Cultural Preservation


Embera are the indigenous peoples of Panama and Columbia. In the late 18th century, part of the Embera tribe migrated from the Choco region of Columbia to Panama. Seven indigenous tribes live in Panama. The Embera are one of the most well known indigenous tribes in Central America. Approximately 33,000 people identify as being Embera in Panama. Many Embera people live sustainably along rivers deep in the Panamanian rainforests.

Most villages are only accessible by foot or water. The communities are usually small villages of 5-20 thatched roof houses with a communal area for cooking and eating. These indigenous people keep their government and family structures. The Embera natives retain their languages, cultures, music, art, customs, clothing, and cuisine. A visit to an Embera Village is an incredible opportunity to experience a beautiful and preserved way of life. Join an OLI trip in Panama to meet the wonderful people and experience their culture and way of life. After your visit you’ll want to join the effort to protect their culture.

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