Panama Independence Day – November 3, 2012
Written by Terry Layne
On November 3, 2012 Panama celebrated its 109th year of separation from Colombia,
becoming a sovereign and independent Republic with political and protective support from the United States of America in 1903.
At that time, a protectorate relationship with the U.S. secured Panama as the geographic choice for the construction
of a trans-oceanic canal between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. And so it began, this small country was
on its way to becoming the first melting pot nation in Latin America, drawing on peoples from different ethnic groups and
different parts of the world to work on the canal construction. Clearly, the major migratory groups came
from the Caribbean Region.
Although it is a popularized belief that the Caribbean construction workers
came only from Jamaica and Barbados; in reality, there was hardly a Caribbean Island Nation which did not
have sons and daughters represented among these migratory workers on what would become known as a Wonder of the World after
And it is for this cause, the Houston Association of Panamanians, Inc.
(HAP, Inc.) elected to celebrate this year’s Independence Day with an emphasized acknowledgement of this historical
fact, that Panama as an independent nation, including the Panama Canal and the Panama Railroad received major developmental
impetus from the Caribbean workers across the entire region.
Today we can still
find traces of Caribbean influences in almost every aspect of national being; some more pronounced than others, but present
just the same. We will be forever grateful for the selfless sacrifices made by our beloved ancestral forerunners,
who left their homelands to help bring the parts together in creating our national identity and the realities of our sovereign
nationhood. This historical fact is not commonly acknowledged; and perhaps minimally seen in writing anywhere.
But this year, HAP, Inc. finds pleasure and pride in its celebration of Independence Day
with acknowledgement of our Caribbean Cultures which came together in shaping the future of our country. The celebration was held on November 3, 2012 at the Panamanian owned
Dojo Community Center (Ricky & Audrey Johns), located at 2435-G, Texas Parkway, Missouri City, Texas
Visit the Event Photos and Event Videos Sections of our website and enjoy the United
in Culture Celebration.