Mari, Harlennys, Darineth, and Luisito came to the pool yesterday. Darineth has a cold so she didn’t go in the water; Mari stayed back with her at the playground near our building.
This part of the complex is the most recent to be developed, and I’ve never stayed in this exact area before. At the main hotel pool, and the villa where I rent, Buenaventura staff know my Rio Hato family and are welcoming of them and respectful. That wasn’t always the case. In the early years, as their dark skin marks them as “gente humilde” — humble people — they were often hassled by the wealthy Panamanian families who flaunted their higher social class, and be extension, hassled by security who challenged their presence in this gated complex. Painstakingly, and over time, I turned that around. But in this new area, newly hired security is reverting to rude behavior — my Rio Hato family has been challenged on multiple occasions. Even Minga, the most dignified of women, was confronted at the gate the other day when I sent her and some of the kids home in a taxi. The guard demanded to know how she got in and what she was doing there. Honestly, it makes me furious. They are more sanguine, although I think they appreciate my sticking up for them. They tell me people of the humble class are often treated badly, and by their own — by other Panamanians. “Asi es nuestra vida, Tia Pamela. ” This is our life, Tia Pamela.