Tag Archives: youth gangs in Panama

Baggage Handlers

Image thanks to Wikipedia.

Image thanks to Wikipedia.

Those events of my youth and our history, as West Indian Panamanians, up to and following my experience in Abel Bravo College, had always managed to shock me. It had always been difficult for me to understand that what unfolded before my eyes were the first steps toward madness and family dysfunction in the making. So that all those years in our upbringing had us hauling around all that emotional baggage and, in fact, tripping over it. Continue reading

A New Respect


The ex-gang boy joined his classmates inside as I did also but I’m sure he was convinced that I would never forget the history of his gang’s persecution. I was just glad that most of the boys in my new school home were total strangers to me. I sat trying to remain quiet and away from the hustle reading a book I had found in the desk of the seat I had chosen. We hadn’t been in class long because we had spent the morning doing absolutely nothing constructive. Continue reading

The Boy from the “M” Street Gang


The item at the top which looks like a rustic wooden gun is the kind of Zip gun the boys shot at me with. Image thanks to etsy.com.

I finally recognized that nervous boy as one of the lads who had teamed up with other Westindian boys to make my life miserable often threatening me near San Miguel Hill.  This morning, following the first day’s assembly, however, we were given the orders to go to class. In several lines, groups of students marched soberly to their designated classrooms. While I thought quickly of how to hold this little delinquent who was obviously far from his hunting companions, I said to myself, “You little piece of shit! I’ve got you now!” Continue reading