Wednesday, December 21, 2011

up the Chuqunaque

Today's post is a guest post by my twelve-year-old daughter. On Monday, she went with her father to an Embera-Wounaan community to observe the closing meeting of a program that studied the effects of climate change in the region. This is her report:

My experience in Darien was pretty amazing. Other than a long,wet, and bumpy ride, I actually learned a lot and had fun. We started the trip by walking up at 5:30 in the morning  and then after driving about one hour and a half we stopped at a little rancho and had a delicious Panamanian breakfast. Then we stopped to buy some snacks, and after that we were off. We went to the comunity by piragua (canoe) on the Chucunaque river.
When we got there, we were greeted by one of the native ladies. My dad had told me to get painted with special ink made from berries they grow, so I decided, why not? and I got an Embera design on my arm (not on my face even though they offered). 

The meeting was kind of being delayed so they decided to serve the food, (it was delicious) I chose some barbecued  chicken with a side order of bollos torro, and bodochi.Then the meeting finally started.
I went to the meeting, and saw the UN representatives, and some of the people from different indigenous groups. They indigenous people’s leader told us how the change in climate was affecting their lives because of the increase of water to the river causing much flooding. This made me think of how terribly we were treating our planet, and kind of left me wanting to help. Some girls from the Embera Wounaan tribe did two dances that were very beautiful.
Ironically after this meeting the weather changed and it started raining, everyone ran to their piraguas, to go home.
The ride back was nice, but I fell asleep most of the ride. It is a very odd feeling being surrounded by nature, and then waking up to the city all lit up. Like this was my first time in Darien I left with a very good impression of the place, and people.


  1. What a great report!

    I have always wanted to visit the Darien, your report and pictures make me want to see this area of Panama even more.

    I think it is important to think about how what we do affects other people. I like that after hearing from the Embera Wounaan community you thought about how we treat the planet and wanted to try and help.

    I am glad you did this guest post, you did a very good job.

    Thanks for sharing,

  2. Wonderful! It is very important for young people to see first hand what damage has been done to our planet and how unfortunte it is that the people who are most in need tend to suffer the most from it. This is an awesome post.

  3. M
    Marvelous report. Great pictures.
    Wanted to have you attend the UN negotiations in Panama in October. This is better. Most of us think that the bulldozer pushing trees down is worse than the fumes of carbon dioxide coming out of the muffler. But the fumes will continue trap radiative sun rays and to heat the surface for 300 years, making more and more rain, while the trees will grow back.
    Your pictures make me more determined to visit and hopefully you and S can join us.

  4. Thanks everyone! M totally appreciates all your kind words. the blog just added another layer to the experience for her. This is probably not the last you'll be hearing from her!