Tag Archives: Banana-empire

The Train Ride Up-the-Line

The mighty Changuinola River from the air.  Image thanks to Burica.

The mighty Changuinola River from the air. Image thanks to Burica.

Finally the train pulled out from in front of the Chinese Bar and Restaurant in Almirante headed for the last stop, a town by the name of Baseline. I had been apprehensive all the while since I knew nothing about traveling anywhere in the country of Panama. It was the fist time for me to really leave the urban areas of Panama and Colon to go anywhere in the world. As the train picked up speed and we sped through the lush jungle toward our destination, for some reason I envisioned that the jungle would one day try to reclaim the area of the rails upon which it was running. Continue reading

The Evolution of the Silver Townships 1909- 1920

Images: Top: Postcard Photo of an early (1910) “Tourist Train” Middle: A West Indian Washerwoman washing clothes at a stream while some carefree white men converse nearby. Bottom: An aerial view of a Gatun Silver Town.  The Silver Townships.

By 1909 an invisible protective net had been set up over the area of Central America during which time the ongoing ideological struggles carried over from the 1850’s between those who advocated for maintaining some form of slavery in modern society and those who advocated succumbing to the new ideals of “Communism,” continued to unfold. The protective scheme of the U.S. operatives in their new colony was calculated not to permit those “outside forces” to impact the Panama Canal Zone. Continue reading

The Saga of the United States Canal: The Great Fear in the Colonialist Mind


The great fear of the colonialist mentality which we would attribute to the Europeans and to the Yankees, because of centuries of their proclivity towards exhibiting such behavior against people of color in this hemisphere, would have continuity against other people of color in other theaters of the planet far into the conclusion of the 20th century. Continue reading

A Woman’s Ordeals

Many Westindian women found honest work following the work camps and washing and cooking for the laborers.

Sadness held us together as Bea continued her story. “All I could do is tell the boys them to take me to see him. ‘Take me to him,’ I said to them. So they take me to look at him an’ I still could not believe that he was dead. They, I mean we, all bury him and had the wake in this same house.” She sensed that I was grieving for her lost lover of yesteryear so she switched the conversation to a more pleasant note. “You should bring your family and stay with me a couple of days,” she said and I found words enough to respond. “I will,” I answered. Continue reading