Category Archives: Intangible Cultural Heritage

Requiem for the Carnaval in Colon

Archival photo of Carnaval circa 1920. Image thanks to our friends at

Another vintage photo shared by our friends at This was Carnaval back in the 1920’s with the West Indian flavor.

This precious Carnaval photo is from the 1960’s and it was taken in Colon. Image thanks to our friend Quintín Aguilar, Artist Colonense at ColondeAyer.

I had known that the City of Colon, from its early history since the 1820’s, had been populated mainly by Westindian families. How many, however, and how closely they were associated with the Panama Railroad or the Panama Canal Zone or how early had they been coming to these shores was one of my questions back then. The Silver Roll, the ranks of the real working people of the nearby Canal Zone, reflected some important figures in my imaginary census of the students I would find at any of the public elementary and secondary schools of that time. Continue reading

Our Encounter at Corozal Cemetery

Here we are, my Cousins, me and the ex-administrator strolling back down from Section M in Corozal Cemetery.

On Friday March 23, 2012 I decided to take my cousins on a promised visit to one of the cemeteries where the bones of their ancestors rest and which, by the way, now belongs to the three cemeteries protected by our Silver People Law.  The Law was newly passed by the National Assembly on March 1, 2012, so this would be a perfect time to visit Corozal Cemetery.  There rests our Uncles Eric J. Reid, Vincent (Vicente) Reid, my grandmother, Fanny Elizabeth M. Reid and several of my aunts on my maternal side.  We were met with a surprise visitor. Continue reading

The Issue of Exposure to Culture

A classic Wurlitzer Juke Box of the kind you could find in the cantinas. Image:

Living and growing up in the Panama of our times was always a total paradox. As someone said about being in such a state and trying to get untangled, “To manage a paradox you need to live with it as well as analyze it.” That is what I have being trying to do thus far along with chronicling how it has been with my people, as part of the Silver People of the Panama Canal Zone since its inception. Continue reading

The Silver People Law Has Passed Third Debate!

The Law #348 to Declare our Silver Cemeteries National Historic and Cultural Patrimony in Panama’s National Assembly, was just passed into law yesterday March 1, 2012! Continue reading

My Life Paraded in Front of Me

El Cruce Building just before it was demolished in June 2009; in my youth it was all one-room rentals for Westindian families

San Ramon Building at the entrance of “M” Street.

The parade route had not left the Calidonia/Wachipali district as fast as we all anticipated, as the marching pace slowed down to a halt. As we stood there marking time we noticed how official functionaries were suddenly ahead of us. It seemed as though it had been planned that way, so that the large contingent of the National Police and Firemen or “red shirts” we all called the Bomberos, was now at rest in the midst of us school children on precisely this point on the parade route.  Continue reading

The Silver People Law – Join Us to Defend Our National Patrimony

Image: One of the helpful functionaries at Participación Ciudadana explaining to me the series of steps our Proyecto de Ley would go through.

Our Bill or Proyecto de Ley #348 will be up for a very important debate next week and we are calling for people to support us with their presence.

This past Tuesday morning I was cited by the Asamblea Nacional de Panamá Permanent Commission to appear on next Tuesday, January 24th, 2012 at 10 A.M at the Budget Commission (Comisión de Presupuesto) to make a presentation defending our projected Law# 348 (Proyecto de Ley #348) Declaring Patrimonio Histórico the 3 cemeteries on the Banks of the Panama Canal and Black Canal Zone, Corozal (Silver), Gatún, Mount Hope (Monte Esperanza) in Colon. Continue reading