Listen to Voices : Ines Sealy

Ines Sealy was born in 1939 in Panama to a father of Barbadian origin and a mother who was from St. Lucia. Her father was contracted to build the Panama Canal, and returned to Barbados at the end of the contract. On his own, he came back to the isthmus. He found it difficult to find work, so he opened a tire repair shop. As a young child, Ines loved to play sports; she played baseball, basketball, softball, and was so good at the high jump that she competed on the National circuit, busting Lilly Wilson’s record. Although she worked for over twenty-three years in the Canal Zone, she now works as a public translator, and is the proud mother of four children, five grandchildren, and four great grandchildren, many of whom live in the United States. Ines is also proud of her West Indian heritage, and she believes that it is a culture that is not confined to the Caribbean region alone, but is “carried in the blood.” Ines is religious—Episcopalian by birth—but doesn’t go to church: “I communicate directly with God,” she says. Sealy also has a special message for Panamanian youth: “Learn everything you can learn” she says. “Absorb everything that your brain can take in.”

Interviewer

Veronica Forte

Interviewer Biography

Veronica D. Forte graduated in 1999, from the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Panama, where she is currently a professor in the English Department. She received her Master's Degree in English from the Universidad Autonoma de Chiriquí-Panamá (2004), and her Postgraduate Program in Higher Studies at Universidad Latina de Panamá (2002). At present, she is working on the final project for her Masters in Tourism with an emphasis on Heritage Management (Gestión Patrimonial), while also coursing a Master's Program in Curriculum. She also taught English at preschool and elementary levels for 10 years and has been a facilitator of many conferences in different schools and universities. At present, she is the vice president and an active member of the Society of Friends of the West Indian Museum of Panama (SAMAAP) as well as an active member of Panama TESOL. She publish her first stories in the book “Ocho Cuentan 33” on May 22, 2014.

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