Wounaan are one of the seven groups of Indigenous peoples of the Republic of Panama.
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Their traditional lands comprise some of the most intact ecosystems in Panama and the Americas. Moreover, Wounaan depend on these forests, streams, and mangroves for their livelihood and culture.
The remnants of forest that define Wounaan territories are subject to deforestation by cattle ranchers, and are increasingly targeted by loggers looking for prized tropical hardwoods such as the endangered rosewood tree - cocobolo.
The majority of the 7,200 Wounaan live in the Darien, Panama’s largest and wildest province. They live in small communities located within and outside the two Emberá-Wounaan comarcas, which are indigenous provinces with special indigenous, democratic administrations. They also live in and around Panama City and other increasingly urban neighborhoods along the Pan American Highway, and in three villages in the east Panama Province along the Pacific Ocean coast foothills of the Majé Mountain Range - Rio Hondo, Platanares and Majé.
Their rainforest homes and way of life are at stake.