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Who Taught You How To Swim?

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A French woman amazed by the aquatic autonomy of Embera children (Panama)

enfants sautant dans l'eau d'un bateau en bois

The Experience

“In this village hidden in the jungle, an Embera community lives with the bare necessities. It’s Saturday afternoon. The children are playing in the town square, all by themselves. No adults around. 

It is true that there seems to be few dangers: no roads, no cars, no one but the members of the village for miles around… Some dangerous insects to avoid maybe? Oh yeah, and the river that flows near the village that sometimes has strong current. Oh look, the children have precisely decided to go for a swim! They all run in the water. I’m blown away. Young ones and older ones, they all know how to swim… 

I ask one of the youngest:

“Who taught you how to swim?

– The water.”

Who's Telling the Story?

French, 35, Marine has lived in Mexico, Panama and explored parts of Cuba, Costa Rica and Nicaragua. She continues to be surprised by her lack of understanding of other cultures’ customs and habits that question our own cultural formatting.

Place : Embera Village in the North of Panama

Date : 2015

What do You Think?

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Would you consider water as “someone” who taught you how to swim?

This experience questions you?

Come and discuss it with us at one of our gatherings!

Join our Zoom cultures in April 2023 on :

The Influence of Nature on our Daily Life

(For our members and their guests)

Questions? Contact us for more information.