The town of Balboa, founded by the United States during the construction of
the Panama Canal, was named after Vasco Núñez de Balboa, the Spanish conquistador
credited with discovering the Pacific Ocean. The name was suggested to the
Canal Zone authorities by the Peruvian ambassador to Panama. Prior to being
drained, filled and leveled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the hilly area
north of Panama City was home to a few subsistence ranches and unused marshlands.
The town of Balboa, like most towns in the Canal Zone, was served by Canal
Zone Government-operated schools, post office, police and fire