Embera Drua Villiage
7F6M+P28, Chico, Provincia de Panamá, Panama
|⏰ Opening Hours
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
|💸 Entrance Fee
Find it on google maps
What is Embera Village?
The Embera Village isn't just any attraction—it is a living, breathing cultural experience tucked in the lush rainforests near Panama City. These villages are home to the Emberá people, one of the seven indigenous tribes in Panama. Venture just a couple of hours from the city, and you'll find yourself in a completely different world, where traditional lifestyles are preserved, and nature is intertwined with everyday life. Here, visitors have the unique opportunity to learn about the Emberá culture, customs, and their intimate relationship with the environment.
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History of Embera Village
The history of the Emberá people in Panama dates back well before the arrival of Europeans. Originally from the Chocó region of Colombia, they migrated into what is now Panama over several generations. They have historically lived along the rivers in the Darién Province but have also established villages closer to Panama City for cultural preservation and tourism purposes. Their history is characterized by a constant adaptation to the encroaching modern world while fiercely maintaining their cultural identity, language (Emberá), and traditional practices.
Over the years, the Emberá communities opened up to tourism as a way to share their culture and generate income to sustain their way of life. This interaction has allowed them to teach others about the importance of environmental preservation and the value of their ancient wisdom, which has been handed down through generations.
Why is Embera Village Important?
The Embera Village represents an important cultural enclave that allows visitors to delve deeply into the life and spirit of indigenous Panamanian culture. For the country and the world, it's a living archive of the Emberá people's traditional knowledge, customs, and ecological stewardship. The village plays a significant role in preserving the language and artisanal skills like basketry and wood carving, which are famous for their intricate designs and are essential sources of income for the community.
Furthermore, by providing educational experiences for tourists, the Emberá people are effectively engaging in cultural diplomacy, fostering understanding, and respect for indigenous ways of living. This is not only significant for cultural preservation but also for the promotion of sustainable tourism practices in Panama.
Things to Do & See at Embera Village
Visiting the Embera Village is an immersive and eclectic experience. You'll be greeted with warm smiles and a traditional welcome, which might include a music performance. Visitors can partake in a guided tour led by an Emberá guide to learn about the flora and fauna that are central to their way of life. The guides often share stories and insights that only someone ingrained in the community would know.
One of the most remarkable experiences is observing and even participating in Emberá artistry. You can see firsthand how they craft their world-renowned baskets and carvings, and purchase these as unique souvenirs. Additionally, you might be treated to a traditional meal, usually consisting of fish and plantains, served in a banana leaf—a genuine taste of Emberá hospitality.
For those who appreciate nature, a trip to the village usually includes a canoe ride down the river. The stunning scenery and the chance to swim in the river add an adventurous layer to the day. Moreover, the Emberá people often share their ancestral knowledge of medicinal plants, which serves as both an educational experience and a humbling reminder of the wisdom that resides within these communities.
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