Panama

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to spend a month photographing different indigenous tribes, wildlife and the amazing rainforests and beaches of Panama. Over the next few weeks I will be adding more information and captions to some of the photos. The following posts are a small sample of my work from the time spent in Panama

4/18/07

Naso Indians & Rainforest

The Naso, also known as the Teribe, have been the inhabitants of the mountainous jungle region of the northwestern corner of Panama since long before the Spanish colonizers ever reached the shores of Central America. The arrival of the Spanish in the 17th century led to a decimation of the Naso population with war, relocation, and disease. Today, the remaining Naso live in 11 small communities located along the Teribe River amid the lush forest of the La Amistad International Park.

The majority of my time in Panama was spent in Bocas Del Toro with the Naso Indians. I stayed with Celestino & Demecia Williams and their son Zaven in their village. Celestino never left my side and made sure that I got around safely from my first day to the very last. Demecia helped me with all of the planing and logistics of the trip. This trip would not have been possible without them. I am very greatfull for having such wonderful hosts, guides & friends. Celestino & Demecia are starting an eco-tourism business, soposo.com. You can visit their website to learn more about the Naso. If you are interested in a rainforest adventure I would highly recommend going with them.

I would like to give a special thanks to Celestino’s parents for welcoming me into their home and feeding me (even if plantains were the highlight on the menu). To his brothers, Michael, Jason and Max for guiding me through the jungle, helping me carry my equipment and playing games in our down time. And to Coco for helping me with my backpack even though it weighed almost has much as him. This was truly a trip of a lifetime and an experience that I will not forget.


Demecia, Zaven and Celestino Williams, founders of www.soposo.com








Celestion’s Grandmother. I thought she had fallen behind on our way to the river from here village, but she had actually moved ahead of us. I was amazed at how fast she can walk.











Celestion’s other Grandmother. She is about 94 and still rides a horse!










Jason on his horse




Max, Mom, Jason and Celestino


Me and Celestino’s Grandmother


Me and the family


































































Jason, their Dad and Celestino standing by the fire





3 comments:

Alisa said...

Michael,

Those are the most beautiful pictures! You could just taste the life through each photo! I am amazed and taken by the realness of your photography. What an emotiontal eye you have. Thanks for sharing!

cousin Alisa in Victoria, BC

Scott said...

Great photos! We just did this trip with Jason as our guide. Stayed the night in their lodge. We are still processing the experience. They are wonderful people.

Anonymous said...

I had the pleasure of viewing some of your photos, Michael. They are incredible! Of particular interest to me is the horse life. I was born in Ancon, Panama Canal Zone, and have lived in New Zealand for 40 years. It is wonderful to view the horse population as you have captured two on camera that I could see (among the Naso people). We are trying to establish the Spanish gaited horses here in NZ - primarily the Paso Fino. Pinto and Appaloosa coloureds of these are regarded as Spanish Jennets - an orginal foundation breed of most gaited breeds in the Americas - from 1493. Do you have any more horse photos? Many thanks, Marti spanishhorse@winnfarms.co.nz www.winnfarms.co.nz (I don't use the google account very much.)