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Kuna Yala in San Blas

Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

Our final trip in Panama was to the San Blas islands, which is home to the Kuna Indians.  The Kuna are the only inhabitants on the San Blas islands, which comprises somewhere around 365 islands.  This area is similar to Indian reservations in the US in that they have they own set of laws and are not governed by the Panamanian government.  They highly restrict what visitors are allowed to do and where they are allowed to go when they come to their islands (many of the islands are uninhabited).  Each picture you take of a Kuna woman in traditional dress costs $1.00.  The Kuna women are the makers of Molas, traditional weavings sold all over Panama.  They also still wear their traditional clothing: a red and yellow scarf on their head, a blouse made out of one of their molas, a skirt, a gold ring in their septum and their legs are wrapped in beads.  See some pictures here: http://thorup.com/cuna.html

Molas on Isla Pelicano in San Blas
Molas for sell on Isla Pelicano, San Blas

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Panama City

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007

On Sunday evening we made it to Panama City and arrived at our friend’s house whom we met at the El Salvador border.  You might remember an earlier post of ours about a family of Hummer drivers that were required to pay many hundreds of dollars in bribes in order to get into Guatemala.  We’ve been in contact with them over e-mail and they offered us a free place to stay and we couldn’t pass them up. [read on]

Trip #4 and Counting

Friday, February 2nd, 2007
Yesterday we had our 4th trip to the Emergency room on this trip.  We had just found a hotel room here in El Valle, dropped our stuff off in our room and were about to check out the town.  We ... [Continue reading this entry]

First 8 Days of Backpacking

Monday, January 29th, 2007
On the 21st we left our van parked at our apartment in Alajuela, and walked off into the neighborhood to catch a bus to town.  We left with 1 backpack, 1 diaper bag and each of the kids had a ... [Continue reading this entry]