The Silver People Law- We Are Closer to Victory

The Honorable Legislators who make up the Comission on Culture, Education and Sports.

This is me in only my preliminary arguments for our Silver People Law.

The Press, of course, insisted on an interview.

Our joy and sense of satisfaction received a giant boost this past Tuesday, August 2, 2011 when we answered a citation of the Permanent Commission on Education and Culture of the Asamblea Nacional de Panamá prepared to make our presentation in 1st Debate.

We were responding to some questions from the Honorable Diputados all members of the Commission regarding our Bill of Law No. 348, which would declare National Historic and Cultural Patrimony the four Silver Cemeteries of Corozal, Gatun and old Monkey Hill or Mount Hope Cemetery all on the banks of the Panama Canal.

Our argument remained the same regarding our Panamanian citizenship and our honorable Silver ancestors, who were the ones who did the original labor to make possible all the marvelous historic works such as the first Intercontinental Railroad, the French Canal, the Panama Canal, and the development of urban Panama and Colon cities and the Panama Canal Zone. We also argue that we as Silver People have lost our rightful Intangible Cultural Heritage on the Black Canal Zone, that the bones of those working men and women who lie in those sites were the historic Silver Roll workers and that they and their resting grounds deserve their rightful place on the 2010 list of 100 Most Endangered Cultural sites in the world to be restored and protected for posterity.

We also argue that they as well as we, their living descendants and Panamanian citizens, deserve these honors and cultural legacy because it was they who labored from 1848-1970 on every important project now used by our country and the modern world in general. That even today we as descendants of those honorable Silver People do not have any visible recognition in any part of the old Black Canal Zone, nor have we any recognized part as a people in gaining access to our valuable Intangible Cultural Heritage on the banks of the Panama Canal.

“For without the Silver we as a people are just unrecognized shadows.”

This update is to inform you our readers of the progress of our Proyecto de Ley 348 and that it has received a unanimous vote to pass to a Second Debate. Also, our aim is to keep you abreast of our progress when we pass on to a Third and final round of debates before being invited to the Plenary meeting of the National Assembly of Panama. This will be the realization of all our dreams especially if we can count on meeting all of you there as a special date and a new day of fellowship and cooperation. Upon passage of this law, we would, literally, be rewriting history among us as descendants of the Silver People of Panama.

We await your long awaited blessings for the passage of this law which would open for us all a host of opportunities.  Thus, with an abiding faith in the God of our ancestors we await this wonderful day of Victory as it unfolds. Our call is for cooperation which has always been our strength and we pray to see showers of blessings upon us.

This story continues.   

13 responses to “The Silver People Law- We Are Closer to Victory

  1. Carlos Russell

    Dear Roberto….. A brief note of congratulations and emotional support for your extraordinary valor and continued efforts on behalf of “Silver People”….In my view, there are few like you and those who work with you who truly understand the spiritual significance of the work you have undertaken. Hopefully the bill is passed and the bones of our forefathers and mothers will rest in peace and their spirits for ever live.

    Dr. Carlos Russell

  2. Renaldo Manuel Ricketts

    Roberto-you’ve worked diligently for this moment and truly hope they take what you’ve presented to them . What you’ve done is monumental and carries great historical significance for this country. I have confidence in you and know you’ll make a profound and dynamic presentation when demonstrating these prudent facts about the Silver People. The plight of the Silver People is a heavy load for any man to carry.

    We stand behind you as soldiers on a battle field, flanked by our descendants in spirits. We’ve just begun to educate the Panamanian People; they shall be enlightened as they grow cognizant of the rich history that has been neglected and now resurrected. I’m quite confident the assembly will do the right thing and vote for the historic truth presented before them.

  3. Renaldo, We published this comment as it reflects your moderation in sharing your ideas and, moreover, your zeal for the topic. We will not, as I have tried to point out before, permit inflammatory type comments that would only dampen our progress. We take pride in how we have come along thus far and have acquired a reputation as lovers of peace and dialogue between all people. We will continue to bless you as you continue your search. RR

  4. Alberto Barnett

    Roberto, I am very proud of you and your fellow comrades for the excellent and monumental work all of you have taken on to educate the Panamanian people of the important role the Silver Roll people did in the enhancement and creation of our Intercontinental Railroad, the French Canal, the Panama Canal, and the development of urban Panama and Colon cities and the Panama Canal Zone. My continuous prayers are with you all.

    • A special thanks for your prayers, Alberto. They, above all, are the strength behind everything we do.

  5. Roberto:
    Congratulations on this enormous task you have undertaken on behalf of the great Silver men and women who helped build and develop our beloved Republic of Panama.
    I have beeen passing along pamphlets and information about this marvelous agenda to some of the descendants of the Silver people here in the States.
    With God’s help we will be victorious.
    I will e-mail you and Lydia soon with some information.

    • Anita,

      Thank you for helping us to “publish abroad” our message about our Silver People ancestors. Looking forward to hearing from you.

  6. Renaldo Manuel Ricketts

    Roberto, thanks for publishing my thoughts on the subject, our stake in telling the truth about the building of the Panama Canal is historic. Some of my comments you deem inflammatory, we just happen to disagree at a certain point, our objective is the same. We may disagree at point (a) but agree at all the points from (b) to( z). That is most important the point we agree on are greater than one point where we don’t see eye to eye. I’m able to over look one point and focus on the greater picture, thanks again for publishing my thoughts on the subject.
    We’re representing generations before us and in front of us, it’s vital that the whole truth be told,not a fractional marginal version of history about the country. This rich history should be taught in schools on all levels, we foresee scholars in the future teaching the complete history of Panama not a conscripted version. The building of the Panama Canal is monumental in the foundation of the country we simply want to set the record straight and speak the truth..

    The greater symbiotic significance of having our story told is most important. Our main objective is the same the preservation and respect for the Silver People in the Pantheon of Panamanian History. We’ve been neglected too long and this is after all the 21st century and we’ve been here for centuries as forced captives in this hemisphere. Speak softly and carry a bigger brain is my motto!

  7. Renaldo Manuel Ricketts

    This has been an ordeal. Are you going to publish the specifics of what the Panamanian government is going to cover as far as restoration of cemeteries and for how long will they maintain the grounds? I suspect the bill #348 contain specifics. Keep me us informed after all this is the 21st century -2011 . Been a long time coming for something of substance to emerge concerning the plight of The Silver People. I suppose our day in sun will be fulfilled one day to our satisfaction; hopefully soon.

    • Renaldo,

      The answer to your questions is “Yes,” the Law #348 does contain specifics and the how’s and wherefores are being hammered out between us and the Commission officers who appear to be very supportive. We will be launching a new site called Silver People Info which is just that, an informational web site on all our projects rather than a blog. We will soon announce the link when we have it sufficiently developed for Public use. In the meantime look at the document in English outlining the Law on Scribd here:


  8. Wow Roberto, I am speechless. Words cannot explain my emotions. Thank you for stepping up to the plate and keeping our ancestors efforts alive. I am aware of the fact that this takes a lot of dedication and time. Please let me know how I can help in spreading the word to our people. I read someone mentioned there’s a brochure or newsletter? If possible, we definitely need to know the date in advance so those of us in the U.S. can begin to make travel arrangements to be there and represent. After all we show up for Carnival and all sorts of Reunions, but this is history. I pray we can also show up for this memorable day!

  9. Is this paper still in circulation? May I get copies of this paper sent to me in the United States? I would like to read more about the Silver People and the Silver People Law.