Ethno Tourism

The History and development of a culture

Ethno Tourism is somewhat of a new term coined by the various travel agencies and marketing companies. This type of tourism is essentially focused on the exploration of indigenous populations of a tourist destination.

One has the opportunity of engaging in ethno tourism in Panama, more so that many other places. Due to Panama’s commitment to their natural resources as well as the indigenous peoples of the region; Panama has granted political autonomy to various areas in Panama to the Kuna, Embrera-Wounan and Nogobe Bugle groups. These groups have in turn retained a lot of their traditions and ways of life, whilst also encouraging and embracing the income and job potential of the tourism sector.

Numerous archaeological digs and sites in Panama have revealed a millennial old settlement and habitation by predecessors of the indigenous people of the Central American area.

The embrera wounan people can be found in the Darien Province, where the small communities inhabit the forests and jungles, on a nomadic basis, whilst preserving their ancestral practices of fishing, hunting and limited subsistence farming.

The highlands of the Chiriqui and parts of the coast by the Golfo de los Mosquitos are home to the Ngobe Bugle, where one can experience the colorful attire and the chaquira necklaces, made from a variety of materials. Maintaining the practice of the traditional Balseria and other important rituals enhances the experience of visiting this ethnic group.

The most famous group of indigenous peoples in Panama are the Kuna, located along the North and North Eastern coastlines of the Caribbean side of Panama. These groups are a proud steadfast community, which have retained most of their ancestral rites and practices. They are very well known for the ‘molas’ which is a natural extension of their creativity in describing their lives and lifestyles. The Kuna have positively moved forward to embrace the tourism efforts in Panama, and provide an excellent experience with friendly and ongoing hospitality in the region.

Given Panama’s wildly divergent cultural background, one is encouraged to experience each and every part of Panama, which provides a valuable insight into the development of these peoples as well as the surrounding areas. One will also encounter the nature and man living in harmony concept, with a respect of their surroundings and preservation displayed by these resident conservationists. An expansive tour from the one side of Panama to the other will enable you to encounter numerous aspects from almost primitive existence to modern day powerhouse economies and technology.

This post is also available in: Spanish

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