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The Chinese Of Central America: Diverse Beginnings, Common Achievements

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Chapter Summary

A walk through Belize City offers an array of Chinese restaurants, and hardware, fabric, and general dry goods stores. This chapter begins with an examination of the indentured labor experience, which established a Chinese presence in the area from the second half of the 19th century. The discussion will address common themes in this experience such as flight, suicide, illness, and working conditions. The chapter addresses the post-indenture Chinese presence, again looking for commonalities and seeking the first steps in the evolution of the Chinese settlement leading to the emergence of the Chinese merchants and the establishment of Chinese associations, and eventual integration of the Chinese into the societies of the region. It primarily focuses on Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras and Belize. The Chinese experience in Central America before 1890 had been a very negative one.

Keywords: Belize; Belize City; Chinese of Central America; Costa Rica; Honduras; Nicaragua



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