How much does IMIXers know West Indians in Latin America?

sankofaa

New member
I've spent some type in Cahuita, a small town in Costa Rica
south of Puerto Limon. Prior to the construction of the Panama
Canal there was a railroad in Costa Rica that connected the
Atlantic (via the Caribbean) and the Pacific oceans. From
what I understand there were laborers who left Jamaica to
work on the railroad who eventually settled around Limon.

i went to Puerto Limon last month, they have an area they call little jamaica, they even have a Pan Chicken man out there
 

DeSocaPrincess

Be like water
excelent thread! good work bring us together one at a time:drinks: funny thing is both of my friends and the only two people i know from Guatamala are black and the act as different as day and night. one acts more W I and te other acts more Europa? I wonder why that is?
 

Canalero

Registered User
Luckily someone cut and paste one of the articles:
Panama Third Root
Stressing:

The Americans had originally favored English speaking workers from the British West Indies just as they had favored them in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala. They were hard workers who understood and spoke the language of the North American employer. They were also regarded as cheap labor and faced racial discrimination not only by North Americans but by Panamanians as well. As a result, Afro-Antilleans built up their own insular culture separate from their Hispanic and American neighbors. Stressing the maintenance of their traditional ways, they also strongly believed that education would lead to greater advancements for them and their children. This has in fact been the case in recent years, but the community still suffers from various forms of racial and cultural discrimination.

During the years before World War II, the community was noted for its loyalty to the British Crown. Many Afro-Antilleans planned to go back home after they had earned enough money in Panama to retire. Many were still British citizens, and a belief within some sectors of the community of a certain culturally superiority over their Spanish speaking neighbors created resentments between them and Spanish speaking Panamanians.

Afro-Antilleans also settled outside the Canal Zone in nearby Panama City. Here they formed their own English speaking Protestant community complete with churches, schools and businesses. During World War II hostilities between Afro-Antilleans and Panamanians increased as Afro-Antilleans became more entrenched in the canal labor force. This lead to actions taken by the Panamanian government depriving many Afro-Antilleans of their Panamanian citizenship during the years 1941 to 1946. As a result of this, Afro-Antilleans united together even more to fight this legally sanctioned discrimination. The memories of these shameful acts by the Panamanian government have not been forgotten by the older generation. Since World War II immigration from the British West Indies has remained negligible, and the slow process of assimilation into Panamanian mestizo culture has been the result.

Some things have not changed. At the top of Afro-Antillean society are the Protestant ministers as well as professionals such as doctors, lawyers and white-collar workers. Some of Panamas wealthiest families are of mixed African and Spanish ancestry. Poorer blacks were also able to obtain upward mobility through service in the Panamanian National Guard. Many were recruited into these units during the 1930s and 40s when few other avenues of advancement were open. The younger generations of Afro-Antilleans have in recent years often rejected their parents culture, adopting the Spanish language and Roman Catholic faith of their mestizo neighbors. Others, who were born in the Canal Zone and attended English language schools, were often unable to identify with either West Indian or Hispanic culture finding themselves on the margins of three cultures. The economic situation of many Afro-Antilleans living in the former Canal Zone reflects the legacy of American discrimination against this Panamanian minority, many remain poor and economically down trodden.

Discrimination has not always emanated from the U.S. presence in the country. The anti-black policies of the Panamanian government during the administration of President Arnulfo Arias (1931-1941) was blatantly racist. Arias went so far as to call for the deportation of all Afro-Antilleans, East Indians and Chinese in Panama. The early 1940s were also among the most difficult for the black community. By the 1980s a greater awareness of black pride and political activism resulted in the holding of three Black Panamanian Congresses in 1980, 1983 and 1988. This was an organized effort to reassert the Afro-Antillean position in Panamanian society by building a greater solidarity within the community itself. The situation surprisingly improved for the black community during the rule of General Noriega and today things seem to be better then in past years. The formal segregation that was once found in the Canal Zone has ended, the Panamanian government has enacted laws to ensure equal treatment for all of its diverse ethnic groups and a greater awareness of black culture and tradition continues to grow within the community.

Important areas of settlement of the Afro-Antillean community include towns and cities in the former Canal Zone such as Colon, Cristobal and Balboa, as well as the Rio Abajo area of Panama City. Another region of Panama that has a large Afro-Antillean population is in the northwestern province of Bocas del Toro. Bocas del Toro is located on the Caribbean coast just south of Costa Rica. Here the United Fruit Company introduced bananas at the turn of the century. Just as they had in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Honduras they recruited Jamaicans in large numbers to work on the United Fruit plantations. During the 1940-50 period disease virtually wiped out the banana plantations. Cacao and abaca became the main crops. After a resistant strain of banana was introduced cacao and abaca was replaced, and once again the region became an important banana producing area. Most of the Afro-Antillean population is concentrated in the town of Bocas del Toro as well as in Almirante. The village of Bastimmentos is almost entirely of African ancestry. It is an island located 20 minutes from Bocas.

