Guna Yala - San Blas islands

A few facts about this amazing archipelago and its people

Some history

Guna people arrived from north of Colombia, went through the Darien province of Panamá, where they were living before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores.
They moved then westwards, to what is the actual Guna Yala, due to conflicts with the Spanish and other indigenous tribes. They migrated then out to the islands to get away from the hot and humid forest and fierce mosquitos, but also possibly from settlers in search of gold and rubber.

In more recent history, after the indepence of Panamá, in 1903, the region inhabited by the Guna people, the shire (comaraca) of Tulenega, was divided in two. The main part went to Panamá, and a small pat to Colombia.

The suspension of the comarca, the banana concessions, the abuse from the colonial police, and the pressure against Guna legacy, led to uprising of the Guna people, against the Panamanian authority, and provoked the Guna Revolution, in February 1925, leading to the creation of the ephemeral Tule Rebuplic.

A peace treaty put an end to the armed conflict, and gave protection to the natives traditions. On their side, Gunas accepted the establishment of Panamanian school system on the islands.
This treaty was the first landmark to Guna Yala autonomy and authority, witch evolved gradually to the actual Guna Yala shire, with its own political and administrative organization.


Guna people

Art craft & Molas