February 19, 2020
Island Life, No Resort in Sight
The country of Panama lends itself perfectly to exploring some of the world’s interesting physical geographical features such as an isthmus, an archipelago, a canal (man-made but a canal, none-the-less), oceans, a spine of mountains and—very interesting weather—all in a big way!
Panama is located in the southern most region of Central America. It runs 1,065 miles horizontally between Colombia to the south and Costa Rica to the north and its land mass is only 445 miles wide between the Caribbean Sea (Atlantic Ocean side) and the Pacific Ocean. Generally speaking, the Caribbean or Atlantic coast tends to get more rain, more frequently and for longer periods of time, while the Pacific coast tends to have less rainy weather altogether.
So, what does this mean? It means we like to send our families off to experience life on the San Blas Islands that form the archipelagoon the Caribbean/Atlantic Ocean side of the Isthmus of Panama. It means experiencing real island life, not vacation island life, but REAL island life! Our families have had to be very creative! Can you imagine life without your smart phone? What would you do without your iPad? Oh, my! Imagine life when it rains and rains and rains some more – for days? Some of our families have thought we were crazy when we suggested such!! But when they got the island mind-set, things changed!
There is much to explore here! There is much to learn here!
The San Blas islands transport you back many centuries into the past. The Kuna Indians, who run the islands (there are 378 islands of which only 49 are inhabited) have their own economic system, language, customs and culture; their own distinctive dress, legends, music and dance. The economy of the islands is based on coconut sales and fishing. They still climb coconut palm trees for something fresh and cool to drink each morning.
Another interesting geographical note—In Panama the sun rises over the Pacific and sets over the Atlantic.