This post is also available in: Spanish
The Embera community of Tupisono is located in a beautiful place where the rivers Chagres and Las Cascadas meet: both are tributaries of the Alajuela Lake, north of Panama City. This is the second most visited tourist destination after the Panama Canal. There, 20 families have dedicated themselves to the conservation of the environment and the promotion of sustainable tourism in the area.
Tourists come from the United States, Argentina, Europe, Mexico, Venezuela and Panama anxious to find out about the dances, traditions and gastronomy of the region as well as to buy the handicrafts made by the Embera people.
In order to tour the place it is necessary to make a reservation so that the members of the community can come to meet visitors at the Port of Corotu. The visit includes lunch as well as the tour of the area and lasts for approximately five hours.
As soon as they arrive at La Cascada, visitors are given a lecture about the Emberá culture and in one of the inhabitant`s houses a lunch is served, followed by a handicraft exhibition.
Recently, thanks to the support of companies and local authorities, the community managed to build an ecological path known as the Kewüará, which in Embera language means toucan. The path which was constructed by Cemex and Tupisono inhabitants, measures about 0.94 kilometers. It is well signposted and takes approximately one hour 15 minutes to walk.
Native tree species and exotic plants grow abundantly and the path provides an ideal opportunity for bird watching with birds like the red capped manakin, blue dacnis and aracari being seen frequently.
Neldo Tócamo, the Tourism Commission President explained how the path helps the community.
“In addition to building the path we need to teach the young ones about nature. It is going to help us to exploit the bird watching and hiking market,” he said.
For more information visit emberatusipono09.blogspot.com.