InterTribal Youth Home Home

Get your Passport Ready!!
International Educational Exchange
June 15-26, 2014
An Educational and Cultural Experience for High School and College age Folks (no age limit)
Panama City, Chagres National Park, Embera Nation,
Guna Yala (San Blas), Coiba National Park

As Indigenous people traditionally did, we travel to exchange and gather knowledge at the center of "The Americas." Winged creatures and mammals of the sea continue to gather at the center of the continent - also known as "Turtle Island."
On our eighth Tribal Exchange trip to Panama, YNS and will visit three sovereign Tribal Reservations. We will touch two of the largest oceans on the planet, in one day! The Caribbean/Atlantic and Pacific.

Tentative Agenda and Daily Itinerary


We'll arrive along ridges of volcanoes, over Costa Rica and above the fertile land known as Turtle Island arriving in Panama - the "Bridge of the Americas." We take time to rest our wings. Known as the "safest city" in Latin America, Panama's friendly city people welcome you in Spanish, English, Creole, Island English, Chinese and Indigenous Dialects. This is where World Trade Routes were realized and where Balboa Vasquez Nuñez / Panama American World Fair, inspired San Diego's Balboa Park on the grounds of the Kumeyaay Villages to the North.

Day 1, 2: Cerro Azul, Chagres National Forest

We will be waiting to greet you at the airport in Panama. We spend our first two nights in local mountains, 20 minutes from the airport at a small bed and breakfast in El Cerro Azul (Blue Mountains), Chagres National Forest. We are given time to rest and unwind, before embarking upon hikes in the mountains where rainforests, waterfalls, monkeys, sloths, and toucans abound. The world’s largest list of birds is documented in Panama, and it continues to grow. Like many Panamanians around the canal area, our hosts are Panamanian of Jamaican and Mestizo decent. The Afro-Caribbean Culture is dominant in the heavily populated areas of Panama City and Colon. The Chagres National Park is the natural water shed that fills the Canal, its nature and beauty as a "cloud forest" is inspiring

Day 3: Wounaan/Embera “Healing People” Chagres National Park or Bayano

Exploring the waterways and most pristine rainforests in the world, our group will meet Native relations on the isthmus bridge of the Americas. A healing people, Wounann/Embera, also known as Choco, have survived and maintained their culture and traditions despite the colonialism. Life will unfold in its most natural state and purest form in these sacred lands. After a short bus ride, we will travel by dugout boats through the rivers and rainforest to exchange cultural presentations and engage in discussions with three Embera Communities. The community is looking to make connections in sustainable tourism and trade, and together we can explore possible avenues toward that goal.

Day 4, 5, 6: Guna Yala, aka Archipelago of San Blas, Caribbean Sea

A model of Sovereignty and Autonomy, Guna Yala People hold it down on the colors of the Caribbean, which are highlighted in the traditional textiles of las molas. This is the safe zone of the Caribbean; Panama’s coast is hurricane free. San Blas / Guna Yala is a sacred paradise, as visitors must receive permission to enter this territory. We have built a good relationship with the Native people of this community, and they open their houses, tribal councils and traditional ways to us. We share with them the calm, comforting blue waters of the Caribbean Sea—Earth’s nourishing swimming pool—and trade stories about our ancestral roots. Cultural Presentation and discourse are shared here at this UNESCO “World Heritage” Site.

Day 7, 8, 9: Cebaco Island and Coiba National Park, Pacific Ocean

Island of Cebaco and Montijo Bay is life as we know it, or should know it and was the home to pre-colombian indigenous king and anti-colonial warrior. Today, this area is of global importance and recognized for its infinite biodiversity. On both the list of the United Nations World Heritage and Ramsy World Report on protected areas, Montijo Bay and the islands give all and ask only for kindness in return. We are blessed to co-exist within this sacred life force and remain in awe, humility at nature’s perfect state.
By small boat, we explore deep inlets of mangroves and bare witness to rare birds, reptiles and monkeys in abundance. Montijo Bay or “Gulfo” is the conversion of sweet water (agua dulce) and the open sea, the transition between land and ocean life. A cradle of life. Dolphins, sea turtles, and whales are often seen and birds circling the grounds under light blue skies. Water instills a deeper sense and meditation. Like everything, fine food is served, pure and fresh. The options of snorkeling, horseback riding, surfing, kayaking, fishing, island hoping, and exploration of the greatest and newest biological find in the world- Coiba National Park - and more are at your leisure. One is immersed in the rhythm of nature: one vibe.

Day 10, 11, 12: Panama City and Departure

We arrive to the City the night before from our cultural and eco-adventure. Here we have time to tour around Panama City, and see the famous Panama Canal. There is also an option to visit the Smithsonian or to visit any of the wonderful world-class restaurants or shopping malls.

Early program registration is highly encouraged. May 3 is the deadline for early registration.

Cost of the Panama Program:
$2,200 is the cost for the 12-day international program and includes:

· International Round-trip Airfare departing from any of the following three airports:
LAX (Los Angeles), or SAN (San Diego), or SFO (San Francisco)
· 11 nights, All accommodations
· 12 days, All Meals (any dietary restrictions will be accommodated)
· All in-country ground transportation
· Panama Airport Pick-up and Drop-off (we meet you at the airport)
· All Water and Boat Tours, (including Coiba Island National Marine Park)
· National Park and Reservation Fees
· Panama Canal Museum Fee
· Cultural Performances
· Botanical Medicine Lesson
· Tour Leader
· Travel Coordinator, logistics, bookings
· Emergency Medical Insurance issued upon entry to Panama (PTY)

There will be No additional costs to the participant while in Panama. Spending money will be optional for gifts, mementos, sharing, etc.

Early program registration is highly encouraged. May 3 is the deadline for early registration. At this date or prior, a payment deposit of $1,000 will be required. This will guarantee the booking of your travel and space. If you need to fundraise, please make fundraising goal prior to May 3rd. The remaining payment of $1,200 will be made by June 3.

This is small group travel, not to exceed 12 people. Price is kept to a minimum. With the amount of personal attention and experience each participant receives compared to commercial tours, cost is very reasonable. We are a non-profit 501c3 organization and a gifted educational donation or sponsored participant is Tax-Deductible with our Fed Tax ID: 33-0845610.

3- Units of College Credit: The cost above is separate from college registration fee, if any.
· College registration and Credit is at no cost to California high school resident students with a signed K-12 Minor Waiver Form
· California Resident College age (not registered in high school) participants will pay normal Community College Fee of approx. $193.00 for the 3-Unit Class. Non-Ca residents pay out of state tuition.

Early program registration is highly encouraged. May 3 is the deadline for early registration.

More questions? Please email:
or call: 858- 314-8821

Panama Frequently Asked Questions

* Daily itinerary subject to change.
Register now.

Click HERE to see more Panama videos.


Traditional Botanical Rainforest Medicine Walk
Caribbean Island Boat Tours
Coiba Island National Park, E. Pacific Ocean's Largest Biodiversity
Rainforest Walks
Cloud Forest 2-night stay
Panama Canal and City Tour
Nature and Wildlife Observation
Cultural Education with Tribal People of: Embera Wounaan, Guna-Yala, Nobe Bugle

(Click image to open gallery)

© 2008 InterTribal Youth -The Bridge All Rights Reserved.