Friday, October 02, 2009


The San Blas (or more appropriately, the Kuna Yala) truly is a very special place.

The water is really warm here with temperatures in the upper eighties to low nineties. Almost too warm, but not quite. The local Kuna fishermen do a good job of gathering the lobster so we've only caught a few ourselves. Prices are very reasonable for fresh lobster (two 1-1/2lb lobsters for $5USD) delivered live to your boat. Seems too good to be true until you have been solicited by Kuna fishermen to buy lobster AGAIN for the fifth time in one afternoon.

The Kuna men fish. The Kuna women sew 'Molas'. The sewing is spectacular, intricate beyond reason, 100% by hand and with tiny stitching that becomes almost invisible. The designs of the molas can be artistic interpretations of nature, geometric designs or a pictorial of a family or Kuna story. Google 'San Blas Mola' for a visual. The molas, although only sixteen inches square can take many months to complete. We've been eager to purchase some molas as we plan to use a few as wall hangings and a few for decorative pillows. They are true works of art and if we owned a home we'd line a hallway with framed molas from the few remaining 'Mola Masters' of the San Blas.

You buy direct from the artist and the Kuna women mola makers paddle out in genuine dug out canoes to show you the wares. The sale of molas is a major component of GDP for Kuna Yala. Where mola sales rank vs coconut exports and lobster exports I'm not exactly sure, but the women are many times the major bread winners of the household.

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