There are four distinct variations of Creole English spoken by Afro-Antilleans in Panama. The variations of Creole English spoken throughout Central America belong to the Western Caribbean Creole family of languages. The variety of Creole English spoken in the Bocas del Toro province is called Guari-guari and has an English base with Guaymi, Spanish, and possibly French influences. There is also one small Creole French speaking community in Panama that originally came from the Caribbean island of St. Lucia. They speak what is known as San Miguel Creole French and are the descendants of Creole French speaking Afro-Antilleans who arrived in Panama as laborers during the 19th century.

Afro-Panamanians have a long history of struggling for their freedom. From the earliest days of Spanish rule many were determined to live as free men and women in their own communities under their own rulers. In no other Central American nation were Africans as successful in obtaining these freedoms as they were in Panama with the existence of the 16th and 17th century maroon communities of the Darien. Latter, during the 19th and 20th centuries, thousands of Afro-Antillean workers gave their lives in the building of the Panama Railroad and Canal. Proud of their West Indian culture and way of life, they worked to overturn unjust American and Panamanian laws that discriminated against them. Although the fight for full equality in Panama is not over, and as late as the 1980s the Afro-Antillean community still faced official government policies that were directed against them, the future of the community seems to indicate that Afro-Panamanians can keep both their unique way of life as well as play an increasingly important role in the life of Panama. A role that they have been playing now for nearly 500 years.
 

Otorongo

Salsero de pura cepa
excelent thread! good work bring us together one at a time:drinks: funny thing is both of my friends and the only two people i know from Guatamala are black and the act as different as day and night. one acts more W I and te other acts more Europa? I wonder why that is?
Could be that one was of Island decent and the other was not.
 

haitianprince

100 % Ayisien-0% yankee
I know most Panamanian have bajan, Lucian, yardie background. During slavery time French, British would trade slaves from their colonies to the Spain colonies for money, I’m not too sure about other Spanish speaking country. But I know most
Panamanian have west-Indian background for sure .. the blacks in Panama build the canal
 

mz_JazE

Southern Belle
I found this interesting
yup my friend would be really happy with this thread all three of her countries were mentioned (Honduras, PR, and Belieze). She gets sick of having to explain it to people, hmmm maybe I should e-mail this thread to her so they can see it in writing since people never believe her.
 

Bake n Shark

Gangsta Boogie
I know most Panamanian have bajan, Lucian, yardie background. During slavery time French, British would trade slaves from their colonies to the Spain colonies for money, I’m not too sure about other Spanish speaking country. But I know most
Panamanian have west-Indian background for sure .. the blacks in Panama build the canal
Nonsense...each country carried on their own slave trade, there was no trading of slaves among European powers. Afro-Panamanians today are largely descended from the migrant workers from the West Indies who went there as you said to work on the building of the Canal.
 

haitianprince

100 % Ayisien-0% yankee
Nonsense...each country carried on their own slave trade, there was no trading of slaves among European powers. Afro-Panamanians today are largely descended from the migrant workers from the West Indies who went there as you said to work on the building of the Canal.

Most Panamanian’s. Tell me. That’s how west-Indian blood cross the Spanish line. Throughout there history
:scratch

i wish calnero would explain . because he/she native of Panama
 

Otorongo

Salsero de pura cepa
Nonsense...each country carried on their own slave trade, there was no trading of slaves among European powers. Afro-Panamanians today are largely descended from the migrant workers from the West Indies who went there as you said to work on the building of the Canal.
Bullshit. Afro-Panamanians have been the majority of the population since way before the West Indian population arrived. The difference is that the majority are of stronger tri-ethnic descent and much higher mix than the incoming West Indians.
 

sankofaa

New member
Bullshit. Afro-Panamanians have been the majority of the population since way before the West Indian population arrived. The difference is that the majority are of stronger tri-ethnic descent and much higher mix than the incoming West Indians.


no they werent. Indio panamanians (really just columbians) were the majority, afro panamanians were only the majority in places like Portobello. The influx of west indians to the country is the main reason blacks are all over the place in panama today.

And have you ever been to panama??

The peinas (black panamanians) are deep black they look very african, and speak no english.
 
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