Panamanians of West-Indian Descent

Interview with Haydee Beckles


Haydee Beckles

Haydee Beckles is a second generation Panamanian; both of her parents were born in Panama, in La Boca, though her maternal and paternal grandparents were from Barbados. Though she lived in New York for a short time as a child, she and her mother became sick of the cold and moved back to Panama. Since then she has travelled the world, but continues to return to her beloved homeland. Haydee’s career as a poet has sent her to a number of places: Holland, Brazil, France, Costa Rica, South Africa, Nicaragua, the United States, Romania, England, Canada, and Mexico, to name a few. She enjoys her travels, though she does note that not many people abroad know much about Panama. Haydee does not define herself as either black or white, but instead defines herself by the language she speaks: Spanish. She is not married and does not have any children, but does have several nieces and nephews who she loves dearly.



Augustus “Gus” Trym

Augustus “Gus” Trym was born in Colón in 1915 to parents who were natives of Antigua, but moved to Panama to work on the Canal. Augustus has always had a passion for music and teaching. He became an organist in his youth, getting his start in the Sunday School Christian Mission; and, as he grew older, he went on to pursue a college degree in education. Afterward, he combined his passions for teaching with his love of music to form an orchestra that played at dance halls and cabarets all over Panama. Augustus Trym was a legend in both education and music whose life is proof that when one follows their passions and chases their dreams, they will find esteem, happiness, and great accomplishment.



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