We shed no tears for Nargana as we pull up anchor and head to Green Island. The people are very friendly but the island is covered in litter. The sea surrounding s/v Happy Times is trashy and unsanitary.
The Kunas who live in Nargana and the adjoining island of Corazon de Jesus have given up the traditional way of life. A saila or chief may exist but he doesn’t have the authority that sailas in traditional villages do. Perhaps if one were present he could encourage the residents to care for their homeland.
Trash is everywhere. Candy wrappers, receipts, small pieces of paper and plastic grocery bags are tossed casually upon the ground where they remain until they blow into the sea. Only the beer cans are collected into piles to turn into cash.
Does the lack of authority and general indifference have anything to do with the availability of rum and beer? Hootch is prohibited in traditional villages where cleanliness abounds. On Isla Pinos the streets are brushed daily. No litter can be found.
Trash covers the area where Nargana meets the sea. Used diapers and sanitary napkins, plastic grocery bags, bottles, beer cans, plastic wrappers and cellophane bob on top of the water. A few times the diapers and sanitary napkins float by Happy Times, reminding the crew that we must not get in the water.
Across the inlet we can see a pile of rubbish. Some Kunas take trash there to dispose it. More often they visit the site to rip open the black bags in search of treasure. We keep our trash to ourselves and vow to burn it later.