The general administrator of the Panama Tourism Authority (ATP), Iván Eskildsen, together with his work team, made a tour in the Emberá Parará Purú community, located in the Chagres river basin, in which they held a meeting with the chief Antonio Zarco to strengthen the promotion strategies of the destination in order to reactivate tourist activities in the area, especially in this cruise season.
During the meeting, during the first quarter of 2022, a training session was held together with the Panamanian Association of Sustainable Tourism (APTSO), within the framework of the PACTO project, whose objective is to promote community tourism focused on innovation for creation of tourist products and experiences.
Emberá Parará Purú is one of PACTO’s pilot communities.
During this visit, film and photographic material was also collected for the development of promotional pieces of the attractions of the place, in order to attract national and international visitors and promote this area of the “Indigenous Panama Circuit”, which is part of the Tourism Master Plan Sustainable (PMTS) 2020-2025 and respecting Law 37 of August 2, 2016, that establishes free, prior and informed consultation and consent to indigenous peoples.
This official mission was joined by Nathan Gray and Claus Kjaerby, members of Fundación Geoversity, a non-profit organization that for years has worked with the inhabitants of the indigenous communities of the Chagres River basin, providing support in terms of the practices they contribute. to the reduction of the carbon footprint.
The ATP from its management seeks to make visible to potential investors the cultural and natural wealth of these peoples, their ancestral practices and their importance in caring for the largest tributary of the Panama Canal.
In the international fairs in which the ATP has participated together with the International Promotion Fund (PROMTUR), the interest of tourists in knowing the cultural diversity of Panama, the worldview and the lifestyle of the different ethnic groups that they have remained intact.
One of the main experiences that are focused on the conscious traveler is the Indigenous Panama Circuit, which seeks to show the worldview and traditions of 7 authentic indigenous peoples (Ngäbe, Buglé, Naso Tjërdi, Bri-Bri, Guna, Emberá and Wounaan), where travelers can have contact with their wisdom and spiritual connection and nature.
These towns represent more than 13% of the population and guard 23% of the national territory. In addition, they are represented by 12 congresses and councils that are part of COONAPIP, their economy depends 80% on tourism.
The pandemic affected the economy of indigenous peoples; However, with the reopening of tourism, they are little by little receiving travelers who disembark from cruise ships anchored in Puerto Colón 2000 and move to indigenous communities, located in the Chagres River basin (Tusipono, Parará Purú, Buru Biaquiru, Embera Drua ), where they spend more than 3 hours getting to know the destination.
In the Chagres communities the activities are similar: walks, medicinal plant trails, tours to the “Quebrada Bonita” waterfall. Another attraction is the crystal clear waters of the rivers of the Emberá Drua community, which has a “little beach” where the adventurer can safely bathe.
The hiker can experiment with painting his body based on “jagua”, which is a natural fruit that is used for healing, protecting the skin; You can also participate in their dances and enjoy their gastronomy.
Emberá Parará Purú is one hour from Panama City, to get there you must enter through La Cabima, in the town of Alcalde Díaz, go to the Port of Corotú where you take a motorized canoe and in 15 minutes you can be in this community from the Chagres National Park, an urban forest with impressive virgin vegetation.