Rio Narices, Santa Fe National Park – Stories from Cele
Rio Narices is an amazingly clear river that flows down the Pacific side of Santa Fe National Park, joining the Santa Maria River about 2 miles to the north east of Santa Fe, one of the 10 largest rivers in Panama. There is clear, still water, some neat geologic formations, forested slopes, and about 3 miles in, a little palm rancho that ANAM built.
Cele’s hiking recommendations
We wore rubber knee high boots when hiking up the river. There were some places where we had to cross from bank to bank to continue walking, and in places the water was pretty deep. Bring food if you want to hike up, I didn’t and was hitting on empty when we got back. The going is slow. We walked in maybe 3 miles to the ANAM rancho. The term rancho makes it sound bigger than it is.
Philosophical question for this hike
Indigenous groups have lived in Veraguas for centuries if not millenium, living in small communities. Santa Fe National Park was finally formed in 2001, and encompasses some villages. Up Rio Narices, and over the cordillera central, and going down the river on the other side of the continental divide, there are three communities: numero uno (number one), numero 2 (number 2) and Guazaro, accessible by foot, a total of 12 hours hiking one way.
So, think about it. You’re living in an isolated community, not much entertainment, except the communities down the way. I’m sure they get together for festivals, make life interesting. Do you think the villagers debate which town is number one and which is number 2? Ah, we are number one because we are closer to the ocean, your town is number two. No no no, we are number one since we’re closer to Santa Fe, you live in number 2. How about your psyche. Would you grow up feeling inferior if you grew up in number 2?