Occasional Traveler

A collection of my thoughts and photos on travel.

Posts Tagged ‘culture

Embera Village Tour

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November 28, 2009 | On the second to last day, I arranged for us to go on an Embera Village Tour with Anne Gordon de Barrigon. I’d read some great reviews about her tours and booked the day tour online. I’m glad that we went on this tour, as it was one of the most memorable things about this trip.

Anne had an interesting story about how she ended up as a tour guide in Panama.  She started off as an animal trainer for tv/films– her repertoire includes Legends of the Falls and Practical Magic!  One of her movies, End of the Spear, brought her to Panama to film the Embera people portraying Ecuadorian natives.  In a nutshell, she ended up getting married to one of the tribesmen (who’s waaay younger than she is, by the way) and they now run the tours together!

After a breezy yet relaxing dugout canoe ride, we visited Embera Puru where the village people greeted us with some music and dancing.  The villages are located in the Chagres National Park and interestingly enough, the villagers’ primary income is from tourism.

Anne encouraged us to support the village by purchasing one of their many homemade goods, as pictured below:

The crafts were pretty cool.  I ended up buying one of the woven baskets for $25.

Some of the visitors brought gifts for the children.  It was fun watching them divvy out the toy/games/coloring books as all the kids gathered around eagerly.

The villagers wore traditional clothing (very little clothing, but I guess with such tropical weather, it’s expected), the women’s chest just covered by festive beaded necklaces, which they normally only wear for special occasions.  Talk about culture shock, haha.

More images to follow…


Written by Jessica

March 1, 2011 at 12:12 PM

Posted in Panama, photography

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