Tag Archives: The-Silver-People

What’s in Store for the New Year?

A Blessed and Regenerating New Year to all our readers and supporters!

by Lydia M. Reid

As we approach our second year with our Silver People Heritage site we are conscious of our need to make it easier to use and for it to be more inclusive of the information and stories we wish to share with you, our respected readers.  On that note we want to announce the addition of three new sections that promise to be closer to what we want this web site to be including features our readers have been asking for. Continue reading

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Black Ethnicity Day Celebration in Panama

The Celebration of the Diablitos and Congos in Porto Belo, Colon.

The Celebration of the Diablitos and Congos in Porto Belo, Colon.


The Afro-Antillean Museum in downtown Panama City in the District of Calidonia.

The Afro-Antillean Museum in downtown Panama City in the District of Calidonia.

The fact that Black Ethnicity is being celebrated yearly on the 30th of May in Panama has now a permanent place in our culturally diverse country. There is, however, a special history behind the development of the recognition of our ethnic identity which for so long was denied. The person responsible for the events being celebrated until now hailed from the Province of Chiriqui and the historical background behind the celebration of this national holiday has made it possible to highlight the abolition of slavery in 1851 in our country of Panama during the period in which it was united with the country of Colombia, then called Nueva Granada. Continue reading

A Continuing Saga

"M" Section Corozal Cemetery

"M" Section Corozal Cemetery

An old, abandoned Silver grave in older section of Corozal Cemetery

An old, abandoned Silver grave in older section of Corozal Cemetery

Solely to ponder that our forefathers “The Silver Men” have, since the nineteenth century, been one of the key sources of economic and social advancement for the whole of humanity simply boggles the mind. That we continue to face historic segregation and discrimination, however, is still an awesome issue to be faced now as in the time of our ancestors. Though we were the hands, shoulders and brains of the world’s push for modernity, our sense of community has faltered greatly to the brink of disappearance. Today, nearly ten years after reversion, we still suffer the same feelings of isolation that our forefathers felt even after the inauguration of the Panama Canal. 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