kuna yala

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.

Balu Wala, or the Kuna Good Life by Bear Guerra

Our latest piece done with the support of a Mongabay Special Reporting Initiative fellowship is out:

At 85 years old, Don Jesús is finally realizing one of his lifelong dreams: to formally teach Kuna, also known as Guna, traditions to the next generation of boys and girls. Every week, he illustrates and jots down definitions of dozens of artifacts, plants, and customs that have been integral parts of his culture for hundreds of years. By putting them down on paper, he’s preparing for his next weekly class, but also, keeping a record before he forgets. He’s doing this to make sure his people don’t forget as well.

Read our story for IC Magazine here.