Matthieu Rytz’s Photos from Panama’s Islands - NYTimes.com
The Kuna — a group of roughly 40,000 indigenous people living on dozens of islands off Panama’s Caribbean coast — were isolated, relying on the land and one another to sustain their communities. Most of the local fishermen spend their days coasting the sun-drenched waters in hand-carved dugout canoes, looking for lobsters and fish to sell at the local market...
But for the past several years, the congresos have taken a dark tone. After abnormally high tides hit the coast in 2008, hundreds of the Kuna were forced to move inland when their homes were destroyed by knee-deep floodwaters. According to studies by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, since 1910 the average sea level in Kuna Yala has risen by almost six inches, and is continuing to increase by roughly three-quarters of an inch annually. Many of the Kuna are beginning to fear that in the near future, their land will be completely submerged.