(LinguaFranca) The history of Panama is closely related to the immigration of African descendants from the Caribbean islands of Jamaica, Barbados, Martinique and others. This physically strong ethnic group was largely responsible for the construction of the Panama Railroad in 1855 and the construction of the Panama Canal in 1914.
This picturesque building is located on the corner of Calle 34 West and Avenida Justo Arosemena, three blocks away from the Anthropology Museum in Panama City, Panama. Their phone number is (507) 262-5318 for your ready reference.
This structure originally housed an old Christian mission church. Over the years, it collected photographs, artistic and miscellaneous domestic objects which are attractively displayed for benefit of the visitors.
The museum offers a rare insight into the lives of the West Indian immigrants who came to the Isthmus of Panama to work on the Panama Railroad in and the Panama Canal by both the French and American authorities.
Between 1904 and 1914, about 20,000 Antillean immigrants arrived in Panama from the islands of Barbados alone; most as deck passengers aboard the USS Ancon, to build the Panama Canal.
Panama’s black population is approximately 14 percent which represents 460,977 Afro-descendants living mainly in Panama City, Colon City and Isla Colón in Bocas del Toro. They have preserved their ancients customs and traditions which adds to the mojo of Panama which has become a melting pot of different ethnic groups from around the world.
Visitors are invited to this year’s Afro-Caribbean Fair, at the grounds of the Afro-Caribbean Museum to be celebrated on February 25 and 26 of 2011. The fair, which is a traditional part of the pre-Lenten Carnival activities, is a tribute to the culture brought by the thousands of immigrants who came to Panama during the 19th and early 20th centuries to build the Panama Railroad and the Panama Canal at the turn of the 20th century. They came mainly from the Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Barbados, and Martinique.
Admission to the museum is $1.00 for adults and $0.25 for children under 12, retirees and students with their IDs. If you are in Panama City during the month of February, you are cordially invited to the Afro-Caribbean Fair, at the grounds of the Afro-Caribbean Museum on February 25 and 26. You won’t regret it. Oh, and one more thing, please bring your camera with you. Good Day.