Embera Puru village, Rio San Juan De Pequeni. The Emberá use the river for cooking, washing or bathing, transportation, and fishing. The Emberá, one of seven indigenous tribes found in the Republic of Panama, have established small communities along the banks of the Chagres River where they practice traditional subsistence agriculture and hunting and fishing. In 1984 the Chagres National Park was declared and restrictions on agriculture and cultural practices were established, greatly limiting the Emberá’s source of income and their livelihood. The Chagres National Park contains the largest extension of tropical forest in the Panama Canal Watershed. Its rivers are the primary source of fresh water for the Panama Canal and the heavily populated urban areas of Panama City and Colon.
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