Like many countries in Central and South America, Panama is a land of extremes.  Pockets of vast wealth are interspersed among slums.

But it isn’t until you travel into the rural areas that you see the true poverty of Panama.  Impoverished farmers struggle daily to survive, scraping land long drained of its resources.

Across the once-fertile central highlands, vast deforestation has left much of the land barren and dry.  However, although the indigenous Ngöbe people struggle to survive, there are several dedicated organizations there in the Comarca working to bring them life, dignity and sustainability.

The Ngöbe are not alone!

In the winter of 2009, Barry traveled to central Panama to write about the work of Dead Wheat International Foundation.

Barry's Ngöbe hosts in the mountains of Panama.

Dead Wheat focuses on three areas of sustainable growth: clean water, smokeless stoves and agricultural initiatives, and their work is beginning to bear much fruit!

Barry spent his time following Dead Wheat’s leaders all over the Comarca.  Hacking through jungles, sleeping in muddy fields, wading through rivers, living in huts… It was an unforgettable experience!

Take a look at his articles and you too will see why there is still hope for Panama!

Click here to read the articles from this trip!