In several respects this year has been especially satisfying for us at the Silver People Chronicle. We have many things to be thankful for- many things we have accomplished despite the universal tendency to forget the historic accomplishments of a little known Panamanian people- The Silver People– although their contribution was largely responsible for Panama’s thriving economy today.
In endeavoring to call attention to our endangered Silver Cemeteries and the fact that today’s descendants of the Silver People of Panama have seen their once proud cultural heritage weakened even further, we have achieved international recognition. Our beleaguered cemeteries are probably the only physical reminder that Black English speaking Westindian people ever came to Panama by the thousands, and that they stayed to develop a cultural heritage that is now recorded because of our efforts. The now appreciated fact that they worked, loved, died and almost single handedly built The Panama Railroad and the Panama Canal has been made palpable due to our efforts at having The World Monuments Fund place our Silver Cemeteries on the 2010 World Endangered Sites Watch List.
A seemingly trivial achievement to some, we nevertheless met our goal in bringing our community’s quiet concerns to the attention of the international community. In so doing we also discovered that we are not alone in our concern and that many people from different lands and from all walks of life have contacted us with their support and with a desire to become part of our community causes.
Presently we have presented a Bill in the National Assembly of Panama to bring our cemeteries and, inclusively, our cultural heritage under the protection as National Historic Patrimony. It is called La Ley Silver People and has passed through the Technical Legal Directorate and acquired a designated number in the Permanent Committee.
We urge you to keep up with this legislation and to join us in this cause by joining us as friends at our Facebook pages and groups. You can access these groups on the right hand sidebar. With the adoption of this law we are hoping to focus on joining the important trend in world heritage cemeteries, so that we can make the cemeteries self sustaining. We are also hoping to expand on the part the English speaking Westindian people have played and continue to play in the modernization of our beloved Republic.
A people once rejected and excluded as “prohibited citizens” we now hope to be included as proud ongoing members of the Panamanian cultural and historical “Intangible Heritage” and once we have gained such cultural heights we hope never to be blotted out of our rightful place in the historic venues that made the Panama Canal the commercial and cultural center of our region in the Americas and the World.
Thank you all for your support as readers and visitors to our blogs and we invite you to stay with us as 2011 promises to be a year full of changes and good tidings. A Happy and Prosperous New Year to all!
This story continues.