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Way beyond your dreams lies Cocoli.... where the living was easy


Cocoli Service Center, clubhouse, Movie Theater and commissary... The Cocoli Clubhouse began operation under the Special Engineering Division in 1940 and became a Panama Canal Clubhouse in March 1945. The clubhouse was transferred to the US Navy on March 1, 1953.



Cocoli was built in the early 1940's as a residence for the labor force engaged on the third locks projection on the west bank near Miraflores Locks.


The community consisted of 356 family apartments, 24 bachelor apartments and 160 bachelor rooms along with other buildings and facilities. In addition, Cocoli had its own clubhouse, commissary, theater, dispensary, gas station, post office, fire station, elementary school and several churches.


Cocoli was a typical residential community of single family. duplex, 4-family, 12-family and bachelor quarters. The construction was tropical structures with wood siding and corrugated metal roofing.


Cocoli was turned over to the US Navy on January 1, 1952 and used as housing for military and civilian personnel working for the Navy. Panama Canal employees were relocated to Balboa, Ancon and Diablo.


On July 1, 1964 the Cocoli Housing Community was acquired by the US Army to meet their increased housing needs. The number of buildings had decreased by some 90 units.


Today the community is fenced off by ARI, the Republic of Panama's agency is charged with disposing of properties in the former Canal Zone. Cocoli is in a bad state of despair. The time and the elements along with the termites and the house wrecker have left Cocoli with few sagging houses and many concrete slabs where once stood proud tropical housing for those who lived in Cocoli. Should you make a trip today down old La Bruja Road you will find many empty streets and roads. Will Cocoli ever come back to its glory days? That is the question that only time will answer.

To strive is to keep a dream alive. If you use each today as a chance to reach out, to learn something more of what life's all about... If you follow your dreams, strive to make them come true... Then life's sure to bring all the best things to you. ----- Unknown