Tag Archives: National Institute of Panama

A Time-Honored Parade Route

Image is property of our friends at LatinOL forums. Lucky Strike Building in Panama circa 1949.


The parade started in the street in front of the National Treasury winding up two blocks on what is Avenida Peru today. A left turn and we were on the familiar Avenida Central marching down the section known as Perejil. Before I knew it we were marching by my old primary school of Pedro J. Sosa in the neighborhood that had become so familiar to me, San Miguel, with Magnolia Building at its center.  This is the neighborhood where I had started my adolescent life in the renowned National Institute. Continue reading

The Standard Bearers

This is an old shot of the Teatro Capitolio. Image thanks to our friends at LatinOL.com.

That early morning light caught me at a time when I was the sole representative from the Magnolia and War Zone Buildings neighborhood.  I stood there like a soldier at rest, a proud member of the National Institute Marching Band drum section. Continue reading

As Sharp as an American General

This is an army jacket cut in the Eisenhower fashion, very similar to the way ours was cut, only ours was much more stylish.

In our last post we discussed the deep nationalistic sentiments inherent in most of us children from Panama’s barrios.  But it was especially the Institutores who acquired the reputation for leading the Third of November marches in displaying their patriotism. Continue reading

Born to March

Image thanks to the Panama America

Looking back on last month’s patriot activities in Panama I couldn’t help but conclude that we Panamanians are natural born marchers; we love parades, marching bands, and all street exhibitions that allow people to march in a group like comparzas. Continue reading

Onward Christian Soldiers

Image thanks to LatinOL.com

Before the month of November closes I just wanted to highlight the importance of patriotism, pomp and ceremony and how they filled in a big gap for young people like me while I was growing up in Panama.  As I’ve pointed out before, having acquired community support had been mostly accidental with me since my immediate family’s support had always been questionable. Continue reading


I needed my marching uniform to support my Barrio.


The last semester of 1952 would be the last report card that I would receive from the National Institute. The chain of events leading up to this break with my prized ambition of graduation from this illustrious institution will soon be manifest.  I had always hoped to follow in my Uncle Eric’s footsteps and continue on to my university studies.  But, fate would have it another way. Continue reading