March 21, 2009

Visit of an embera village in Panama

The one thing I really wanted to do during my trip in Panama was to visit an Embera Village. After searching on the internet, I decided to book with Anne Gordon who is an american woman who married a guy from an Embera Village. The day tour costs USD90.00 but it's really worthit!

At 7:00 am, Anne came to pick me up and after picking up everybody we head to the Chagres National Park on the road to Colon. The National Park has 4 Embera Villages and Embera' Puru is the farthest and less visited. We were the only one today so it was nice. We took a 45 minute dugout canoe trip on the river to get to the village.

The village has 24 families with a total of 114 persons. Kids go to school in a neighboor village until 6 grade, founded by the government. So at least all kids can speak Spanish and can read and write. Then if they want to continue school, they have to go to Panama City which is a big step. Anna has created a scholarship program to help some of the kids to study in a private school in Panama City. 3 students has finished high school last year and one is going to University. Which is really exciting for them!

People wear almost no clothes. Men wear only a tissue to hide their intime parts and have their bodies covered with painting. Women wear a colourful skirt (made in Japan with designs from the village). But with the heat, you wish you were like them!

We spent the day in the village, learing more about the culture, seeing traditional dances, doing a short hike in the jungle to learn about medicinal plants, and having tatoos! I did my left arm, it's supposed to last for 10 days so let's see ;)

We went with a young movie director and his crew who are planing to do a film in the village. They are from the States but Andrew, the director, has a Panamian mother and grand father. There was too the director of a TV from Venezuela named Latina Producciones who want to shot a small documentory on the ecotourism in the village. Seems they are very famous :o)

We were back at Panama City by 6 pm. To see my pictures, click here

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