Embera Drua: The Impact of Tourism on Indigenous Village Life in Panama

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Lethbridge, Amy
Indigenous communities; native people; cultural tourism; ecotourism; Panama; case study; interviews; capacity building; communities; economic development; cultural revitalization; Embera Drua; Chagres River; Chagres National Park; Chocó; leadership; Community-Based Research; Environmental Studies; Indigenous Studies; Latin American Studies; Leadership Studies; Leisure Studies; Place and Environment; Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies; Social and Cultural Anthropology; Tourism; Tourism and Travel
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thesis / dissertation description
This case study examines the experience of residents of the Indigenous village of Embera Drua, Panama with 20 years of tourism. It addresses the lack of Indigenous voices in tourism literature by telling the story of Embera Drua through the lens of the villagers themselves. The study uses a mix of ethnographic observation and narrative inquiry and finds that the experience of Embera Drua mirrors the experience of other Indigenous villages offering tourism around the globe, particularly the impact of lack of community capacity on management and growth of such tourism initiatives. Findings of this study are relevant to the international discourse on tourism as a development tool. This dissertation is available in open-access at OhioLink ETD Center, www.ohiolink.edu/etd and AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive, http://aura.antioch.edu/