Ron & Kathy Binder

MISSIONARIES: Summer Institute of Linguistcs in Panama

Ron and Kathy Binder are linguists tasked with a mission into the lives of the Wounaan Indians of Panama and Colombia. Their goal was to create written words and preserve a Bible in the native language. This calling became a life-long engagement with lives along the Tuira River. Close to fifty-years after I photographed, the Binders continue to play a supporting role and guide emerging lives into the 20th century. Through the gentle prodding of Binders, many have become skilled craftsmen, artists whose baskets are collected and sells for thousands, even actors in Hollywood movies. Most have migrated into cities. 



John Chao Photography

Wounaans, Panama 1973

The Wounaans are a tropical forest group of indigenous people dispersed along the border of Panama and Colombia. Originally part of the Choco linguistic family…

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don't kiss goodbye