An early photo of West Indian workers chatting.
In that year of early 1956 when I met Bea, I wasn’t much more than a teenager, an older adolescent. Bea was as an older woman whose age I calculated as being in her early sixties. But she still had that glow of a young woman as her beautiful brown skin did not reveal the wrinkles of old age. Nevertheless she might have been cruising in her early eighties. But it was my first encounter with a woman who had seen the beginnings of the web of railroad tracks laid to be the only transport available in the area and all of it was run by the Chiriqui Land Company. Continue reading
Old photo of West Indian working men doing their own laundry. They were not fortunate enough to have the help of WI women.
As I got back to the work at hand a cool sea breeze reminded me that the surf was a short walk from where I had ended up that morning. Then I looked up and my host had disappeared into the house. Time seemed to fly and my muscles were not yet tired. The sun at that hour of the day had become merciless, however, as I continued to whack away all my troubles thinking, time and again, that I had better just jump on the first ferry and take may sorry self up the line and plead with my boss to give me back my job. Continue reading
Typical washday at a stream; in this case under Lagarto Bridge.
Courtesy of www.czimages.com
The presence of women who followed the laborers into the areas of construction of the railways was vital to the morale of the working man. Those women as first pioneers were hardy and won the respect and admiration of most of these roughneck Westindian men. Later it would be my understanding that many other people were attracted to the area of work because of those first groups of pioneer women. Continue reading