/koh lon"/; Sp. /kaw lawn"/, n.a seaport in Panama at the Atlantic end of the Panama Canal. 85,600.
* * *Segment that makes up most of the large intestine.Though the two terms are often used interchangeably, the colon technically excludes the cecum (a pouch at the beginning of the large intestine), rectum, and anal canal. It runs up the right side of the abdomen (ascending colon), across it (transverse colon), and down the left side (descending colon); its last section (sigmoid colon) joins the rectum. It has no digestive function but lubricates waste products, absorbs remaining fluids and salts, and stores waste products until excretion. Problems involving the colon include ulcerative colitis, constipation and diarrhea, gas discomfort, megacolon (enlarged colon), and cancer.
* * *▪ Cubacity, west-central Cuba. The city is situated on an inland plain where sugarcane, fruits, and tobacco are grown and poultry and cattle are raised. The area also yields honey. Colón processes the farm products and has tobacco factories and a fruit-dehydration plant. The city lies on the central highway and a major railroad. Pop. (2002) 44,520.▪ Panamacity and port, north-central Panama. Founded in 1850 at the Atlantic (northern) terminus of the original Panama railway, the settlement was first called Aspinwall after one of the builders of the railway. Colón is the Spanish form of Columbus; the name of the neighboring port of Cristóbal is Spanish for Christopher. After completion of the railway in 1855, Colón overshadowed the older Caribbean ports of Panama (Panama Canal), and with the first plans for the isthmian canal it took on additional prestige. Built on swampy Manzanillo Island, the city was notoriously unhealthful until U.S. Col. William C. Gorgas (Gorgas, William Crawford), in charge of sanitation during the canal construction, gave it a new system of waterworks and sewerage and drained the surrounding swamps.The great portworks and docks built by the U.S. government in the former Canal Zone at Cristóbal, now virtually a suburb, make Colón one of the most important ports of the Caribbean Sea. Colón also is a major commercial centre, tourist destination, and port of call for many cruise ships. It was made a free-trade zone in 1953 and is one of the world's largest duty-free ports. The city hasa customhouse, large public buildings, churches, and several modern hotels. However, more than two-fifths of its inhabitants live in poverty, and crime is rampant. The city's population is largely black, chiefly descendants of labourers imported from the British West Indies during construction of the canal. Colón is on the Boyd-Roosevelt Highway, which runs to Panama City, and it has an airport. Pop. (2000) 42,133.
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