Light Is For Everyone...

Embera Dura, June 2012

Remote Tribe Pierces the Darkness

A small group of volunteers made the journey to the remote Village of Embera Dura, Panama to assist an indigenous tribe in their very survival. The Grid Earth Project a U.S. based Charity, was pleased to work with the group to help provide solar powered LED lights that are now being used by the villagers.

Embera Dura consists of 125 Embera Indians, one of several Villages who fled the rainforests of southern Panama due to the warfare between drug cartels and the Panamanian Government. The Embera were caught in the crossfire. They had previously existed unnoticed in the rainforest for many years with little or no contact to the outside world.

Once they relocated to another remote jungle area further north. The remoteness of the area is rivaled only by some places in the Amazon basin. In spite of this, the Government noticed and informed them that they were living on protected land. In order to stay, the Embera people would have to drastically change their way of life. They are no longer allowed to hunt, which was their primary source of survival. Their native hunting tool is a blowgun with arrows dipped in a toxin extracted from toads. They are not allowed to plant any type of crops, even those fruit trees indigenous to the area.

They are a people literally struggling against extinction.

One of the residents of the Village is training as a teacher, so that she may help educate their tribal members, understanding that education will play a fundamental role in their survival. The Village has a school meeting place, and they are eager to learn. However, their days are spent gathering food and other tasks necessary for survival. One little girl, Sori remarked, "Now I can use this solar light, I don't have to use candles anymore." Sori only knew that the light from the candle was dim, she had no idea that breathing the fumes directly from it was destroying her lungs as well.

The school now meets in the evening with safe solar powered light that will enable children and adults alike to learn. The Grid Earth Project is pleased that plans are in the works to bring more lamps, to Embera Dura, and to the other Embera Villages in the area. The locations of some are actually kept secret among the tribe in order to protect their existence.

The Grid Earth Project supports worthy efforts world-wide, to replace the use of dangerous kerosene, candles and other bio-fuels with clean, safe, solar powered LED lights.

Return to Projects page...