Colón is a Panamanian city and sea port beside the Caribbean Sea, lying near the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal. It is the capital of Panama's Colón Province and has traditionally been known as Panama's second city. Originally, it was located entirely on Manzanillo Island, surrounded by Limon Bay, Manzanillo Bay and the Folks River, but, since the disestablishment of the Panama Canal Zone, the city's limits have been redefined to include Fort Gulick, a former U.S. Army base, as well the former Canal Zone towns of Cristobal, Margarita and Coco Solo. The city was founded by Americans in 1850 as the Atlantic terminal of the Panama Railroad, then under construction to meet the gold rush demand for a fast route to California. Colón has a tropical monsoon climate with heavy rainfall from May to December. Today, sizable South Asian and Arab communities live in the remaining prosperous areas of the city, as well as in gated communities outside it. The majority of the city's population is of West Indian or mixed mestizo-hispanic ancestry.