtimers. At the same time it would constitute a decided concession to the aesthetes. Let's make it Skunk Glen and return to the business of winning the war."
The problem was solved by ballot and a headline announced the result, "Skunk Glenners Vote Overwhelmingly for Name Curundu." Curundu was the name of the little river nearby. It is a historic name, which has been spelled a variety of ways, but the exact meaning is not known.
From the Spring, 1972
issue of The Panama Canal Review
"What's In A Name?" article written, compiled by Willie K. Friar
May 6, 2001