Del to av miniserien "Pauls Planet i Kuna Yala", om Kunaene, som svar på diskusjonen med Marianne i Propellas Univers og Hilde i ferie og nytelse. Jeg hadde disse snuttene liggende etter produksjonen "Paul padler Latin-Amerika". De ble valgt bort av plasshensyn og rett og slett fordi opplevelsene jeg hadde med Embera-folket i Sambu – på Stillehavsiden – ble så mye mer positive enn det som foregikk blant kunaene.
Jeg mener befolkningen ligger på borti 2000, mens noen mener enda mer. Denne linken bekrefter at øya er uendret siden mitt besøk for sju år siden.
|Mulatupo Sasardi sett fra fastlandet, en liten øy med borti 2000 innbyggere.|
Pauls letter to Mulatupu:
After visiting your island I made me some thoughts about the challenges and possibilities your communities face when it comes to the growing influence of tourism. I have traveled world wide, and visited indigenous people on several continents. Some seem to get the best from tourism and “modern society”, others fall apart and loose their integrity and traditions.
|En av øyas Saylaer – sjefer|
- You fish, hunt and benefit from agriculture, in a way that has been performed for generations.
- The Nelles, or natural doctors, know what kind of roots and herbs that will cure or remedy, and the old ones still remember the history of your people and traditions already gone.
- Your houses are mainly built from the material of the forest, with a technique that withstands the storms and provide shelter from both sun and rain. Just as solid are your congresses, where the saylas have authority, knowledge and power to impose rules and restrictions.
- You live in big families – like one big family – with plenty of time for one another; even your houses stand close together.
- You show warm hospitality towards friends and have much to offer a visitor, both in traditions and handicraft. The kids are adorable and healthy, with strong, white teeth and grandfathers with muscular arms and powerful shoulders. In the evenings, young and old socialize and relax in narrow streets that are teeming with people.
|En liten venninne.|
There are many kinds of travelers. Some have worked hard in a big city for a year to afford to travel two weeks in their holidays. Others have more money than they need and spend a long time in cruise ships, living like in a giant cocoon just to come out to have a brief look at “exotic places”.
A very few travelers are professional photographers and journalist and a big amount are young people that are curious to learn about the world and its people. Some are experienced, some are novices. They stay in cheap hotels and avoid expensive restaurants.
Finally, a small group is made up of adventurers, who sometimes have sold everything in the country they come from, in order to travel around the world in a boat, or working here and there to cover their expenses. All these are tourist, and not two of them are alike.
The crash of cultures
When an individual from one culture meets an individual from another culture, their two cultures also meet. This is an opportunity to learn and to exchange wisdom and experience. If the two persons respect each other, they can communicate in order to seek to understand each other. Sometimes comprehending is impossible, but one can still strive to accept that other people think in a different way than one self, and gain knowledge from the dissimilarity.
|kona til Losorio ...|
The big question
Within Kuna Yala, the difference in tourism is enormous. The islands furthest west have for a large part lost the values of the past. The woman have a “mola industry” to satisfy the cruise ships. Kids dive for coins thrown into the sea by wealthy passengers on the boats, who act as if they throw peanuts to the monkeys in the zoo. The islanders look at their visitors merely as walking money-cows, ready to be milked, and as the new influences enter through the front door, the old traditions leave out the back.
In Mulatupu Sasardi you still have the possibility to choose your future, by choosing the better of two civilisations. Already, arranged marriages have gone out of fashion and many kids are sent to university to study. These are important steps in developing the society. You have single woman, albinos and homosexuals living with little social pressure. This is all modern thinking, ahead of many places I have visited.
Now the question is the future, and dealing with the big question of whether you will abandon your way of life, or keep protecting your roots. In other words: how will you deal with your biggest challenge – tourism?
Kunas are famous for asking money for every favor they make, they are also known to kill the endangered sea turtles and they use the clean Caribbean Sea as a garbage dump, throwing all kinds of waste right into Mother Nature. Many travelers avoid “San Blas” exactly for these reasons. I almost did, but had heard that the islands to the east were not yet as bad as the islands to the west, so I came to Mulatupu Sasardi, where these problems were bigger than I had expected.
You want to earn money from tourists. Tourists want a memorable and teaching stay in your community. How can both needs be fulfilled? If you fail in meeting the tourists demands, they will arrive in a very low number, so you will not earn much money, therefore the principal idea must be to make the tourists feel comfortable. Then you will get more money from them.
My suggestion is that you begin with the three problems I mentioned; the money-begging, the hunting of threatened species and the awful littering of your waters. Your congresses can easily enforce these laws, putting fines to such crimes. Step two is to receive the tourist in a hospitable and well organized way. Gathering ideas from the many places I have visited, among them Egypt, Canada, Jordan, Norway and Peru, I have some ideas that has proven to work really well in other places. In the following, you will see my suggestion of how to treat a tourist:
(brevets siste del følger i neste del av "Paul i Kuna Yala")