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Friday, April 19 2019 @ 08:41 PM UTC

That Sinking Feeling

Environmental IssuesBy David Dudenhoefer - For centuries, the Guna (a.k.a. Kuna) Indians have successfully defended their territory on Panama’s Caribbean coast. They allied themselves with French pirates to fend off the Spaniards during the colonial era, and revolted against Panamanian authorities in 1925 to demand the autonomy that they now enjoy. Today, they face an unprecedented threat as seasonal waves and rising seas resulting from climate change slowly consume the islands out from under them.

More than 30,000 Guna live just a few feet above sea level, in crowded villages on 41 small islands, which makes them especially vulnerable to the vagaries of climate change. Their autonomous territory, the Comarca Guna Yala, stretches for 232 miles along Panama’s northeast coast, comprising all 365 San Blas Islands, coastal lowlands and a densely forested mountain range that has kept them relatively isolated.

Originally a rainforest people, they moved onto the islands generations ago to escape the insects and diseases of the coastal jungle. They have since become exemplary seafarers, travelling between their islands, fishing grounds and coastal farms in dugout canoes powered by lateen sails or outboard motors. They fish for food and income, shipping lobster and other commercial species to Panama City. They also grow coconuts on the uninhabited islands and coastal lowlands, which they sell to the Colombian traders who ply their territorial waters in large boats. (Click Here to read the full article)

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That Sinking Feeling | 2 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
That Sinking Feeling
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, September 02 2012 @ 12:07 AM UTC

I think this is another ploy to obtain aid for something that is not happening. I stayed in the San Blas three months while cruising some 15 years ago. We then came here to Bocas del Toro where I built my house on the water front. I have not seen any increase in water level – I am sure we would see it as well as in the San Blas.

The kuna have been building their family compound islands for many years. They begin in shallow water building a wall with coral rocks. They then begin to fill it in primarily with sea grass – after many years; they have a small island covered with creeper grass. These islands are large enough for a family compound of several small houses made of bamboo. Once they move in, they begin to expand the island using the same technique. The so called sea walls are actually the walls they built to contain their man made island.

I like the Kuna, but I suspect this is some busy body sticking his nose in to try and obtain government or other funds riding the popular climate warming ruse. I respect the Kuna for trying to live independently over the years – this is not like them at all.

That Sinking Feeling
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, September 02 2012 @ 03:34 PM UTC

hmm, the author forgot to mention the Kuna's profitable side line of helping the drug runners...