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Culmi and the Pech

Dulce Nombre de Culmi is on the southern edge of the Rio Platano Biosphere, but few people enter the park from the South. Near Culmi, it is possible to visit the Pech in Vallecito and La Campana/Aguazarka. People stay in hotels in Culmi and walk 45 minutes to the village of Vallecito or take the Catacamas-Culmi bus to La Campana and get off. It is about 1 ½ hours walk back if you miss the bus. The Pech are frequently in Culmi shopping and rest in the park before going home. I have found it easy to invite people to a Coca-Cola to talk before they return to their village. They are different from the Ladinos by their very straight hair, which often stands up on the men, and their short height, their dark skin, and poorer clothes. There are little hotels and restaurants in Culmi. I would consider Baygon (kills cockroaches) and/or Plagatox spirals (kills mosquitoes) for the bugs.

The Pech of Culmi have lost their nearby rainforest due to logging. Now they are farmers. A few women know how to make Pech clay pots or Pech tree bark twine baskets.

There is a larger Pech community at Pueblo Nuevo Subirana about 1 hour north of Culmi by bus and 1 ½ hours walking. If you go there you have to spend the night. Sometimes they let people stay in the school. People here sometimes guide people into the Rio Platano Biosphere or to the Tawahka Biosphere. This is quite a strenuous trip. There is no communication between the Pech area and the Tawahka area. It is much easier to visit the Tawahkas first and then have the Tawahkas guide you into Culmi. When the summer rains come in June the River Wampu is too rough to be navigable.

The Pech are organized in villages and the head of each village is the “cacique” or the Presidente del Consejo Tribal.
 

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Pech Areas of Honduras

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Villages Around Culmi

Santa Maria El Carbon

Villages Around Las Marias

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