They do not know their history, they are not taught Ngobe history in the schools on the reservations (the Comarca). They seemed indifferent to the burial sites, the petroglyphs and the pottery artifacts, they have no special meaning or pride for them. At least not for the group I was speaking with.
So, what about those red bandanas. The red hats on the babies. The red baseball caps? I saw three of you wearing those a few weeks ago macheting long grass around the coffee on my farm. I took some photographs. The young Ngobe men wielding their machetes and sharpening the blades. At the time, it had made me curious.
"Oh they are to remember our dead: The Spaniards, they killed almost all of us. Very few survived and we are descended from the small number of survivors. We remember them."
"Actually, there is one story, the story of Urraca. He was a Ngobe chief who led us to battle against the Spaniards 500 years ago".
So what do you think of Gringos? I asked with some trepidation.
"We like you, you are kind. You don't mind that our children are dirty, you hold and love our children and think they are pretty"