An Open Letter to Professional World Heritage Conservation Organizations

The Silver People Heritage Foundation, a Panama based nonprofit organization, cordially greets you while requesting your support in contacting professionals who are actively involved in heritage conservation.

We are a group of people who are descended from Black West Indian laborers who were former employees of the American Canal Zone. As the first, second and succeeding generations of those contracted workers who were categorized from the turn of the 20th century until the mid 1960’s as “Silver employees,” and have family ties to the American Panama Canal either through great grandparents, grandparents, parents and other relatives and acquaintances, we are also known as The Silver People.

Growing up with our ancestors who, for generations, were employed on the Panama Canal, we witnessed the suffering, abuse and damage done for decades by the racially segregated Gold and Silver Roll system. The Black Silver Roll employees, being the principal source of labor since 1850, year in which the Americans completed the first intercontinental Railroad on the Isthmus of Panama would also be instrumental in the complete and efficient development of the Banana fruit Industry.  The West Indian blacks who represented the majority within the Silver Roll on the Panama Canal Zone became the prime target for the odious sting of its classicist and racial rejection, a condition that would last even into the 21st century when we descendants would come to visit most of the ancient cemeteries, our ancestral historical sites, and see its telltale traces.

We continue to pray that you would help us in our efforts to have these sties declared sacred World Monuments and the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Ancient West Indian Colored Community also known as descendants of the Silver Roll People of Panama. Our urgent request is for your political support and much needed economic assistance, however small it may be. We are hoping that your vehement protest would bring badly needed attention to these grossly neglected and vulnerable sites so that we as descendants and citizens of the Republic of Panama and of the United States, who are also living descendants of the original Silver Men and Women, may be strengthened in securing these ancient historic sites as part of our Intangible Cultural Heritage.

As owners of these sites we would be able to secure the much needed perpetual care they need as World Monuments to Humanity. Please take time to visit this and our other web sites for more information and a background into our history, contributions and culture.  Also visit our image gallery.

Thanking you in advance, we remain positive while awaiting your response as you become acquainted with the Silver People of Panama.

With best regards,  

2 responses to “An Open Letter to Professional World Heritage Conservation Organizations

  1. Do you presently work with any organizations or universities in the United States?


  2. Greetings from Panama.


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