Angel was two when I was in Rio Hato with the Peace Corps, and he’s now a grandfather — these lovely little girls are his grandchildren. Angel lives in Panama City, and he has a home in Anton, the next and bigger town up the highway from Rio Hato. He’s an air conditioner repair tech — a much needed skill in Panama — and he has more steady work than many of his siblings.
Angel calls me his “little mother”, which I find very touching. He’s the one who got Minga her cedula — theoretically by finding people in the village of her birth who would attest to a date despite there being no birth certificate — which got her medical care and a small monthly government pension for the first time. Having a cedula — a national identity card — is a big deal, as everything in Panamanian life revolves around being able to present that card. Gloria’s mother and father never had one, and they suffered more as a result.
Angel has three grown offspring: Angel, Armando, and Solangel. These little girls belong to the boys; Sol is still in university and not yet with a full time partner.