Impressions of Panamá

Arriving at Obaldía the most eastern village at the Atlantic side of Panamá

Right at the border to Colombia. Here in Obaldía we checked in and were welcomed by friendly military officers. They control the border area, drug cartels are still busy in Colombia. Puerto Obaldía is the smallest and easternmost of the four corregimientos of the Guna Yala indigenous region. That is a mainland area which does not contain any islands. It has an aerodrome but no roads to get there. Its main industry is border and customs control. The reason for us to have stopped there. I can’t say it was a pretty village, rather functional-at least for us.

Puerto Perme our first impression of Guna Yala

Suledup, a high uninhabited island (over 100 meters) about 16 nm north west of Perme

Caledonia, the island where we were forced to drink😉 and some impressions of our trip to Ustupu

Ustupu, the largest village in San Blas

I loved Ustupu as it was so very interesting to see how the Gunas live. Here we were even allowed to take some pics. Toyo, the teacher showed us around and helped us to find some molas. Not that it was really difficult as usually Guna women paddled out in there ulu as soon as we anchored somewhere or when we went ashore they were often were showing us there molas and trying to sell them, but it was nice to understand a little how they were made. Molas are beautiful appliqué blouses made by Guna women. It is an intricately work I can’t imagine how they are doing it. By sewing and cutting different layers of colourful cloth they produce amazing abstract forms of birds, animals or marine life. Every single mola is unique! It must take ages to finish one. Often they sell just the square art piece of the mola, which cruisers use for cushions or place mat.
We needed some veggies and here we could harvest our own cucumbers. That was so cool! To be honest I didn’t even know how exactly they grew🙈. We also met another teacher who had started to grow some vegetables like the cucumbers and tomatoes. Very unusual for the islands.
Also very interesting to see that the Gunas play alot of sports like basketball, soccer and volleyball. Here in Ustupu they were extremely good in playing volleyball. Even the young kids knew already very well how to play it. They have quite a few tournaments in between the islands. We wouldn;t have guessed that.

Achutupu

We had a lot of fun here but somehow I didn’t take much fotos. It was the island where we were allowed to join the celebration of the first hair cut party.

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