It was established on March 6th, 1955 through the bull Amantissimus Deus written by Pope Pius XII, and it was, then, separated from the archdiocese. On October 17th, 1962 it ceded a part of its territory in order to create the Prelature of Bocas del Toro.
According to the Spanish chroniclers, the aboriginal people used to call this region by either Chiriquí or Cheriqué, vocable that means “valley of the moon”. According to the historian Ernesto J. Castille, the first time that the name Chiriquí was mentioned in a document it was in the work of Gil González (Relación), after his visit to the Panamanian coast of the Pacific in 1522.
Chiriquí means “valley of the Moon” (Ngäbe-Buglé for the indigenous). According to Philip Young, the name of the trybe “guaymí” is mentioned for the first time in the Chronicles of Fernando Columbus, which tell the forth trip of Christopher Columbus by the caribbean coast of the isthmus, in 1502.
Chiriquí is one of the provinces that owns the biggest biodiversities of the country. Located in the border of Panama with Costa Rica, there can be found the highlands of the Central American mountain massif (Cordillera de Talamanca).
He studied at the Minor Seminar “San José” of the Augustinian Priests in Artieda (Spain). He then continued his studies of philosophy at the Seminar Nuestra Señora Valentuñana, SOS of the Catholic king (Zaragoza) and did his Major at the Agustin Seminar of Nuestra Señora of the Consolation in Pamplona.
Pope John Paul II named him as auxiliary bishop of Panama, on December 30th, 1985, entrusting him the headquarters of Partenia and he received the Episcopal Ordination on January 18th, 1986. John Paul II named him bishop on August 28th, 1999. On February 14th, 2015 he was created Cardinal of the Roman Church, Ordinary Public Consistory, hereby becoming the first cardinal of Panama from the Order of Augustinian Recollect.


Province of Chiriquí


Province of Chiriquí







Territorial expansion

6547,7 km²


Constituted diocese

6 de marzo de 1955

Social Networks

Diácono Josué Pilides

Presbitero Michael Rivera

Licenciado Julio Aguirre