A conceptual rendering of the proposed Financial Tower.
Santo Tomas Hospital has been very much in the news lately with regards to a controversial project to build an enormous 70+ high rise Financial Tower on the lot adjacent to the hospital which was until recently, home to the United States Embassy (1938-2011), who was the leaseholder of the building.
Santo Tomas Hospital is our central theme today as the history of the Silver People in Panama is intimately intertwined with its controversial past. In its colonial days (prior to 1920) it was located on B Street in our fair Panama City, and it was a small inadequately equipped infirmary more than a hospital, staffed by a tiny group of inadequately trained people. Continue reading
Older view of Gorgas Hospital on file with the Library of Congress photo collection.
By Lydia M. Reid
The history and heritage of the Silver People of Panama would not be complete without a mention of their longstanding relationship with the medical facilities that served (and did not serve) so many of them. The French and American construction periods of the Panama Canal sought to provide health services to their vibrant population of workers from all over the globe but the Black workers from the West Indian islands were probably the largest segment of people to recur to the services offered by the various medical institutions. Continue reading