Abandoned by Missionaries: Panama Jungle


These two girls live deep in a city of the Jungle of Chiriqui Province, western Panama – I was there in 2005, and they thought I was a missionary and were extremely hostile to me for the first few days. It seems that they had been touched by a group of “gringos” who taught them about God, but the gringos never helped them with any of their daily tasks like fetching water, repairing roofs, or even cook. This village is full of people who share everything: food, parenting responsibilities, soccer balls, etc. and it was off-putting to them that the missionaries didn’t even bother to learn about them. “How could they say we were wrong without even finding out what we believed first?” said one of the villagers.

These two girls live in a house that was at one point, converted into a church. But after the missionaries had left, it was turned back into their house. The girls don’t understand why their house had to become the church, and their parents were not available to answer the question.

(As a side note… this deep in the jungle, most of the people do not speak Spanish. So our photography team worked with one translator who translated to Spanish, and that guy then translated into the indigenous language.)

This photographer has no inclination for or against church missions and is simply reporting the events as they were presented by the people who were available to tell the story.

Categories: Latin America | Tags: | Leave a comment

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