By Jackie Chase
Specially printed in color, and accessible with stunning back-lit color images, this “single” recounts the adventures of Jackie Chase in Panama.
The author describes a memorable gap, “Wild and untamed, the ten thousand square miles of undeveloped, steamy jungle, called the Darien Gap, connects Panama to Colombia. The Darien has voraciously consumed explorers for centuries. Harsh and assertive, the jungle growth inhibits roads or any other type of civilization, but it encourages fugitives, drug smugglers, guerrillas, and jaguars like a magnet. This gap creates a land bridge between two continents, creating a mixing-ground for animals of both Americas and a funnel for birds that migrate over the land between them. The Chocó Indians, now known as the Embera and Wounaan, number close to 17,000, having survived smallpox and other diseases the Spaniards brought over.
They live deep in the heart of the Darien, close to river basins, very much the same as their ancestors lived during the days of Christopher Columbus, guarding generations of secrets. Both tribes have similar lifestyles, painting their upper bodies with Jagua, a dye coming from a local fruit that lasts about a month before needing reapplication. These tribes have made significant contributions to humankind's pharmaceutical medicine chest. Because of these tribes and their botanical skills from living in the forest, scientists and researchers gain knowledge indispensable to people in today’s world. The modern birth control pill comes from the Central America yam…”