Nargana and Coração de Jesus: the most urbanized islands of Kuna Yala

Nargana and Coração de Jesus: the most urbanized islands of Kuna Yala

Strange as it may seem, in this lost paradise also known as Kuna Yala, there are places in transition to the urban environment. One of the most populated islands in the region are Nargana and Coração de Jesus – together, they have more than 1000 inhabitants. The two are connected by the Anai Mued bridge and that is why they are so similar.
Nargana and Coração de Jesus: the most urbanized islands of Kuna Yala
Nargana and Coração de Jesus: the most urbanized islands of Kuna Yala
Unlike the other islands that have very few buildings, these sister islands already have a school, hospital, bank, bars, grocery stores … The place resembles simple and rustic riverside communities, you know?
Nargana and Coração de Jesus: the most urbanized islands of Kuna Yala
Nargana and Coração de Jesus: the most urbanized islands of Kuna Yala
For you to have an idea, these are 2 of the 4 islands that have electricity. There is also a telephone antenna that provides cellular signal, something practically unthinkable in other areas.
Nargana and Coração de Jesus: the most urbanized islands of Kuna Yala
From the photos you can already see that the place is not beautiful, right? It is not really the beauty of the islands that attracts tourists. We, for example, ended up there to replenish the sailboat with more food, water and drinks. Nargana, mainly, is an important trading post in the region.
Nargana and Coração de Jesus: the most urbanized islands of Kuna Yala
One point that caught my attention there was, unfortunately, the treatment of animals. I had already commented on this post about the little monkey stuck for over 2 years that we found in Nargana, but even the dogs are locked up.
Nargana and Coração de Jesus: the most urbanized islands of Kuna Yala
Nargana and Coração de Jesus: the most urbanized islands of Kuna Yala
Although the site has a garbage center, these were the dirtiest islands we visited in Kuna Yala and, unlike other areas, it is the garbage produced there that is the biggest problem and not the dirt brought in by the currents.
As the islands are undergoing this urbanization process, there are many industrialized products there and it is clear that the dirt produced is considerably greater.
Nargana and Coração de Jesus: the most urbanized islands of Kuna Yala
Nargana and Coração de Jesus: the most urbanized islands of Kuna Yala
Another curious fact of the region is that almost all houses have televisions or some other appliance – even those without floors (with sand) or floors. This mixture impressed us a lot.
Nargana and Coração de Jesus: the most urbanized islands of Kuna Yala
Nargana and Coração de Jesus: the most urbanized islands of Kuna Yala
Nargana and Coração de Jesus: the most urbanized islands of Kuna Yala
It is really a place that has lost its strong connection with nature, at the same time that it cannot be considered an urban environment. It became clear, for example, that the place does not have enough work for the number of people who live there. The only jobs are in the “big buildings” (hospital, school and bank) and in the small businesses in the region.
Nargana and Coração de Jesus: the most urbanized islands of Kuna Yala
Nargana and Coração de Jesus: the most urbanized islands of Kuna Yala
In addition to losing connection with nature, Kuna traditions are also being left out. It is rare, for example, to find women in typical dress. One of the few ladies we found dressed in the traditional way asked for $ 10 to be photographed. It seems more like a “tourist to see”, you know?
Nargana and Coração de Jesus: the most urbanized islands of Kuna Yala
Now we only have to know what the next years will be like, because if the region is already losing its Kuna essence now, perhaps in a short time the culture will no longer really be there.
Nargana and Coração de Jesus: the most urbanized islands of Kuna Yala

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