Journey to the Embera

The Embera people are a native people who live in Panama.  I’m not sure how I feel about this.  One of the ways they sustain themselves is through tourism.  Tourists go to their village and see how they live.  Two groups a day go through and a show is put on with traditional dancing, meals and what not.  It is beautiful to behold, but to what extent are they prostituting themselves for the awe value of it?  Are they polluting their culture by turning their children into performers for the benefit of those coming in?  I’m grateful for the photographs I was able to get, but beyond that, I’m torn.  How do you feel?

A Bycyrus, the steam shovels that dug the Panama Canal.  TR was photographed in one of these when he visited in 1904.

A Bycyrus, the steam shovels that dug the Panama Canal. TR was photographed in one of these when he visited in 1904.

I'm a sucker for chicken busses

I’m a sucker for chicken busses

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View didn't suck

View didn’t suck

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The village chief

The village chief

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Kids are always kids

Kids are always kids

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View from the school that the government establishes for the Embera people

View from the school that the government establishes for the Embera people

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This man was college educated, he returned to his village to make a contribution.  Here he is building his own canoe by hand!

This man was college educated, he returned to his village to make a contribution. Here he is building his own canoe by hand!

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The Embera survive through tourism and arts and crafts.

The Embera survive through tourism and arts and crafts.

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This is one of the teachers whom is provided by the government.  He dresses and lives like the Embera.

This is one of the teachers whom is provided by the government. He dresses and lives like the Embera.

An Embera shaman leading a tour of medicinal plants

An Embera shaman leading a tour of medicinal plants

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To be a kid again!

To be a kid again!

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One of my favorites

One of my favorites

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