Kuna Coast and Forest Guard
Out of Earth Train's 10-year history of collaboration with Kuna youth and its formal agreement with the Kuna General Congress has emerged an extraordinary initiative in eco-adventure and youth empowerment. The Kuna Coast and Forest Guard (KCFG), based at Earth Train's facilities in the Mamoní Valley Preserve, is a river-and-sea kayak adventure company dedicated to the protection of Kuna territories (comarcas) and the promotion of career and leadership opportunities for Kuna youth: Kuna eco-adventure in the service of environmental protection and youth training.
In creating the Kuna Coast and Forest Guard (KCFG), we are both children coming to our Mother's defense and elders leading our children back to their Mother. The KCFG offers our young men and women an attractive alternative to city life. It brings meaning into their lives and opportunity into their future.
- KCFG co-founder Enrique Arias, cartographer and former secretary general of the Kuna General Congress.
The KCFG is pioneering a unique menu of Pacific-to-Atlantic river-and-sea kayak adventures that range from a relatively easy three-day journey from Centro Mamoní in the Mamoní Valley Preserve, to the challenging Kuna-Emberá Friendship Adventure that parallels the route Balboa took with Kuna guides 500 years ago.
Working in coordination with the Kuna General and Cultural Congresses and in partnership with Asociación Napguana, a Kuna community development and environmental NGO, the KCFG recruits young men and women between the ages of 18 and 24 with the desire and qualifications to participate in a six month outdoor adventure and management training program based at Centro Mamoní. The graduates of this program are invited to join the KCFG staff as guides, hospitality managers and as instructors.
An Adventure You Won't Forget
"In early 2004, I joined Kuna and youth leaders in planning the hike from Earth Train's beautiful Centro Mamoní on the Pacific side of the Continental Divide to Kuna communities on the Atlantic coast. For anyone interested in experiencing one of the world's most diverse river valley forests and a unique indigenous culture, this will be an adventure you won't forget."
- Leo LeBon, Founder and former CEO, Mountain Travel/Sobek, Earth Train Advisory Board
The KCFG is financed by contributions from eco adventure guests, including university students participating in Earth Train's ecological restoration programs-and from grants from institutions supporting youth training and environmental protection.
Explore Earth Train
Learn about Earth Train, our programs, the Mamoní Valley Preserve and more in our Mamoní Valley Programs Report by Nathan Gray and Líder Sucre.
The 10,000-acre Mamoní Valley Preserve: a world campus for education, restoration, training in biocultural restoration and conservation and sustainable development.
Dynamic Partnerships with Indigenous Leaders in Panama.