I crossed the Caribbean sea from Panama to Colombia aboard Flamboyant, a 43 feet long sloop, 39 years old, but in quite a good condition. For the six berths available, we were nine on board, 8 different nationalities.

En route, we stopped in the San Blas archipelago inhabited by the Kuna. They are a nation of warriors, probably descendants from the Maya. About 50,000 Kuna live in the archipelago; they speak their own language, the Kuna. This language is only spoken, there is no writing, and logically no records on the history of this people unfortunately. The San Blas archipelago has 360 islands, many of them small or even tiny. About sixty are inhabited. The Kuna live bamboo huts covered with palm leaves. Curiously, neither huts nor do the islands belong to them individually, but to the whole nation. So, by sense of fairness probably, they installed a system of rotation, and change hut and  island every three months.

They negotiated  an autonomy with the government of Panama; they have their own laws. Very suspicious, almost hostile towards foreigners, our contacts were not the best. While they accepted without a thank you or even a smile the gifts and medicine we offered them, they got angry immediately afterwords,  because we did  not buy their umpteenth bracelet or dress they are manufacturing. Less than 10 years, they did not even know what money is, living from barter only. But now  one has the unpleasant impression that they are just after the dollars of the few visitors who are definitely not welcome. Unfortunately they are not very honest either,,they lied and have stolen from us.

I have not seen any sign of affection between them either.

Spanish missionaries failed to convert them, and they still believe in Mother Earth.

The islands are all just above the waterline, surrounded by coral reefs. What are ideal conditions for divers, are not for sailors, I observed several stranded boats.