Tag Archives: Guabito

Women and the Rise and Fall of the Boom Days in Bocas

As I mentioned in the previous post, there were three recognizable groups of women who lived side by side with their men in the frontier areas of early Bocas.

The first large group of women to follow men into this remote outpost, as we have said before, was West Indian women. Black women would become a regular sight in the pueblos and towns near the area of the mines and of the railroad construction. They had become a common sight, one may safely say, during the years before the construction of the first railway from 1850 and would continue to be so until my times in 1956. Continue reading

Bea Continues Her Story

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