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Untamed Wilderness: Hiking The Darien Gap

Another Round of Chicha Please!

We’d spent the night hiking into Darien National Park after drinking a type of local indigenous moonshine called “Chicha Fuerte”. It’s a sweet, home-fermented corn liquor with a big kick.

Imagine warm kool-aid and 190 proof grain alcohol with bits of corn floating around.

Mmmmm. Feel the burn!

Actually, the stuff is illegal. But everyone makes it down here anyway, including the Emberá family we stopped to chat with on our way into the rainforest.

There are three different indigenous groups that live in this region. The Kuna, Emberá, and Wounaan tribes. Sometimes the Emberá Wounaan are collectively known as the Chocó, but they aren’t big fans of that term.

At first our Emberá hosts told us that they didn’t have any Chicha Fuerte with them. But after chatting for a bit and having a few laughs, out came the hidden plastic jug and a single cup with which to share the forbidden liquid.

Darien Spiny Palm Tree Panama

Tree-Hugging Hippy Defense System

Fishing Darien Gap

Fishing with a Machete

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