Fundacion Bendaked header
Kuna women in traditional dress traditional Kuna bracelets Kuna women at the city market Women make crafts at the market Kuna working in craft markets The village leader shows off jewlery made in the village Women demonstrate a traditional dance Girls perform a dance Women prepare rice and beans Man surveys his village girls are primed for motherhood from a young age by caring for younger siblings man shows off acrobatic skills
to sustain is to preserve culture
Learn About Indigenous Communities

The indigenous peoples of Panama have a rich and colorful history. The 7 indigenous tribes of Panama include:

  • Kuna
  • Embera
  • Comarca Ngôbe
  • Wounaan
  • Buglé
  • Naso
  • Bribri
Lifestyle

Many of the indigenous live on tribal reservations throughout the country. These reservations offer the indigenous a chance to live as their ancestors did centuries ago. Most homes on the reservations are traditional grass, straw, and wood huts and have no running water or electricity. As modern society has become more dependent on technology, many of the indigenous people feel that they have been overlooked or left behind.

Some individuals from tribal groups have migrated to the more populated cities in search for better opportunities. Many of the indigenous people seeking help in the city are forced to live on the outskirts of society in broken down shacks and homes. Most indigenous struggle to provide basic necessities for their family.

They Need Our Help

Indigenous individuals wish to improve their condition but most are unable to do so because of language or cultural barriers between themselves and the rest of Panama.

Without the help of the government and NGO's, indigenous Panamanians are at-risk of being left behind and forgotten by society. It is out of this fear that Fundacion Bendaked was formed, to help preserve the cultures of the indigenous while giving them access to the modern amenities that many people take for granted, such as medication, transportation, and health care.

Quick Facts About the Indigenous People
  • Indigenous groups make up about 5% of the Panamanian population.
  • The largest indigenous group in Panama is the Ngôbe-Buglé, followed by the Kuna, and then the Embera-Wounaan.
  • In comparison to the the three largest groups, the remaining indigenous populations are much smaller, making up about 2-3% of the total indigenous population.
  • Each tribe has its own language, culture, and history.