Published: October 8th 2007October 8th 2007
I was sitting on a motorized canoe, in a river that flowed from a waterfall. The color of the water was a sort of a pale brownish reddish tint from rocks made of clay. The surrounding was a tropical jungle, with canopying trees, with several large bright blue butterflies flying passed us as we neared our location. We got off the canoe, and walked a good 15 minutes through the jungle passed several residing creeks, to a beautiful cascading waterfall. We swam for about 30 minutes, and luckily I had my waterproof camera. After the swim, we climbed back down and onto our canoes, where we drove to the embera village.
When they saw us coming they all came out to join us. The men were wearing beaded skirts, with a long chain of bead that they crossed along their chest. The women wear wearing beaded necklaces, with exposed upper bodies, cloth skirt, and a crown decorated with flowers. The men played musical instruments while the women came down to greet us.
They performed a traditional dance for us, and fed us fish and fried plantains out of a plantain leaf as a plate. They also cut up fresh fruit and made a platter in the center of the room.
These people live on tourism; it’s their only source of survival. And though it was very cool to experience the tribe, I felt almost like they no longer have a sense of self.