|Arriving at the river to board the dugouts|
|He stood in the bow of the canoe for |
the whole trip up the river.
|Here we go|
|The Chief shared information about their culture.|
|Masks made with basketry techniques.|
|Wooden carvings from a single piece of wood|
Once we arrived at the village, we were greeted by children on the beach and musicians playing part way up the stairs. This is a community where dress is skimpy, but not in a sexy way. The women only cover up with skirts from the waist down and the men were something like a diaper. They use a plant material to paint or stain their skin creating interesting designs as you will see in the photos. At first it was a bit awkward looking at their dress (or rather the lack of), but after a while you don't even notice the bareness. In fact, they looked really comfortable and cool in the warm sun! There have been many days when I have envied the crew who go bare chested!
|Some of their jewelry designs.|
The Chief explained about their culture, arts, dance and food. Our guide David translated it for us. We were encouraged to buy their handmade items as this is their source of income. Each family retains the money from their sales while the village as a whole benefits from the tour income. They make baskets, masks, carved wooden objects and jewelry. They also created designs for their skirt fabrics that are then printed in mass in the city. It is a long piece of fabric that you wrap around your waist and tuck in. Hopefully it stays up!
|All of the women join in the singing and dancing|
while the men watch. Then they drew in the guests.
|The last little girl really had all of the dance moves down!|
|Fresh tilapia with fried plantain cakes.|
|Serving a large crowd on disposable plates!|
Some 50 years ago, the government had displaced these people from the land they had occupied for generations. They created 5-7 communities throughout the jungle south of the Panama Canal for them to create new communities. There were around 140 people in this one.
|Frying the tilapia in oil over an wood fire was hot work.|
|The raised community kitchen|
|Preparing the fruit trays|
|Cooking the fried plantains|
|Piles of plantain cakes or patties.|
|Children at play|
|The stairs to their homes are logs.|
|A "street" in the neighborhood|
|Someone gave her a Snickers bar. She shared it, but|
was not happy when he took most of it! Some things
are the same no matter where you are!
|The children captured our hearts.|
Once again we donned our orange vests and boarded the canoes. On the way back to the buses, they took us to a fresh waterfall and pool on the river. It was an interesting climb through the rocks along the river to reach the waterfall. I gave up and waited on the rocks while Dennis, Vicky and Peter continued on. They came back refreshed and wet!