La Wayaka Current / Tropic is currently located in The Gulf of Uraba Region between Panama and Colombia, Central America along the coastal beaches of the Caribbean Sea,  8 °N of the Equator w/ tropical climate, rainforest and wild beaches. Temperatures range from 25 - 30 ° C with wet or green season from mid March to mid December.



A difficult to access, roadless region only accessible by small plane and small boat from Panama City or boat from Turbo Colombia depending on time of year. 1 hour by plane from Panama City, PANAMA.



The area is under the protection of two indigenous groups known as the Gunas and Embera wounan, also mestizo and afro-colombian communities of the Colombian border. We are currently bringing artist into the autonomous indigenous region of Guna Yala on the coast of Panama and near to the Colombian border with Afro-Colombian communities. 



Nesting ground for giant leatherback sea turtles, dolphins, tropical sea life, coral reefs, native frogs, mountain pigs, insects, palm trees and seasonal tropical fruits such as mangos, pinapples etc.


CURRENT LOCATION > TROPIC, GUNA YALA, DARIEN PROVINCE 8 °N, nearest airport puerto obaldia

Our location bases are never fixed and we operate in a geographical zone or area at each of our bases connecting with different environments and communities within them. At Tropic our base will be located in between South and Central America between Panama and Colombia.



LA WAYAKA CURRENT are currently taking applications for artists in residence for 21 or 42 days to join us on the next expeditions to our Tropic Location. This will be an opportunity for artists to create projects in a remote, tropical, rainforest and coastal environment while also living and learning from isolated indigenous communities as we are currently based inside a Guna indigenous village.



Description of Residency

Launched in 2015, Our base at Tropic 8 °N exists at the gateway between South and Central America, in an autonomous region of Indigenous people who fought a revolution in 1925 to protect their way of life and became the first politically autonomous indigenous group in Latin America. Here communities live in close connection with a nature that inspires their culture and artistic practices and they are now facing rapid change.


We are presenting a unique opportunity to support artists in developing diverse projects in the tropical region of South & Central America living inside an isolated, autonomous and indigenous community in the Guna Yala Province and National Park. Artists are invited to work on projects here in relation to global social-environmental or political themes in this context and the works may be included in our future exhibitions. 

The artists will be living inside of a Guna community (around 600 people) close to the frontier between Panama and Colombia. We always operate in safe zones as recommended by the Foreign Office for Travel Advice and local authorities. We are working in partnership with The Tribal Congress of Guna Yala and local community leaders to carry out this project. We have curated a program of talks, research trips and workshops to introduce the artists to the area, community, indigenous culture, knowledge and environment alongside their self directed practice. This remote tropical area is one of the richest biomes on earth, protected by the Guna’s. Artists will be introduced to the local environment, solar power projects and conservation projects that include the protection of nesting sea turtles. Meals and accommodation will also be provided.


Duration of residency

21 / 42 days.

Dates for 2018

April 24 - May 15, 2018

May 17 - June 7, 2018

June 10 - July 1, 2018

Later Dates TBC

Disciplines, work equipment and assistance

All disciplines are welcome to participate in the project to create a dynamic, collaborative and open environment. Disciplines include sculpture, installation, site-specific works, drawing, painting, writing, illustration, performance, sound/music, visual arts, moving image, research etc.

Work equipment includes basic tools (an array of tools used in the local area). Natural materials are available for artists to use in sustainable ways and learn about local techniques such as indigenous clay, bamboo, wood, palms etc. 


As an artist at Tropic you will be living in a small community, isolated in nature between the jungle and ocean. Here artists will have basic accommodation, traditionally built bamboo house with palm thatched roof with shared toilet, shower, bedrooms, communal space, solar powered energy (limited) - light, power outlets, padlocks for locking doors. This is expedition style living meaning you will be sharing between 2-3 per room - private rooms may be available depending on availability and will be with additional fee. Clean safe drinking water will be provided.

Studio/ Workspace

There will be a set communal workspace for artists provided with desks and chairs. 

Artists are also encouraged to use the nature and environment as their workspace - work outdoors along the coast, in the jungle or within the community.

Cost and Support

We subsidise costs through our project to keep the costs as low as possible for artists. Artists are responsible for securing their own funding from their own countries. We are a non-profit and many artists who have come with us have been successful at gaining funding from different cultural and arts institutions in their home countries.

We have built a project that gives artists opportunities to apply for and receive funding support internationally to join us. In the past supporters such as Danish Arts Foundation, Swedish Arts Council, OCA Norway, Arts Council England, Wales and Australia have funded artists to join ur projects. Artists have also raised successful crowd funding campaigns to realise their projects with us and others find their own private ways of funding themselves.


The subsidised cost of the residency is currently -

21 days - £1,200 GBP

42 days - £2,400 GBP


This includes - 

Accommodation *limited solar powered electricity and little to no internet

Food for communal cooking (3 meals a day) 

Transport local pick up and drop off (from nearest airport)

Workspace - communal. Artists should find it an interesting concept to work outdoors within the landscape, challenge their practice and create site specific work using limited tools and resources / what is available.

Experienced team of project co-ordinators with local community members (English Speaking) to oversee the project, assist with certain logistics to do with the project and give advice.

Research trips in surrounding area 

Talks on politics, history, mythology and environmental themes

Workshops with local artisans

Activities in the community

Expectations towards the artists

Artists who apply will need to demonstrate their ability to be self-directed. We expect artists come into the project with a basic knowledge and respect for the local area and culture. Artists must demonstrate the capacity to and be responsible for their own time planning, research, execution and production of works. 

Artists must demonstrate their ability to rise to the challenging aspects of the location and respect cultural differences. Part of the experience is to disconnect and there is limited to no electricity or internet at our locations.

We expect artists to fill out a digital document after the completion residency about their experience and invite artists to apply to participate in future exhibitions.

Application information

Our next deadline is Nov 30, 2017 to take part in 2018 - artists may through our online system. You may be asked to answer further questions or provide further information after submitting an application. 

Response time is usually between 10 - 15 days.