Reuters

The indigenous people of San Blas are forced to relocate, thanks to rising seas and climate change.

The residents of San Blas, a white sand beach archipelago off the coast of Panama, are adapters. Every year, they brace for the rainy season, which fills their homes and shoreline with crashing waves and water. According to Reuters: "Rising ocean levels caused by global warming and decades of coral reef destruction have combined with seasonal rains to submerge the Caribbean islands for days on end. Once rare, flooding is now so menacing that the Guna have agreed to abandon ancestral lands for an area within their semi-autonomous territory on the east coast of the mainland."

Below, a look at the island home many are leaving behind.

A traffic sign reading 'Slow down' is seen between islands at the Coamarca of Kuna Yala. (Carlos Jasso/Reuters)
An indigenous Guna woman stands in her family house in Carti Sugdub island at the Comarca of Kuna Yala in Panama. (Carlos Jasso/Reuters)
A group of indigenous Gunas play at the lamp post in Carti Sugdub island at the Comarca of Kuna Yala in Panama. (Carlos Jasso/Reuters)
An indigenous Guna boy walks past a clothes line in Nusadup island at the Comarca of Kuna Yala in Panama. (Carlos Jasso/Reuters)


An indigenous Guna man holds the head of a tapir before butchering its remains in Tumatar island. (Reuters)

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Maps

    Mapping Where Europe's Population Is Moving, Aging, and Finding Work

    Younger people are fleeing rural areas, migrating northward, and having fewer children. Here’s how that’s changing the region.

  2. Equity

    How a Fart Became Berlin's Weirdest Policing Scandal

    It's taken an incredible amount of resources to get to the bottom of this one.

  3. Design

    Experimental City: The Sci-Fi Utopia That Never Was

    With solar energy, recycling, computers, and personal mass transit, the 1960s-era Minnesota Experimental City was a prescient and hopeful vision of the urban future. A new documentary tells its story.

  4. Design

    The Problem With 'Fast-Casual Architecture'

    Washington, D.C., has a huge new waterfront development that’s fun, popular, and easy on the eyes. Is anything wrong with that?

  5. Transportation

    How Seattle Bucked a National Trend and Got More People to Ride the Bus

    Three experts in three very different positions weigh in on their city’s ridership success.