Kiad, Panama


Photographer: Ramón Lepage

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

In Kiad, a community in western Panama’s Ngäbe-Buglé land reserve, Manolo Miranda and his family run a cultural centre dedicated to teaching and preserving the cultural identity of the Ngäbe people. The centre’s classes teach people to read and write in Ngäbe using a script created by Manolo. The Miranda family is also petitioning Panama’s education authorities to allow schools in their region to teach in Ngäbe, a language spoken by around 130,000 people, as well as Spanish. As well as running his family’s cultural centre, Manolo is also one of the leaders of a group opposing the construction of a hydro-power dam that when completed will flood the reserve’s main river, the Tabasara.