Wednesday, 26 September 2012

The Kuna Yala Islands or San Blas Islands

The more time I spend in Panama the more I am liking this country and the chance that I am getting on this work trip to do something else beyond the malls and spreadsheets.
The Kuna people live in three semi autonomous reservations in Panama and in a few villages in Colombia, and in some communities in Panama City, Colon, the Free Trade Zone in Panama, but the largest number live in Kuna Yala Islands or San Blas, a group of small islands off Panama in the Caribbean side.

So on Saturday early morning we took off and we drove 3 hours from Panama City, partly by motorway, main roads and dirt tracks. At 7 AM we reach the border of the reservation, where a small queue had formed, just in time for it to open.
The reservation is a world of lush greenery,of palms on an impossible on an impossible angle over pristine aquamarine sea which allows you think of Pirates of the Caribbean, but as every legend it has its dark side, the ever so young women with little babies.
Nonetheless the Kuna  proudly remember when in 1925 they stood against Panama and successfully managed to gain a degree of autonomy.
Poverty mixes with pride.

And how can you not be proud of this beautiful mix of sea and land, where I even saw dolphins jumping in front of our boat
As I emailed a friend from a boat in the middle off the Caribbean I could not help to wonder are we feeling more and more lonely the closer we get,