Tag Archives: racial-discrimination

The Westindian Community Receives Assistance

My school, Pedro J. Sosa, founded in 1933,
was one of the schools at the center of the
storm of racial persecution by their own
teachers against children of Westindian

The 1946 laws, reinforcing the exclusionary and rejecting policies of the 1941 Constitution, could not be clearer. Schools were a business and Westindians were not at all welcomed as businessmen. Nor were they organized enough to gain the economic power to meet the requirements individually. As I’ve noted before, this was a time when there were no banks and the Banco Nacional was basically off limits to Westindians. At any rate, the $15,000 required to start any business was certainly not available to open any English School. Continue reading

The Changing of Attitudes- Looking for a Bonding Source


Decades have come and gone since the first and larger groups of eager laborers arrived on the Isthmus of Panama to survive the harshness of the climate and the overpowering burden of laboring daily from before the break of day until long past sundown.

We will soon see, as we enter the canal construction era, that the earlier period brought untold sickness and death among the laborers both on the area of the railroads, banana plantations and the Inter Oceanic Canal projects, all without the proper recompense for time and the type of labor. Whether it took human power or with the assistance of heavy machinery, the planned projects drew from the presence of all groups of coolie labor. Continue reading

Foreigners or Citizens: The Presence of the Asians and the West Indians


Images: Top: Chinatown in Panama City during Chinese New Year
Courtesy of: www.panama-guide.com
Bottom: One of the Original Commercial Chinese Vegetable Gardens
Courtesy of: www.czimages.com

The issue of race discrimination, in our view, has had great bearing on how the Asian people in the Republic of Panama have been able to survive periods of xenophobia, as much as the West Indian Blacks, and be included in Panamanian history. It remains a part of history, however, as yet untold, particularly their relationship to one another and especially to the Black West Indians in their midst. Continue reading