Connecting the oceans: the Panama Canal (Part 2)


Visiting those who live along with the great nature.

Cristobal is a port city located on the Atlantic side of Panama, and our port of call before passing through the Panama Canal. From here, we will head to visit the village of the Embera tribe, which is a self-sufficient community that lives without using gas or electricity. After riding a boat for 30 minutes into the jungle, we arrived to this village with thatched-roof houses.As soon as we left the boat, all the villagers came to welcome us. Here they guided us around the village and showed us some traditional dance and music performances. From the middle of the performance, we also started dancing together, sharing a good time. Laughing together and holding hands with people who live with different languages and environments is a unique experience to a Peace Boat exchange tour.

Meeting the People of the Sun

One more thing I will never forget is the encounter with the Kuna tribe. Panama has a population of 3.5 million and has seven indigenous tribes. The Kuna are known for making crafts called “Mora”. Mora is a beautiful cloth product used in traditional Kuna costumes. It expresses the culture that they have protected by elaborating techniques such as layering cloths like appliqués and sewing them with threads as if drawing a picture. Its vivid colors are characteristic, and the Kuna people who wear Mora are also called “people of the sun.” These generous, free, delicate and beautiful designs shows the richness of their imagination and the awe of nature.

Connecting hearts through travel

Peace Boat offers a programme with a workshop where you can learn the traditional techniques of Mora, definitely a very valuable experience. Originally, Kuna people do not teach Mora’s technique to outsiders. Mainly because they take pride in their technique and treasure it. Nevertheless, this programme started as a sign of friendship symbolizing the many years that Peace Boat and the Kuna have been connected and supported each others activities. Sewing along with the Kuna people, looking at each other, layering these cloths while nodding—after such a warm time, the mola of the memories created by the time we spent together was completed.