El Valle De Anton is the world’s only inhabited volcanic crater that has been dormant for around five million years. El Valle was once a crater lake that became home to Indians from the surrounding mountains who have enjoyed the year-round spring climate for thousands of years. Due to the climate and fertile volcanic soil, almost every species of plant and animals (this includes ME!) thrive. El Valle is one of my favorite places, and only 45 minutes from the Gorgona/Coronado area, it is incredibly lush, and there is just a certain energy that vibrates through the fresh, crisp air.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and a group of collaborators from the office of our first lady of Panama, Lorena Castillo de Varela, placed a large pink ribbon across the mountain peak of La India Dormida (Sleeping Indian Princess). The first Lady’s aim is to bring awareness to our country of the fight against breast cancer. This disease is the fifth leading cause of death of women in the world and the first leading cause here in Panama. Clearly, she has accomplished her goal! My social media news feed has been filled with photographs of the sleeping Indian with her pink “bra.”
On a personal note, our own sleeping princess, Denise MacDonald’s fundraiser “Birdies for Breast Cancer” surpassed last year’s efforts. Her legacy to help others battling this disease lives on!
I’ll bet you are wondering what the story behind this “Sleeping Indian Princess” is? Legend has it that the princess who was the daughter of the most successful Chief’s fighting against the Spaniards fell in love with on of the Spanish soldiers. Yavari, one of the strongest fighters in her tribe, vied for her affection. However, she did not return his love, and in despair, he leaped to his death from the mountain top right in front of her! Understandably “freaked out” she fled her mountain home weeping over her fate and never returned. Amongst the beaches of the Caribbean, she died looking back at her beloved mountains. The mountains, so touched by the depth of sorrow formed the shape of the Princess, hence, La India Dormida.
***Note*** Here in Panama many clinics and hospitals offer breast exams/screenings for free or at a reduced price. Call your local providers to find out. Gotta protect the mamas!