The picture was taken from the Website of Society of the West Indian Museum of Panama

This is the second part of a fictional story inspired by the harsh working conditions during the construction of the Panama Canal, especially for Afro-Antillean people. Have you ever wondered what life was like in those days, especially for Afro-Antillean people? This story is divided into two parts.


• Main character

Williams: Antillean brought by the North Americans to work in the construction of the Panama Canal.

• Secondary characters

Lay: Williams' wife

Willy: Williams' youngest son, 3 years old.

Yazmila: Williams' oldest daughter, 5 years old.

Despite everything, Williams managed to send a note monthly to his family. 

He lied to them telling them how wonderful it was to be part of the historic inter-oceanic mega-construction and telling them that everything was fine and that the North American treated him with great kindness. 

Williams told his family that he did not send money to them because he saved it to bring them to the Isthmus, where everything would be better for them.

After all, Williams learned that it was cheaper to bring his family to Panama than to return to his country, although he was still not sure if he would stay in the Isthmus

Likewise, his wife wrote to him monthly to confess how much she and the children missed him, but they knew that the wait would be worth it and that everything would be better on the Isthmus, trusting what Williams told them.

Six more months passed and despite how difficult the situation was and how badly they treated him because he was Afro-Antillean.

Williams made strong bonds of friendship with the other Antilleans, every night they met to cook in community, they made their traditional dishes, they loved their culture and traditions, so they strove to keep them alive.

Every Saturday night they met to celebrate with songs and dances, to feel at home and that the daily problems did not drown them in depression, they encouraged each other. 

All this made Williams begin to have affection for that Isthmus where he initially came to work temporarily and where he was very poorly treated.

But Williams had also made great friends, and because many of those friendships would stay with their families on the Isthmus.

Three years passed and finally the American company finished deducting from Williams' salary the passage with which they had brought him to work on the construction site. 

Williams already had some money saved to bring his beloved and missed family, with whom he still had monthly communication by letters

But still did not have enough money to bring the three, and at the same time, he kept improving his precocious house, to be able to receive his family.

The discriminated protagonist of this story, four years after starting to work in the mega construction, managed to get enough money to bring his family to be together again, and unknowingly, they became an "Afro-Panamanians".

Upon arriving at the Panamanian Isthmus, Lay and her children realized all the discriminations her loving husband was going through, how difficult everything was.

But Lay also realized that not everything was bad, as they lived in a very close Antillean community in that among all supported and made life more bearable and happier.

Now, Lay knew the harsh reality of her husband during all these years, so she loved him more and supported him in any way she could.

It was not long before Lay and her children also loved that place called Colon, where Williams made their new home, located on the outskirts of the construction of the Canal. 

Later, when their children grew up, they married and made families with Panamanians.

In the same way, it happened with many other Antilleans who were forming families with Panamanians, thus mixing traditions, religions, beliefs, and cultures. 

Now that question that Williams asked himself at some point, about whether to stay in the Panamanian Isthmus, whether to be Panamanian, was no longer present.

They ended up loving the land where other people from another country initially treated him badly.

Antillean and Panamanian people were mixing in Colón. People very proud of their roots, their traditions, their beliefs, and their culture. The culture they keep alive until today.