Images: These are two well preserved examples
of the Paraiso “Old Zone” type housing that remains today.
They are both of the duplex kind
with two separate entrances and have been
restored and maintained by their new owners.
Around 1944, Paraiso became a Canal Zone town once again. The former Army quarters were refurbished into family quarters and the barracks into bachelor housing. The theatre and Post Exchange became the town’s clubhouse and the commissary was reopened. A new elementary school was built to accommodate the influx of young families and the school later became Paraiso Junior High School. Continue reading
Images: Top: An aerial view of Paraiso circa 1955
Thanks to Wikipedia
Bottom: Paraiso’s Original Civic Center is still
in use today. The original Post Office (left)
is also still in use.
As we’ve noted, one can trace the origins of many of the Silver Townships from their beginnings during the construction period and Paraiso and its environs is no exception. The Panama railroad crossed from the east to the west bank on a trestle at this point following the left bank of the Rio Grande for the next four miles, the line crossed that river’s principal tributaries – the Pedro Miguel, Caimitillo and Cardenas. Continue reading
Images: Top: an early colorized postcard image of an ambulance
similar to the type my grandfather,
Joshua Reid, might have supervised.
Bottom: Paraiso Dredging Division about 1920.
Images thanks to www.czimages.com
I consider my grandfather, Joshua Reid, as my first link to the Silver town of Paraiso. One of the legendary “White West Indians” (he was a fair skinned Mulatto from Easington, Jamaica on the south-eastern coast) he arrived in Panama in 1906 and immediately found work. His first job was in the “Cuts” as one of the Jamaican Bosses and he supervised the distribution of supplies all the way to the Atlantic coast. Continue reading
Image: A rare photo of Red Tank
before it was deserted and dismantled.
The beautifal large Cuipo tree stands sentinal
over this road.
As we continue with our narrative of how the Silver Townships came to be, we must note that these dynamic communities also underwent a great many changes during their life cycle which, in some cases, resulted in their being dismantled all together and in others integration into the country’s governance, culture and economy. Continue reading