The Wounaan indigenous people of Panama, renowned carvers of cocobolo wood, are fighting the incursion of outsider loggers into their territory. About 600 of the roughly 15,000 Wounaan in Panama are Mennonite. See the main story, “Mennonites in Panama oppose clear-cutting, request prayer.”
The links below provide background to that story.
The Artisan (8:55 min. video)
For a beautifully done video profile of Wounaan artisan and church worker Giovany, see the MB Mission video.
Río Platanares y Río Hondo, 2012 (14 min. video)
This Spanish language video shows the dramatic footage of cut trees and cleared areas.
To see photos and read more (in Spanish) about the Wounaan people, go to the Wounaan Congress Facebook page.
The article, “Native Future: Ten Years Helping Protect Wounaan Forests and Culture,” includes photos of clear-cut forests and cocobolo trees in Wounaan territory.
To learn about the 2012 death of Wounaan leader Aquilo Opúa in an altercation over logging, see the MB Herald article, “Peace put to test in Panama.”