Tag Archives: Mount Hope Cemetery

National Memory

The beginning of November in Panama always marks the start of Patriot Month, the celebration of Panama’s independence from Colombian rule.  It is also no accident that the 3rd of November celebration comes a day after All Soul’s Day or El Día de los Difuntos, the day to honor our dead. Continue reading

Things Were That Tough- Free Burial Plots at Pilon Cemetery

Alcalde (Mayor) José Dominador Bazán is the
man in the back row wearing a bow tie. The man in the
middle, of course, is the exiled President of Argentina at the time,
Juan Domingo Perón. Image courtesy of La Estrella.

The year 1950 not only marked the beginning of another decade, it highlighted the ever worsening economic conditions the Westindian Panamanians had to endure. With the RIF’s (Reduction in Force) letters from the Canal Zone appearing with ruthless frequency in more and more homes, things were getting pretty desperate. Particularly in the Atlantic side City of Colon, the jobless situation was felt with greater intensity.  Continue reading

Our Silver Cemeteries Made it to the International “Endangered List!”

We just had to break the wonderful news to all our readers and descendants of the Silver People who have been following our progress!

Our “Silver” Cemeteries here in PanamaMount Hope as well as Corozal Cemeteries, the resting places of our historic Silver ancestors who built the Panama Railroad and the Panama Canal- have been included on the World Monuments Fund’s prestigious “100 Most Endangered Sites” for 2010. Continue reading

The Sacrifice of Silver Families- A Bitter Cup

A Bitter Cup

The deleterious effects of a segregated work environment would invariably exact its toll on the emotional climate of the Silver workers’ home front. What had become a bounty to Gold Roll families would become a great sacrifice for Silver families and the dynamics of the entire picture would not be so clearly perceived until the works in the Great Ditch had come under control. Continue reading

The Polemic History of the “Silver” Cemeteries in Panama

Image shows the blatant neglect at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Colon. On our visit we also saw many old tombs destroyed, covered with garbage and almost unrecognisable.
The middle and lower images are from Corozal Cemetery in Panama City.
These two tombs were especially disturbing examples
of neglect and poor administration of the cemetery,
once a well kept “garden cemetery.”

During the month of May, the month in which Black people in the Caribbean and Central and South America celebrate their race-
Celebración de la Etnia Negra– it is only fitting that we, the Black Westindians of Panama, make a conscientious pause to honour all those ancestors who worked and died building and maintaining the Panama Canal. We will pause here to relate some of the history of the “Silver” cemeteries and their unique beginnings. After all, it is where most of our ancestors were laid to rest. Continue reading

The Passing of a “Silverman”- Bobby Grant

“Bobby” Grant, William Evans Grant Lescano
1912-2008 Rest in the Peace of Our Lord
Bobby, my step father, and Me in our happy reunion after many years.

On the 18th day of April of 2008, Mr. William Evans Grant Lescano passed on and was laid to rest in Mount Hope Cemetery on the 21st of April of this year of Our Lord. He was lovingly known as “BobbyGrant to all the people of the Westindian community of the City of Colon. Continue reading