Indigenous People Living on the Path of the Jaguar
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In Kuna Yale, the indigenous fishing population of the Kuna live exclusively along the San Blas Archipelago, a chain of 370 coral atolls which run along the exquisite Atlantic Coast. The Kuna are widely considered a model example of a people who've asserted political influence to protect their lands and their culture. They're also an essential link in the Corridor plan. The Kuna want to see eco-tourism take off here. But there's a twist to this environmentally sound solution.

Transcript


Indigenous People Living on the Path of the Jaguar Correspondent: We move from Central America’s Pacific Coast to its Atlantic sea board confrontations and conflicts over land here are notoriously rather more complex than the question of how or where to resettle poor farmers who happen to live along the path of the Jaguar. There are 45 indigenous groups in the region. The most populace of them live in protected areas with the highest levels of biodiversity, the brains behind Mesoamerican biological corridor insist that the needs of those with ancestral claims to this land should remain at the heart of the corridor concept. The trouble is some indigenous groups see the whole idea as a threat to traditional land rights are those resist trans national efforts to take how natural resources like forest be managed. Tesla Marina Ventura (COPINHC Honduras): We are completely ignored because are indigenous people. They treat us as being stupid, ignorant and hopeless. We cannot use a computer because if we use one then we’re not indigenous people. That’s ridiculous. They also say that we are unable to administrate money which his also false. We have proved that we can do it. We have administered our forests and looked after them for years. Why shouldn’t we be able to administer anything. Josefina Adela Ixcaquic (Ixmucane, Guatemala): For us to talk about the biological corridor is confusing our people do not understand what it is all about. What do they want without biological corridor, they presented to us in a fancy way but to us it does not help at all. Minerva Wilson Ortega (ALISTAR Nicaragua): Governments talk about lands and say they will give us license to it. They understand land as a piece of soil to plant crops or a piece of soil to bury us when you die for us that is not concept we have of land which his much wider and deeper. We talk about flora, fauna, natural resources, air, water, soil, subsoil. Our government has taught me of a law to distribute territories and they think they can solve the problem we face. If that is not true we want entitlement to our land. Correspondent: This is Kuna Yala, the land of the Kuna. Governed exclusively by indigenous people most live in small fishing communities on the San Blas Archipelago a chain of 370 coral atolls which run along the exquisite Atlantic Coast like a string of pearls. We touch down on one of the 40 inhabited islands. The Kuna are wildly considered a modern example of a people who have asserted political influence to protect their lands and their culture. They’re also considered an essential link in the corridor plan which supports the mere efforts to reverse the trend of using their traditional lifestyles. The Kuna want to see ecotourism take off here. Enrique Inatoy (ACUANUSADUP, Kuna Yala): Our only experience has taught us the traditional tourism has degraded our spiritual world. So what we want to do is to present an alternative to recover all that we have lost. Make our tourism we try to be more creative, more dynamic to feed the brains to make them understand our indigenous world. Faustino Alba (Ex-Secretary Kuna Congress): I think the people behind the corridor should talk to Kuna people. They know where the sacred places are and it carried the new generations to protect them. If the idea is of conservation and unification that is a positive idea. We the Kuna people when we want to build a house or hotel we take the material from nature but in a rational way not affecting mother nature. The problem will be if there are more inhabitants then we have to build more hotels and more houses and this may damage the natural ecosystems.