forests

The Indigenous People Beyond Panama's Tourist Paradise by Bear Guerra

"A lot more has changed here since Marcos grew up in Guna Yala. The indigenous territory is now a top ecotourism destination, drawing an estimated 100,000 tourists a year from all over the world. Its beautiful beaches, laid-back accommodations, and local traditions and crafts are only an hour's flight from Panama City. Ten-seater commuter planes take off every morning from the gray concrete of the capital, past land cleared for grazing and agriculture, until all you can see from your small window are seas of green — the tall canopies of one of the best preserved tropical forests in Central America."

Our latest travel piece for Mashable can be read here.

Between the Forest and the Sea, Part 2 by Bear Guerra

The second multimedia slideshow from our Guna (or Kuna) Yala files: We follow Andrés de León and the Yarsuisuit collective, a group of men who grow and harvest food sustainably in the Guna mainland forest. Thanks in part to their exceptional sovereignty and land tenure, the Guna have preserved their primary forests for hundreds of years through their cooperative use of the land and their cultural and spiritual traditions rooted in conservation. This series was made possible by a grant from Mongabay.com.

Watch the slideshow here.

Why a Tribe in Panama Rejected Pay for their Carbon-Rich Forests by Bear Guerra

Our first story in a series produced thanks to Mongabay.org's Special Reporting Initiative tells the story of why the Kuna peoples of Panama have voted against the prevailing global program to stop deforestation:

Over 12 million hectares of forests are lost every year worldwide due to deforestation releasing carbon into the atmosphere. Paying forest-dwellers to keep trees standing is REDD+’s important mandate, but one that doesn't sit well with many indigenous peoples, including the Kuna.

Read the story here.