The hulk of one of the Chiriqui Land Company railroad cars. Image thanks to our friends at ferrolatino
Although the rest of that first day was uneventful, the two of us, as partners, started enjoying working as a team all morning and during the afternoon. Once the concrete slabs were in place we had time to enjoy each other’s company. The foreman would briefly appear and then leave after he saw us shoveling and digging as expert workmen.
By then part of the evening was spent digging our first hole which was approximately six feet deep, six feet long and three feet across. As we dug, we wondered about what was to be buried in that hole. Soon, as the day reached its end, our friendly coworkers whom we hadn’t seen eye to eye yet suddenly shouted, “You two better get ready to get going because the truck will be here soon!” Continue reading
On the train ride to Almirante I was eager to tell my story to Pug and her Aunt of my good fortune at getting a job with Chiriqui Land Company and, what was even better, that I would start work on the following Monday morning. It had been a long day for me and the train rides had helped me recover. I felt very good, however, about my experiences so far and, frankly, I liked the country people I met. Continue reading
One of Chiquita Brand’s promotional posters. I was headed for Baseline, today known as Changuinola, in search of work. Image.
Although I wouldn’t respond, the voice remained insistent until the guy ran up to me and said, “Juni, don’t you remember me?” “No!” I answered. “Where the hell do I know you from?” I said rather annoyed. He started talking fast noticing that I was irritated by all of his pestering. “Look guy, or whatever your name is, you don’t know me and I don’t know you!” I said. At that he quickly said, “Pug’s cousin! Don’t you remember? ” So, I said “Look Buddy, I am really busy and need to do some business….” Continue reading
image from worldheadquarters.com
The ferry that we took from what the natives called “Bocas Town” and the Spanish-speaking people I would later meet called “Isla Colon” or Colon Island, could be described as very large or similar in size to the one I had become accustomed to in Panama City that we all knew as the “La Boca Ferry.” The only difference between them was that the La Boca Ferry transported automobiles while in Bocas our ferry only carried human passengers and it was much more picturesque. Continue reading
Hand car ride along the old Panama Rail Road about 1856
The intermission of the canal works between the year of 1889 and 1904 had the researchers following the Westindians to the region of Bocas Del Toro where an American by the name of Minor C. Keith, along with his brothers and several relatives, had been running a thriving operation which he incorporated as the United Fruit Company in 1885 (Adams 1914)(Stephens 1887). Continue reading