The linkage between P&G and Panama goes far beyond these past 8 years. Everything started more than hundred years ago, with a candle…
In 1909, P&G's William Cooper Procter signed a contract with the Isthmian Canal Commission for the sale and delivery of 5 tons of P&G stearic acid candles — also known as “star candles”. Their destination: the construction site of the Panama Canal, one of the largest engineering projects ever undertaken which, upon its completion in 1914, would unite two oceans and mark the beginning of a new era for maritime trade.
Hundreds of migrant workers lived in tents along the banks of the famous canal during its 10-year construction. P&G's “star candles” burned brighter with less smoke than tallow candles. Their soft, warm glow illuminated the workers’ temporary homes — giving them the freedom to do everyday things after dark like bathe, read or write a letter to family members back home, and protect them from getting out of the tents and being victims of mosquitos that can provoke them the yellow fever.
Back in 2008, 50 P&Gers from the original Central America Team from Guatemala took the leap of faith in P&G and in Panama, and came to this beautiful country to help us start this journey. Now, we are more than 600 P&G employees living and working in Panama!
Following the Central America group that first came in, it was the arrival of the second group of pioneers, the LA Market Development Organization team. That was a main milestone towards our vision of becoming a World Class Site, a place where we encourage career development behind an environment of diversity, agility and collaboration.
Same year in 2008 P&G reinforced its commitment to Panama and its people by launching its world class program Children´s Safe Drinking Water. Since then and thanks to the strategic partners, we have been able to provide 36.2 million liters of safe drinking water to over 35 communities and 60M Panamanians with limited access to clean water.
A year later, in 2009, the relocation process continued with the arrival of Beauty & Grooming, Home and Fabric regional business units with over 200 more P&Gers. In 2010, P&G brought to Panamá its best in class global social partnership; leading the establishments of United Way Panama (UWP). Today, there are 20 Companies who support UWP, and together fund social responsibility programs that are improving the lives of many Panamanians around the country. We are proud of more than 10 active Educational programs we have in partnership with UWP in which 1,500 P&G volunteers, both employees and their relatives, giving hope to these communities. Just in the last few years, it has been accounted over 10.000 Panamanians who have been directly benefited.
Back in 2011, P&G established, in partnership with DHL, its regional distribution center in the city of Colón, generating over 300 job opportunities for Panamanian talent in Colón.
We moved to our current offices in 2012 in order to allowed us to be all together, aligned with our vision of LA as ONE: Regional Business Units, Local offices and Corporate Functions reunited when receiving in Panama the rest of our business units including Oral Care, Baby and Fem Care Regional Business Units. New P&Gers that joined in from different parts of the Region. There are many advantages in our Panama Site; its leading edge communications infrastructure and the premier class physical conditions that allow us to have a highly productive and positive environment.
Something we feel very proud of our Panama Site is Diversity. We are proud to claim that we have more than 20 nationalities working together, building our business regionally. This multicultural environment allows us to grow behind different cultures and backgrounds, a unique opportunity for our employees to have a good representation of the countries and consumers we served.
Today, we proudly say that P&G and Panama have a solid win-win relationship. We will continue to bring the best innovation to Panama, both in terms of our products, Business and Corporate Responsibility.