Tag Archives: Silver-cemeteries

2010 in Review

Happy New Year

In several respects this year has been especially satisfying for us at the Silver People Chronicle. We have many things to be thankful for- many things we have accomplished despite the universal tendency to forget the historic accomplishments of a little known Panamanian people- The Silver People– although their contribution was largely responsible for Panama’s thriving economy today. Continue reading

Escaping Segregation in Death

This image represents the grand celebration
of light that is observed in Presov, Slovakia.
This is how we all should celebrate All Soul’s Day
in the Americas in memory of our beloved
ancestors who worked to leave us the best of all
possible worlds. Image is from: www.iarelative.com

I learned a great deal from Miss Polly and her experiences, especially about death and dying. Since my grandmother’s retirement my Aunt Berenice had lost her first (and only) child and no one talked about the infant or my two deceased uncles Eric and Vicente or where they were buried, much less go visit the graves of these young men who had long ago become part of that Black Canal Zone. I used to watch how the Black Westindian people buried their dead and congregated during the funeral for any and all spiritual gifts from any kind of church or organization that might have presided. Continue reading

Learning From Observing

Even today the “Silver Cemetery” at Corozal remains segregated.
In the foreground is the Silver side of the cemetery, in the background,
divided by the cyclone fencing, is the American “Gold” Roll cemetery.
The radio shows of the times made me into the individual that I am today. The abuse of my person by my relatives had come so early in my life and continued for so long after that I made every attempt to avoid them as much as I could. I often retreated into the world of radio personalities and shows to try to forget the periodic pummel-lings I would receive. Our neighbors and the people from the neighborhood around me also became my source of solace.  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