The image is of an exquisite pot of Rundon, or rundown, as it is variously called- Jamaican style.
That school year, in fact, I had stayed off the streets as much as possible and stayed at home mostly reading all the books I was able to understand from the odd collection amongst the three small bookshelves in the home of my now retired grandmother. School would soon be a thing of the past I thought as I leafed through some French volumes left to me by Miss Del Marie just before she left to return to Martinique. Continue reading
This is a rather tourist like shot of
Bocas del Toro. Image.
It was the year 1950 and the seemingly endless year of 1949 had passed with many political happenings that I would remember all my life. I would usually end my days at the dental clinic where I had been drawn to in order to stay off the streets. It might have been the place that I would end up spending my summer as that year closed on my adolescent activities. Continue reading
Lord Cobra, Panama’s Calypso monarch.
Someone in the middle of the funeral procession said, “He has left us and taken Calypso to heaven!”
This man, seasoned by the creative activity of his prolific life did not die in his native Patois Town in Bocas del Toro, framed by the solitude of cemeteries and rail road track leading towards an infinite banana plantation. In an uncommon farewell, the relatives, friends and fans of Lord Cobra gave their last good bye to the popular singer of Calypso that had marked the golden era of the national bands. One of the best in his genre, Cobra was recognized in the “patio,” (the common people) as the “foreigner.” Continue reading
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
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
As we get closer to our story of how the American Canal and Canal Zone was built, and how such constructions led to the creation of segregated areas for the Black Westindian worker, we will pause to review the scenario. The 1900′s would find the Westindian population in Panama employed in the far off provinces, engaged, mainly, in the cultivation of bananas. Continue reading
Image thanks to classroomclipart.com
The people we will refer to as the Afro-Hispanics have been identified by Panamanian historians as Afro-Coloniales, those individuals of African racial descent of Spanish cultural heritage. We will later discover that these Afro-Coloniales, unlike their English speaking counterparts from the West Indies, never really experienced the full brunt of the Canal Zone Silver Roll system, rather they remained in the background for decades. Continue reading