The Ngobe–Bugle are two indigenous group of people of the Western provinces of the Republic of Panama, in the highlands of Bocas del Toro, Chiriqui and on the arid plains of Veraguas. They were formerly known as “Guaymies”.
This population receives by Law, an area of land in the Republic of Panama. The new comarca is then named as “Ngobe-Bugle”, with which becomes very well known the joint name of these two groups that differentiates one from the other by the language.
They live in straw huts that vary depending on the family economy.
They are very used to a subsistence economy, and most of them live with very low income. Difficulties such as low attendance to school, undernourishment, lack of personal care and of the environment as well as a very high rate of child labor are some of the things they face. Alcoholism is very common in the male population, which affects the needs of the rest of the family. It is very notorious to see women and children without shoes and not very well clothed in spite of living in mountainous areas.
In the last years there has been an evident improvement in the life, in general, of the Ngobe-Bugle community thanks to the work of mainly Christian organizations.
The Word of God is touching the life of this population and among them, Christian leaders are being raised that help in the work of organizations such as Cleft of the Rock Ministry.