The Panama Canal Review, March 3, 1961

Nestled snugly against the gently sloping face of a hill leading down to the Cardenas River and located between Fort Clayton and Corozal is a new Canal Zone community of 90 new housing units, all of which are to be occupied by employees of the Federal Aviation Agency in the Zone and their dependents.

This new community, taking its name of Cardenas Village from the river which flows past the base of the hill on which it rests, will be officially opened on March 12, when Gov. W. A. Carter will officiate at a ribbon-cutting ceremony which will mark the beginning of a public open house at several of the new dwelling units.

Most of the employees of the FAA and their dependents have been living in the former Navy community of Rousseau on the west side of the Canal.  Other FAA personnel now live in Cocoli, Ancon, Balboa, and the Republic of Panama. The housing units in Rousseau which are to be vacated by FAA personnel will be returned to the Navy after the present occupants have moved.

The 133 employees of the FAA in the Zone operate an International Flight Service Station from the Civil Affairs Building in Ancon, thus fulfilling an obligation assumed by the United States in the “Aviation Agreement Between the United States and the Republic of Panama” in 1949.

Starting next month, the FAA operation will be expanded somewhat as control of the Air Traffic Control Center at Albrook Air Force Base is changed from the Air Force to the FAA. The Air Force personnel now operating the control center gradually will be replaced by approximately 25 FAA employees.

In addition to the 90 housing units now ready for occupancy at Cardenas Village, 30 more units are scheduled for completion during the next 5 or 6 months. Construction of the housing by H. A. Lott, Inc., of Houston, Texas, and Drake of Panama has been done with the Canal organization acting as contracting agent. The Canal organization also will provide the new community with police and fire protection, water, electricity, sewage disposal, garbage collection, and similar services.

Although Cardenas Village is a new addition to the Canal Zone, most of the people who will live there are not newcomers. Most of them, in fact, have been here several years, ranging from one having 18 years of service in the Zone to the newest U.S.-citizen employee, who has slightly less than a year.

The FAA personnel long have been active in many different Zone activities and organizations, including clubs of many kinds, churches, lodges, youth, and hobby (many of them are ardent camera fans), and similar groups. This longtime participation in Zone activities has brought most of the FAA employees and their dependents into contact with many other zonians. The move to Cardenas Village will provide them with even greater opportunity for association with their fellow Zone residents.

Approximately 280 persons will be housed in the 120 housing units now slated for construction at Cardenas Village, including approximately 150 adults and 130 dependents under the age of 21.

With FAA personnel moving into the new community from the several communities in which they now reside, many of them will be new neighbors to each other and will have to get acquainted among themselves to some extent, at the same time as they are widening their acquaintanceships with other Zonians.

The new community includes a variety of different type housing units.
These now include 16 bachelor apartments, 32 two-bedroom duplex apartments, 36 three-bedroom duplex apartments, and 6 three bedroom cottages. Still to be built are 4 bachelor apartments and 26 three bedroom duplex apartments. An additional 50 housing units may be built after those slated for this year are completed.

After years of living in scattered areas, the FAA personnel moving to Cardenas Village are looking forward to being located in the same
community and nearer to the major housing and service areas on the Pacific side of the Isthmus. They also are looking forward to widening their circle of friends and acquaintances, just as other Pacific-side Zonians are looking forward to welcoming and meeting the first residents of the Zone’s newest community – Cardenas Village.

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Last Update: November 14, 1998
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