The Mission of Bocas del Toro welcomes the pastoral encounter of the indigenous people of Canquintú

In a rotating way, three dioceses share the “sede” of the emangbunabri (Pastoral Encounter of the Indigenous), so that this year corresponds to the Augustinian Recollect mission of Canquintú.

The participating delegates were arriving at Chiriquí Grande. From there they left in three boats headed toward Canquintú. The calm sea and a mild rain served to lessen the heat of the sun. It took approximately three hours to travel from Cayuco to Bisira and from there trucks that Fr. Corpus López de Ciordia uses for the construction of the road were the ideal transportation to finish the approximately 12 km to reach Canquintú. Those who know the difficulties involved in reaching the mission will agree with us to say that it was something historic.

The facilities of the school, the Church and the entire infrastructure that the missionaries have built were definitely sources of admiration for those who saw the place for the first time. Early in evening, the encounter began with the celebration of the Eucharist, presided by Monsignor Aníbal Saldaña and concelebrated by many priests. The following days, the Mass was prepared by each delegation; and including in the liturgy were the abundant elements of the Gnobe culture. The analysis of the situation of the people of Buglé, Naso, Gnobe, Bibrí, the explanation of the Word and the doctrine of the Church, the commitments made by the delegates and the broad participation of all were the elements that made this encounter very enriching for all.

Law 10

The Panamanian Church has a long journey in the structured and effective accompanying of the indigenous people, and recognized in various instances by CELAM. We can say that one of the fruits of this accompaniment was the creation of two indigenous groups recognized by the Law 10 enacted in 1997. The result requires us to say that it was a political decision of justice towards the indigenous people for the Panamanian State, but also that this decision had much to do with the pastoral action of the Church, and particularly of the Augustinian Recollect missionaries of Bocas del Toro. The Gnobe Buglé region shares territory with the Diocese of David and Santiago and the Prelature of Bocas del Toro territory.