Friday 30 January 2015

Meeting the locals of San Blas Islands (Jan 28)

We spent a good part of the morning and part of the afternoon on 3 of the local islands that are 200 to 400 metres apart.  We looked at the local molas which are quilted, with lots of stitching and applique.  This is a very important export (via all the tourists) of the San Blas Islands.  living with a quilter I was able to discern the ones that had much better hand stitching.  The locals come out in their dug out canoes and the women are very persistent in selling their wares.  The Kuna Indians are a matriarchal society and the women are very hard bargainer.  The women control the finances and the business.  The men fish and do the menial tasks.

We met a local named Nesto who spoke a little English as he lived in California and worked on a boat. We were with 3 guys from another boat "No Regrets" and one of them knew pretty good Spanish so with his Spanish and Nesto's English we got along just fine.  Nesto toured us around the 3 islands showing us the local sites including a school on 2 of the islands. Children over 14 go to school in Panama.  We were shown the church, the many tiny stores and bars.  Nesto also arranged a lobster dinner for the 6 of us.  We got to select our lobsters.  We also will have bread fruit.  We were taken to the local bakery and had to return in 30 minutes to pick up our warm bread.  They have a concrete basketball court where they have challenges from local islands. The island is tiny about 1/2 a km by 1/2 a km.  There are 700 people living on the island Nesto lives on and 300 on the other island. The homes are made of vertical bamboo poles with a thatched roof. The buildings are very close together.



1 comment: