Boca Guariviara : Guah – ri – vi – ara
Boca Guariviara lies just inside the indigenous reservation, or Comarca, of the Ngobe-Bugle people on the Caribbean side of the country. Boca Guariviara is accessible by a 30 minute water taxi ride from the nearest port town named Chiriqui Grande and a 2 hour water taxi ride from the tourist hot spot of Bocas del Toro Island.
This is a small community with roughly 150 permanent residents and 40 houses. It lies at the mouth of the Guariviara river which runs down from the mountains and feeds into the large Chiriqui Lagoon. This lagoon forms a natural barrier to the Caribbean ocean and protects the village from ocean swells and heavy storms.
The residents here live off sea fishing and subsistence farming. Each family unit manage their own small farm to harvest banana, coconut, and different potato-like vegetables. They also plant rice and corn for a yearly harvest.
But fundamentally, this community is a fishing village. Each morning, both men and women wake up to climb into their handmade wooden canoes and head out to the bay to check their large nets from the night before. The fresh fish is brought in and sold locally or eaten that day!
This community is very welcoming and excited to share their way of life with our visitors. Ngabe culture is rich, with its own language, dress, dance, food, and mythologies. The kids especially are ready to play games and learn!
You will be staying in a traditional Ngobe house of the Bonilla Family. Traditionally, the houses are elevated off the ground and sit on stilts with a thatch palm frond roof. There are three rooms each with their own secure door, and access to a clean flushing toilet just outside the house. Each door has a lock and has secure walls to help you sleep soundly at night.
Preparation for your retreat has been put into motion. We provide mattress pads and bug nets for sleeping comfortably. While these accommodations are far from 5-star, the beds are comfortable, and clean. The house has a solar electric system to provide basic lighting at night as well as access to charge electronics like cameras and phones. We at Millennial Future do not recommend bringing a laptop or professional level camera due to the high humidity.
Meals & Drinks
All meals will be prepared by local community members who specialize in preparing food to sell the local travelers who move up and down the river on the water taxis. These meals are simple yet filling and generally include eggs, fried bread, and coffee. Lunches are likely to be rice with beans and either chicken or fish. Dinners include bananas or other vegetable, rice, and a meat usually in a soup. Light snacks such as trail mix are also provided and you will have a chance to purchase more before entering the community. You will be full each day.
You can rest assured that every drink you are offered will be properly boiled and treated. Every meal will be served on a clean plate with clean utensils and properly cooked. Each household you visit has been trained and is aware of the necessary measures needed to keep you safe. We are happy to address any dietary restrictions (vegetarian, low sodium, ect) you have to ensure your needs are met.
Much of the surrounding area is pristine jungle and contains an abundance of wildlife as it has been set aside as a natural reserve. It is possible to see monkeys, most commonly howler and white face, toucans, sloths, iguanas, jungle cats, armadillos and much more.
The Chiriqui Lagoon also features bioluminescence best experienced on new moons. The natural beauty of the area is astounding, please check out our instagram for more photos of the village, people and the surrounding area. @themillennialfuture