Panamanians of West-Indian Descent
Interview with Gloria Branch
Gloria Branch was born in 1944 in Panama City, but her mother’s and father’s families are from Jamaica and Barbados (respectively). Gloria grew up in Panama City, and as a long-term resident she has witnessed much of her country’s social and cultural changes firsthand. As a young girl, she watched her own parents struggle against xenophobia from Latino Panamanians; as an adolescent she marched with Afro-Antillean students from the International Institute of Panama who in protest for equal rights; and today she currently works with several activist organizations, including AYUDE (a group she founded in an effort to unite those working for more West Indian rights), and SAMAAP, an organization founded to protect and maintain the Museo Afro-Antillano de Panama. Gloria is passionate about teaching black youth the importance of strong morals and values, strong families, and a belief in God. Educated at the University of Panama, she currently works as an accountant.