I did some research about this, but at this moment I cannot find the specific page I looked at. One of my relatives from Germany arrived in NY on a ship from Aspinwall, Panama. If you look carefully at the list, it may be like the one I have where most of them are shown as "miners", a few have occupations in medical field, some are supervisory personnel, and one or two are shown as a wife travelling with an executive husband. This tells me they were a work crew whose assignment in Panama was complete. My research indicated they went to Panama for work. During the 1860s, there was a market for metals coming from that region for the U.S. government's use in civil war equipment and ammunition. There also was a railway built across the isthmus of Panama which was an easier route to go from east coast to west coast (and back) prior to the 1869 completion of the railway system in the U.S. I don't know if my relative arrived in U.S. first and then took work in Panama or if he "earned" his way to the U.S. by working in Panama. I will be looking for more information such as an earlier ship's log, but am not sure I will find anything newer. My relative was not married until after he settled in Pennsylvania after arrival from Aspinwall, Panama. Hope this helps.