Islands of the San Blas
Located on the Atlantic side of Panama and extending down to the Northern
part of Columbia is a chain of islands known as the San Blas Islands. These
islands are inhabited by the Kuna Indians. The Kuna are thought to have
migrated from the mainland of South America to escape the Spanish
Conquistadors. The Kuna are friendly and the islands are truly beautiful. I
have visited the islands twice, and hope to return again some day. The
primary mode of transportation in the islands is the boat. The Kuna make
dugout canoes and some dugouts have sails. We went to a small island by
dugout where we dove amoungst some of the largest and most beautiful
Staghorn and Elkhorn coral that I have ever seen. The Kuna woman make
hand sewn applique clothworks, called Molas, which they display in front of
their huts for visiting tourist. I purchased several Molas which I had framed.
We stayed for a weekend at a hotel with thatch roof and bamboo walls. It
certainly was not the modern, air conditioned hotel room to which I have
grown accustom. It is the custom in the San Blas that if you take a picture
of a woman, you must give her twenty-five cents. Therefore, it is a good idea
to carry alot of spare change with you when you want the Kodak moments.