#Sustainable Tourism not Real Estate Tourism, says #Indigenous leader from #Bocas del Toro

Bocas del Toro, Panama, Part I
I recently read an article in Conde Nast about an area near Panama called Bocas del Toro.  The article was well written and entertaining in its storytelling style of a man travelling in the area looking for experiences similar to the author, Graham Greene.
The author talked about the history of the island and there had not been as much development as other islands in the Caribbean.  My interest was piqued as he seemed to describe some of the principles of sustainable travel.  He elaborated on his experiences with local indigenous people, such as a visit to the local school of indigenous children where each had to take a boat (kayak) to get there.  He had a poignant conversation with a local indigenous leader who basically said that sustainable tourism is what the area needed and not “real estate tourism”. The leader added that real estate tourism destroys the land and water, causes the animals to scatter and limits the locals’ ability to fish which is how they sustain themselves.
In other words, development has the ability to destroy and kill or work with local peoples in harmony.  With this in mind, I searched for a video clip that illustrated the harmony that occurs when travelers take a moment to talk with local people.  While the article referred to above and the video are from two separate entities, they seem have a common bond–the search  for local authentic travel within the broader topic of sustainability.

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This photo of a Quechua woman weaving her creations really shows how it’s not just the craftsmanship that they put into their work, it’s also their souls.

Emily Carter Mitchell ~ Nature & Wildlife Photography

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A self does not amount to much,

but no self is an island;

each exists in a fabric of relations

that is now more complex and mobile than ever before.

Jean-Francois Lyotard

The fabric you see above was purchased at the Pisac Market in the Sacred Valley of Peru. Having the opportunity to meet the Quechua woman who personally weaved this table mantel. She was shy but gentile. With her kind ways, she showed me the detail of workmanship each of her pieces held. Some took more work than others.

This is one of the more elaborate pieces that she makes that takes two weeks to weave. Natural dyes are used to dye the wool used in this table cloth.

A decorative piece that with each stitch, a piece of her life is weaved into the fabric.

Peru 2009 074-Edit

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