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    • As a kid, I always loved stories about explorers and adventurers. But in this day and age of satellites, can you still discover something extraordinary?

      It turns out, yes!

      A small archipelago of San Blas off the coast of Panama is home to the Guna, a local indigenous tribe that despite regular contact with the West has managed to preserve their own traditions and culture.

    • The Gunas live on Guna Yala, as they call San Blas - 49 tiny islands in the Caribbean. They dive for lobster, fish, farm bananas and coconuts and live in large island communities.

      Since everything is communal in Guna Yala, extreme poverty and homelessness doesn't exist. Food is shared across communities, and education is free.

    • In the Guna culture, women are property owners and food distributors, so being a woman is highly celebrated - so much so that some men often choose to "become" women and make molas, beautifully appliqued sacred cloths that protect from evil spirits.

    • The Gunas are wonderfully tolerant people. They have a large albino population, but the albinos aren't shunned (unlike in many other cultures), on the contrary: they are called the "Children of the Moon" and are believed to have special powers to ward off hurricanes and storms.

      Being transgender, following a different religion, or being of a different skin color is a non-factor in the Guna community. Their animist religion is incredibly inclusive; since everything and everybody has a soul, external factors such as skin or eye color or gender simply do not matter as long as the person is part of the community.

    • Very beautiful storytelling in both your words and photos (Paul's photos I assume?). When you had posted some of these stories on ADV Rider while sailing on the Stahlratte, I think you had mentioned that this Guna community is also dealing with issues of foreign waste on their fragile islands. Have you heard anything more on how that has been going?

      Always fascinating and educational stories from both of you. Thank you again and again for bringing the world to our front porches.