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San Blas Islands Kuna Yala

Central America
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Natalia cutting open a coconut  Ola  Panama

Natalia cutting open a coconut

In Kuna Yala Territory, the Kuna Indians are stewards to 365 of the most beautiful tropical islands anywhere in Latin America. The San Blas islands feature fine white sand, turquoise blue water and tall coconut palm trees.

While camping out on a remote San Blas island with a host Panamanian family, we met Julio and his wife Natalia who lived on the island with their extended family.

One of our camp friends, Brandon, happened to be a spear-fishing champion; he went out with the Kuna fishing captains and returned with a gruper for a dinner for all of us. Our host, Jose, prepared the fish with curry.

Natalia and I grated the fresh coconut to go with the rice. She wears the colorful dress with embroidered designs called "molas" and beads around her wrists and ankles. Natalia liked to giggle as we talked in Spanish and Kuna and the universal language of a smile.

We enjoyed dinner sitting around a campfire and we learned some Kuna history and words from their language.