The adventurer Rick Morales also had set his sights on that hill. Rick had reached the border with Colombia and wanted to add a historical site on the "TransPanamá" path that he had followed from Costa Rica.
Elsy joined Rick's expedition alongside Segundo Sugasti, a tall dark-skinned Darién native, with a machete hanging from his waist. "We must change the view that people have of Darién, that in every corner there is insecurity and guerrilla rebels. We are going to promote the historical and cultural values of the province," affirmed Segundo.
The first visit to Pechito Parado was none too encouraging: hiking under a scorching sun across vast cow pastures was not very "touristy". But in the distance they observed a wooded area, an alternate route that promised to be more attractive.
After around 45 minutes on the highway coming from Santa Fe de Darién, the group arrived at the village of Cucunatí. From there, it was another 45 minutes to the community of Quebrada Eusebio, where they spent the night. Manuel De Jesús Chu Garrido, a local guide, showed up early the next day and led them on a path that gradually climbed up through a secondary forest. On the trail, the hikers discovered insects and a variety of birds: white-fronted nunbirds, woodpeckers, white-necked hawks and a king vulture. They saw a green vine snake, a frog and monkeys (capuchin and spider).
The slope continued to steepen, forcing the tourists to grab on to whatever they could to reach the top. After three hours they found the Inter-American Geodetic that indicated they had arrived at the summit of Pechito Parado, placed in 1949. Above, in the branches, a lone howler monkey, and to the right, visible between a small clearing in the forest, the sea.Events are already being planned to celebrate 500 years since the discovery of the Pacific. Not one will be in Darién, much less at the place where the history of the world was likely changed.