Tag Archives: chiva

My Mechanic Shop

This shop is very similar to my mechanic shop on Ave. 12 de Octubre with the Dos Pinos cooperative.  Image.

This shop is very similar to my mechanic shop on Ave. 12 de Octubre with the Dos Pinos cooperative. Image.

I directed the Chivita driver to drive his vehicle over the  air powered lift and after the small bus was in place I was able to raise the vehicle to a height I would be able to manage. He wanted to follow me under the vehicle but I wouldn’t allow him in such a dangerous zone. I told him, You just sit at the desk and read the newspaper and let me to check out the “Chivita.” He did as I instructed him. Continue reading

Ads Pay Off

This is the popular Chiva stop in front of Casa Muller or Muller Building in the heart of Calidonia in front of El Cruce. Image thanks to La Critica Libre.

A popular Chivita bus driver was my first customer.  So I began to see for myself how the ads pay off.. Image thanks to La Critica Libre.

Once I was back in Panama City some good changes came my way. One morning my uncle Pinky ordered me to follow him, leading me to believe it was for another job and we wound up at a garage and gasoline station owned by the gentlemen who organized the “Dos Pinos” Cooperative, a new and exciting development in Panama as well as the rest of Central America. The Twin Pines or “Dos Pinos” logo blazoned on the front of the station situated right on 12 de Octubre Avenue became familiar and somehow comforting to me..  So I followed along with my uncle. The next week he had more surprises for me. “This is your garage,” he said, “you play with the lift and any other equipment, until you get confident at using them. I have to be at work” He was working as a clerk on Albrook AFB at the time. Continue reading

Back to Colon

The Chivas of Panama looked like these in the early 1950’s. It was a much less complicated time in Panama and the bus rides were more pleasant.

With my credits in hand my return ride to Colon made me feel victorious. From the bus, however, I again experienced how people lived in those days on the outskirts of both urban areas. The first couple of stops en route I saw people getting on and off the bus at one of those unscheduled stops that the vehicle was constantly forced to make.  Riding the bus was even better than taxi transport as they would often leave you wherever you asked the driver to leave you. Continue reading

The Canal Zone Was Still a Part of Us

This is the popular Chiva stop in front of Casa Muller or Muller Building in the heart of Calidonia in front of El Cruce. Image thanks to La Critica Libre.

By the time I was ready to enter secondary school in the early 1950’s the Canal Zone was undergoing radical changes. This is a good time to pause and take inventory. Continue reading

Go to the Commissary…You Can Do It!

Images: Top: Avenida Central around 1940 shows the route of
the chivas that went into Santana and San Felipe.
Bottom: even into the 1960’s the same chivas were
being used in public transport.
Images thanks to CZimages.com


“Juni, come here!” my mother said one day with a note of urgency. When I immediately responded she said, “I want you to go to the commissary for me.” The “
for” is what triggered my incredulity as I could not believe that she was asking me to do this errand all by myself. During that time I had hardly left the confines of our neighborhood not even to go see my paternal grandmother or my mother’s aunt who both lived a little further up on our street. Going to the Silver commissary implied quite a distance clear out of our neighborhood into the area of Curundu. Continue reading