Four days left!

Thank you for making your year-end tax-deductible donation by January 31, 2017. Last year we tripled your donation through matching funds and grants and launched the Wounaan Bird Count. Our year-end goal is not yet met; whether new to the cause or a dedicated supporter with your help we can. Thank you!

The Oropendulas Negras on the trail identifying birds.

No donation is too small, or too big!
$500 helps Wounaan reforest their degraded rainforests.
$100 helps pay for a day of training with a local bird guide expert.
$75 buys a pair of binoculars.
$30 pays for a Spanish-English bird guide book.

Read more about it…

Their Gift to You

Their Gift to You.

Wounaan baskets are nature’s gift to the world.

Your purchase of a Native Future
Wounaan Basket is a gift, too.

100% of the proceeds assist Wounaan to protect and conserve their rainforests and way of life.

Don’t miss out! 

Can you help Ezekiel and his brothers?

Ezekiel and his brothers are three of the 7,500 Wounaan doing their part to protect and conserve their rainforests and way of life. They can’t do it alone, though. It takes equipment, it takes training, it takes gas for boats…. They need your help!

Already in Ezekiel’s community of Puerto Lara, hundreds of acres of tropical forests have been cut or burnt by outsiders.

  • Your donation supports Wounaan to reforest and restore their rainforests environments.
  • Your donation helps them build skills to earn a living off the conservation they have practiced for generations.

  • Your donation helps them preserve their language, and teach it to their children.  Read more here…

Help us meet our year-end $7,500 goal. Thank you for your donation!

The latest from Native Future

Wounaan National Congress 2017

Every four years Wounaan elect their national leadership. This election year, with an overwhelming majority of votes, Chenier Carpio was elected President and Diogracio Puchicama, Cacique (Chief). On April 18th, the elected Wounaan leadership and their cabinet were inaugurated during a ceremony at the University of Panama.

Read more…

Passing the staff at the inauguration of the newly elected Wounaan Cacique and President, 2017

Meet our New Volunteers!

Thank you Sara Taylor, Kendra Becenti, Jed Glosenger and Robert Mesta for your time and talents!

The latest from Native Future

“Sorry Guys, It’s the Gals” :: La Granja El Jancinto :: Meet Jim Deveau

Reflecting on 17 years of La Granja  El  Jacinto, granting scholarships to family participants, I studied the photos taken. The role of the women is striking. Not only as helpers, cooks, weed pullers, seed planters – all important. Quiet and strong, they’ve been removing boulders to create rice/fish tanks, sharpening, hacking machetes, hauling mud and grasses to build and pack rice/fish tank walls, lugging cauldrons for miles to cook rice and beans at worksites, cutting  firewood to build the fires to cook those meals. They’re steadfast. They show up. You can count on them.

Read more of the latest from Native Future..

Bring your friends to the Basilio Perez Scholarship Fundraiser

It’s a fun party for a great cause!  Food, drink, friends and a silent auction!

Sunday, July 30, 4:00 – 6:30 pm. Portland, Maine.

Don’t miss out!  Read more…


The latest from Native Future

Where do Wounaan and Ngäbe Buglé live? :: Panama’s Indigenous by the Numbers :: Message from the President. 

Native Future works with three of Panama’s 8 tribes: Ngäbe and Buglé in the west, Wounaan in the east. Why these three tribes for Native Future? Because Returned Peace Corps Volunteers were passionate about the needs of the people they served. The Education program began with Ngäbe – Buglé in 2000 and the Land Rights program began with Wounaan in 2004. The two joined forces in 2005. Their poverty issues are equally compelling, and we’re now in our 12th year of collaborating on remarkable, sustainable solutions.

Read more of the latest from Native Future.


Native Future Newsletter May 2017

Who won Wounaan National Congress elections?  Meet the Ngäbe Buglé women in El Jacinto that keep it all going. Welcome new Native Future volunteers! Read all about it here.

Native Future Spring 2017 Newsletter

Simona Valdez and Deluvina Perez, two strong women working the El Jacinto farm for 17+ years.

Native Future Receives Grant for Wounaan Natural Resource Management

We are happy to announce a new partnership with the US Forest Service (USFS) International Programs to support up to seven Wounaan communities to assess their natural resource management needs and identify and carry out actions to protect and manage at least one non-timber forest product (NTFP). Communities will also receive technical assistance, training and materials to reforest and restore their forests.

Read more…


Help Seed a Wounaan Christmas Bird Count

Native Future is asking for your help to start-up a Christmas Bird Count with Wounaan communities in Wounaan territory. Your donation will help to cover the initial costs of travel and logistics of CBC expertise and volunteers, as well as that of equipment and training, to start preparing with Wounaan for a Christmas Bird Count (CBC). We need to raise at least $10,000 over this 2016 – 2017 CBC season to set a foundation for a Wounaan CBC in 2017 – 2018. Can you help?

Photo compliments Miguel "Siu", Panama Birds & Wildlife Photos.

Nesting Harpy Eagle. Photo compliments Miguel “Siu”, Panama Birds & Wildlife Photos.

Why a Wounaan Christmas Bird Count?

One objective of the Wounaan Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is to bring global attention to the avian biodiversity and hundreds of thousands of acres of Darien tropical rainforest Wounaan have been conserving for generations, but today are at risk of deforestation. The CBC will engage Wounaan of all ages to observe, document and report their avifauna in their territories and in their native language, Woun meu, and build their capacity to host birdwatching tours on native lands in the future. Wounaan leaders are enthusiastic about the potential multiple benefits of a CBC to not only the protection of their land rights and forests, but also their cultural and linguistic survival, including connections with their oral traditions.


Master weaver Milda Teucama and her artwork.

Wounaan of Panamá are an indigenous peoples numbering a little over 7,000 and living in 17 small villages scattered throughout the eastern rainforests of the Majé and Darién regions. Their traditional lands are well over half a million acres of intact rainforest, including coastal and mangrove ecosystems in Panama and the Americas, and are home to more than 577 species of birds, at least 60 of which are restricted range species. In addition to being a major center for unique birds, it is also home to vulnerable and endangered wildlife, including the Chocó tamarin, the tapir, the giant anteater, the ocelot, the jaguar and the Harpy Eagle.

For decades, Wounaan have been struggling to protect their lands and forests from illegal logging, agricultural encroachment and deforestation. For twelve years, Native Future has been helping Wounaan protect their forests and secure their land rights. The Wounaan Christmas Bird Count is one way we can help.

Mangroves to mountains, Wounaan territory is some of the most intact ecosystems in Darien, Panama.

Mangroves to mountains, Wounaan territory is some of the most intact ecosystems in Darien, Panama.

How you can help.

This year your tax-deductible donation to Native Future and the CBC will be matched by dedicated donors, Peter Hetz and Marianne Kuitert, and Michael Smith up to a $25,000 goal. And with donations of $100 or more you will receive a gift book – The Best Baskets in the World – an engaging exploration of the fine art of Wounaan and Emberá weavers.

Financial support is just one way to help this effort. We are also accepting donations of used, functioning equipment such as binoculars, scopes and cameras, smartphones and iPads loaded with e-bird, dry bags or other protective cases. Please contact us at if you have items you want to pass on. Your in-kind donation may also be tax-deductible.

Finally, can you help us spread the word? Please do share this webpage with any interested people, groups, or businesses you believe would be interested in this endeavor.