Captain J. A. Souza

ID: SIA2009-4257 or Wetmore 6018

Creator: Wetmore, Alexander 1886-

Form/Genre: Photographic print

Date: January 6, 1956

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Alexander Wetmore Papers, Record Unit 7006, Box: 183, Folder Album: Panama and Coiba, 1956

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  • Captain J. A. Souza and others come out in the bongo near Coiba Island, January 6, 1956. Captain Souza was a member of Wetmore's scientific expedition in the region. Another boat is visible behind the bongo. The beach shore is lined with palm and other trees and buildings are in the background.
  • The image was taken by Smithsonian Secretary and ornithologist Alexander Wetmore while on a scientific expedition in Panama and to Coiba Island and is contained in a photo album prepared by Wetmore.
  • From 1919 to 1991, Coiba Island was a penal colony. Fear of the prison and its inmates deterred visitors from the island. As such, about 80% of the natural areas on the island remain undisturbed. The island is also host to many endemic species. Both of these factors made the island ideal for Wetmore's scientific expedition. The officers and convicts pictured in Wetmore's images from the expedition were part of the penal colony. Some even worked as laborers for the expedition. Today, the island is no longer a penal colony. Instead, it is one of 38 islands composing Coiba National Park, a World Heritage Site.


Souza, J. A


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


For another image of Captain J. A. Souza, see Neg. # SIA2009-4273.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Alexander Wetmore Papers, Record Unit 7006, Box: 183, Folder Album: Panama and Coiba, 1956

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


January 6, 1956

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Scientific expeditions
  • Boats and boating
  • Landscapes
  • Animals
  • Architecture
  • Birds
  • Field work
  • Beaches
  • School field trips
  • Islands
  • Palm trees
  • Natural areas
  • Buildings--Panama
  • Field trips
  • Ornithology--Field work
  • Ornithology
  • Panamanians


  • Coiba Island
  • Veraguas
  • Panama
  • Coiba Island (Panama)
  • Montijo District


  • Photographic print
  • Landscape
  • Group, candid

ID Number

SIA2009-4257 or Wetmore 6018

Physical description

Number of Images: 1; Color: Black and White; Size: 4.5w x 4.5h; Type of Image: Group, Candid, Landscape; Medium: Photographic print

Full Record

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