Category Archives: West Indian Panamanian Literature

Los Pana-Zona by Luis E. Cubilla -A Book Review

Los Pana-Zona book cover

Los Pana-Zona book cover

When Luis Cubilla contacted us to announce that he was almost finished writing his book about growing up in the Canal Zone- more specifically Gamboa or Silver Santa Cruz- we could understand his excitement and enthusiasm.    Continue reading

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Real Carnaval

A scene from Colon Carnaval in 1972. Image thanks to our friends at Colón de Ayer.

A scene from Colon Carnaval in 1972. Image thanks to our friends at Colón de Ayer.

Here I am making my small contribution to the Carnaval in Panama City. Dressed in my Diablito costume that I made at home, I tried to liven things up on Via Venetto. 2006

Here I am making my small contribution to the Carnaval in Panama City. Dressed in my Diablito costume that I made at home, I tried to liven things up on Via Venetto. 2006

Another jewel from the desk of our friend Tito Johnson recalls the golden days of Carnaval, especially the celebration in the City of Colon, which I recall with nostalgia and haven´t seen replicated even in Panama City, although the Carnavals in our capitol city were Real Carnaval until the mid 1950´s.  By the late 1950´s I would say that Panama´s Carnaval started going downhill by cultural standards.  I hope you enjoy this memory as much as I did.  Continue reading

A Digger’s Story

Contractor's Hill about 1910.  The breaking down of this massive piece of solid rock was a tremendous and dangerous undertaking and the black, West Indian Silvermen met the challenge.  The image is thanks to the Library of Congress.

Contractor’s Hill about 1910. The breaking down of this massive piece of solid rock was a tremendous and dangerous undertaking and the black, West Indian Silvermen met the challenge. The image is thanks to the Library of Congress.

The poem we are honored to post today is about the memories that many of the Silvermen preferred not to remember, much less recount. But, Louis Emanuel, our friend and resident poet – and chronicler- has a sharp recall for the accounts his grandfather rendered of the perils he and his companions encountered as part of the digging backbone of the Silver Roll work crews in the early construction days of the Panama Canal.  Continue reading

Mashup

My beloved Auntie Berenice Charles, 1912-2005

My beloved Auntie Berenice Charles, 1912-2005

Although passed on to Glory now since 2005, my beloved Auntie Berenice, who worked on the Panama Canal Zone as a maid and, finally, a cook, all her life, never leaves my side at my writing desk. It was from her that I learned about the Westindians of Panama and grew to love and understand our English patois.  Continue reading

The Panamanian Retirees’ Breakfast Club- More Insights

As promised, we’re providing our readers with another opportunity to examine additional pages from the unique journal published by The Panamanian Retirees’ Breakfast Club. We’re encouraged to do this labor of “Love,” in fact, due to the enthusiastic readership we are seeing on many of our articles relating to our culture in Panama. This theme has never lost its attraction here in our republic or oversees, however, lately the question regarding racism in Panama has raised constructive discussion about how we blacks of Panama have taken charge and have promoted our own cultural expressions, especially those that we have inherited from our Silver ancestors. Continue reading