Category Archives: Jamaica

One of the major islands of the Antilles in the Caribbean Sea.

White Gold, W.B. Garvey’s Jewel

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With Christmas around the corner, we wanted to give W.B. Garvey’s remarkable new novel the review it truly deserves especially for those of you who are looking to treat yourselves, or those important people on your holiday gift list, to a literary feast. Continue reading

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Repatriates’ Tales- Part 1

This couple's photo was taken on the day of their repatriation back to St. Lucia from Panama

This couple’s photo was taken on the day of their repatriation back to St. Lucia from Panama. Image The Panama Canal Review, Nov. 1950

Until just recently I was under the misguided assumption that most repatriates from Panama back to their island homelands were met with a warm and welcoming reception from family and childhood friends. In conversing with several of our seniors, however, I was chillingly set straight. Most repatriates from the Panama Canal Zone and or the urban centers of Panama City and Colon were usually met with hostility, disdain, hatred and, worse of all, envy. Continue reading

How I Discovered the Old French Cemetery

The old French Cemetery in Paraiso, Panama

The old French Cemetery in Paraiso, Panama

I must have been about eleven years old when I first starting going to my French grandparents’ place for summer vacation over in the bush of Paraiso. Pa’riso bush, as we always knew it, was behind the railroad tracks going east from the town of Pa’riso. Grandfather and grandmother Julienne were not really my grandparents; they were my uncle’s in-laws, but they were very loving old people and were glad to host us for summer vacation with their own grandchildren. We became just like one of their own brood of grand kids and even called each other cousins. Continue reading

Who are the “Silver People?”

The Silver People were the first immigrants from the West Indies who were originally hired to work on the Panama Railroad and later the Panama Canal in the Republic of Panama. The original group of “Silver Men,” as most of the workers who appeared on Panama’s shores from 1850 on were men, were from the island of Jamaica. Later, however, after the disastrous bankruptcy of the French Canal Company that initiated the construction of the Canal, the majority of the contracted workers would be from the island of Barbados and the surrounding “Small islands.” Continue reading