Kuna Yala

Kuna Yala (aka San Blas islands) November 9 to December 9, 2012

Kuna Yala is a semi-autonomous region of Panama. The region is an archipelago of islands (300 – 400 of them) and a long thin strip of Atlantic-side mainland adjacent to the islands. Kuna Yala begins just west of the border with Colombia.

The region is mostly governed and peopled by the Kuna indians, many of whom live in family or tribal communities. Homes are typically made of bamboo with thatched roofs. The men mostly fish, gather coconuts, and do some subsistence farming on the mainland (bananas, plantains, yucca, mango, etc.). Kuna society is matriarchal. The women make molas for sale to collectors and tourists and so are major contributors to the economy of Kuna Yala. The women also wear traditional dress.

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