It is said that the first song that was played as the National Anthem of Panama was practically an improvisation. It all happened in 1903, during a visit by William I. Buchanan, first ambassador and minister plenipotentiary of the United States to Panama. As part of the formal ceremony of the presentation of his credentials to the Interim Board of Governors, the anthems of each country were to be played, and that is how the Isthmian Anthem was chosen.
The Isthmian Anthem was a very popular song, since it was sung in the schools, yet the nation needed its own anthem. Santos Jorge, who was in charge of playing the anthem, requested that Jeronimo de la Ossa compose an anthem, which he did. This was not the same song that is sung today, however, and historians have not identified who made the changes.
In 1906 the National Assembly adopted the anthem in accordance with Law 39, but only provisionally, since they planned to hold a competition to select a new composition. Nonetheless, the Panamanian people elected to use the anthem with which they were familiar. Later, the Constitution of 1941 included an article that permanently adopted what is now the National Anthem.