Tag Archives: La Boca

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

María Pantalones Carter- A Legend of Altruism

In this old photo, María Pantalones appears in her signature shorts posing next to her pelaos to whom she donated bicycles. Image.

This is a more recent photo of María Pantalones.  Image.

This is a more recent photo of María Pantalones. Image.

When we heard of her death on April 3rd, 2013 we remained in a quandry about this unusual figure we occasionally saw walking about our neighborhood, especially hovering around El Carmen Church, always sporting the familiar Bermuda shorts. My husband, being one of the thousands of exiled West Indian Panamanians who left Panama in the late 1950’s and lost touch with our West Indian community here, never knew her story until just recently. I was, however, moved when I heard that this tremendous personality passed away almost forgotten by the thousands of people she helped. Continue reading