Friday, January 21, 2011

the local locals

Apparently there are locals in the south of Costa Rica who are original locals - the Guaymi Indian Tribe.  

The Guaymi are a large indigenous population that straddles the southeastern Costa Rica-Panama border. They are allowed to travel freely across the border, which occurs mostly to work during coffee season.  A subsection of Guaymi live in the town of Conte, which is close to Pavones in miles though not in ease of access apparently. They were one of three indigineous tribes present when the Spanish arrived in Central America and are known for effective resisitance against the conquistadors.

The Guaymi haven't embraced tourism and opened their culture in the same was as other indigenous populations in Central America but it does appear that it's possible to visit the Guaymi reservation in Conte. That said, it looks like it will be a process to figure out how to do it. Travel to the reservation is only by hiking or horseback and travel times on horseback seem to vary between 3-5 hours. 

I'd love to visit Conte since we're - relatively - so close.  On the other hand, its a whole day of  our stay after we figure out how to get there.   So we probably won't make it this time.
We've been told that the Guaymi will sometimes travel to Pavones to sell handcrafts and that we'll recognize them because they continue to wear traditional clothing.  I'll keep my eyes open and hopefully bring home some Guaymi souvieners. 

No comments:

Post a Comment