The hat known today as the Panama hat has been produced in Ecuador since the seventeenth century. A Panama hat is a traditional straw hat made from the plaited leaves of the toquilla palm. They were shipped to Panama before sailing for their destinations in Asia, the rest of the Americas and Europe.
Later they were named after their international sale place, rather than their place of origin, Ecuador.
Ecuadorians are very proud of this hat.
The American President Theodore Roosevelt was wearing a Panama hat when he visited the site of the construction of the Panama Canal in 1904,
Recently I have visited a factory in Ecuador where these hats are made. The traditional Montecristi hats can cost 2000 US dollars if they are of a superfine quality, but if you are looking for a souvenir hat it costs much less.