Category Archives: Panama

Seven Gibbs brothers: Panama reader looking for Barbados roots

Bajans On Their Way To Panama

Dear Barbados Free Press readers,

I am trying to find information about my grandfather William Gibbs or any of the Gibbs’s brothers (7 in total) that came to Panama to help built the Panama Canal, around 1904. I hear that the seven came together. Could you find out from which Parish they came from and any other background information, on any of them? Thank you very much!

Kenneth Gibbs


Filed under Barbados, Panama

Live in New York, born in Panama – Looking for relations in Barbados

Bajans On Their Way To Panama in another era

Roots Search

Dear Barbados Free Press readers,

I live in New York but was born in Panama. I am trying to find some background on my grand-father George Coulthrust who was married to Benita Walker Coulthrust. My real fathers name is Jorge Coulthrust son of George Coulthrust. Is there an administrative office I can contact to get historical (archived) information?

Marcelino Campbell,

New York



Filed under Barbados, Panama

Camilla Worrell searching for lost relatives from Panama, Barbados and around the world

Is Sir Frank Worrell my relative?

Dear Barbados Free Press

Could you please tell me what were the names of  Sir  Frank Worrell parents. My grandparents were Charles and Elvina Worrell; they migrated to Panama, Central America along with their other brothers and their wives.

I would like to connect with the Worrell’s of Barbados and other parts of the World.

I was told that there were many brothers  and they went all over after they left Panama.

Yours truly, Camilla Worrell

Editor’s note: We’re always happy to assist with this type of request because placing the story on BFP sometimes turns up information that doesn’t come forward on the various geneological research websites.

We haven’t included Camilla’s email address because she didn’t indicate if she wanted that kept private, but if she emails us again we’ll post it if she wants.



Filed under Barbados, History, Immigration, Panama

Panama’s Tourism Arrivals Doubled In Five Years, Solomon Islands Up 8% Over Last Year – What About Barbados?

Fired BTA Member asked inconvenient questiions

Fired BTA Member asked inconvenient questiions

A few days ago our resident hotel owner, tourism guru and recently-fired Barbados Tourism Authority member Adrian Loveridge said I hope we have a plan and pointed out that visitor arrivals from the USA to Barbados have been flat for the last seven years.

He also asked about the wisdom of continuing to spend gobs of money on a market that isn’t responding. To Adrian, these flat American arrival statistics over a seven year period indicate that some changes should be made in the way Barbados is approaching the US market, and/or in the portion of our tourism budget allocated to that market.

Adrian seems to be concerned that Barbados should monitor spending AND results so we can properly access whether our efforts are producing an acceptable return on investment.

Ha… Foolish man. (said with tongue planted firmly in cheek) 🙂

No wonder the Government of Barbados fired Adrian from the BTA. He always seems to spoil the “everything will be fine” party by asking simple questions and making reasonable observations. Can’t have people doing audits that lead to accountability ’bout hey, doan ya know!

And don’t be asking for any planning either…

Grand Schemes, Not Professional Planning

Tourism Minister Sealy

Tourism Minister Sealy

Barbados politicians are most happy when they announce grand tourism schemes that have nothing to do with reality. Whether it is Tourism-Minister-turned-millionaire Noel Lynch and his imaginary 700 yachts during Cricket World Cup, Prime Minister Owen Arthur announcing that Barbados would see tens of thousands of Indian, Chinese and “stem cell” tourists – or current Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy proclaiming that Barbados will become a medical-tourism destination – our politicians (and our tourism industry) seem to flit from one scheme to another like hummingbirds to flowers.

Meanwhile, the government ignores the basics and fires anyone (like Adrian) who doesn’t want to “move forward” with the latest greatest idea that struck the Tourism Minister as he sat on the toilet. (So help me, I think I’ll just scream the next time I hear another politician say “Move forward” as if uttering that hackneyed phrase is showing actual leadership.)

Anyway, to move forward with this article…

I had Adrian’s latest column in my mind when I came across a few pieces at ETN Global Travel Industry News and learned that Panama has doubled tourism arrivals in the past five years. Ok… I’m interested in how they did it. While Panamanian efforts and strategies may not translate into success in our market, I say that any government capable of doubling arrivals in five years probably has something to teach us.

The same with the Solomon Islands who are up 8% over last year – and this in the middle of a continued financial meltdown.

So have a read of the articles linked below and see what you can glean.

As for me, I suspect that tourism “success” for Barbados has less to do with announcing great schemes than with keeping our island beautiful, safe and friendly. No matter what spin and schemes our advertisers put on Barbados tourism, if our product (our country) doesn’t please visitors and fulfill their expectations more than it has been – this place is going to be in rough shape in a few years.

ETN: Soloman Islands welcomes increase in tourists

ETN: Tourism in Panama is Booming

Latin Business Chronicle: The Truth About Panama’s Tourism


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Panama, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism

The Silver People Chronicle: The Right To Be Different

“Not him, you can’t pair off with him. He is ugly!” they said to one little girl. They didn’t realize that they had just marred the innocence of a little Spanish girl who we were growing up with. We were the only pair of black kids and whom she had known since her family moved from the hinterlands of the interior.

Roberto Reid Tells Of West Indian Children Growing Up In Panama

During this week of the Inauguration of the first non-white President of the United States of America, Barbados Free Press continues to focus on the issue of race. Our friend Roberto Reid created The Silver People Chronicle – a wonderful blog about the West Indian people of Panama and their fascinating journey through Central America beginning with their arrival in Panama. Follow them as they arrived to work on the construction of the legendary Panama Railroad and, later on, the Panama Canal. Discover how they overcame death, disease, labor struggles and the tribulations of immigration.

Roberto’s posting today is a good introduction to the hours of reading and historical accounts you will find at his blog…

The Silver People Chronicle: A Right To Be Different


Filed under Barack Obama, Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, History, Human Rights, Panama, Race

When Used-Up Barbados Workers Were Tossed Aside After Digging The Panama Canal

Bajans On Their Way To Panama

Bajans arriving in Panama aboard the SS Ancon - September 2, 1909

“The Silver People Chronicle” Documents So Much Of Our History

Back in March of this year, we at Barbados Free Press delighted at our discovery of Roberto Reid’s blog The Silver People Chronicle – about the West Indians who built the Panama Canal. Until I found his blog and did a little more research, I didn’t know that the majority of the black workers who contructed the Panama Canal were Bajans.

In his latest series, Roberto tells about how unemployed, used-up, ill and injured workers were sent back to their original countries with cooperation and funding from the United States.

Well worth your time.

The Silver People Cronicle: Repatriation and Broken Promises


Filed under Barbados, History, Panama