Lottery del mar

8. October 2010, Friday
9° 35' 4" N, 78° 47' 40" W

As we wrote in one of the last logbook entries, the Kuna Indians are originally from the mainland and only fled to these remote islands about 400 years ago from the Spanish Inquisitors and the Catholic Mother Church.

Most live off fish and coconut and there are no opportunities to get rich. Nevertheless, one sees more and more dugout canoes with outboard motors.
We asked ourselves: “Where does the money come from????
Are coconuts as popular on the stock exchange as gold or crude oil???”
The magic word is Lotteria del Mar (lottery of the sea).
The islands of the San Blas archipelago lie in the middle of the Colombian mafia's cocaine smuggling route. When the drug couriers are apprehended by the police, they throw the packages overboard by the kilo.

These are often found by Kuna Indians. The drug lords pay the Indians US$1,200 per kilo they find, which is worth over US$150,000 on the European or American drug market.
Incidentally, the Kunas would do very well to give the mafia their belongings back - because here in South America, people are not exactly squeamish when it comes to human life.
By the way, there are also Kunas with cars and handsome stone houses on the mainland... They probably landed a very heavy first prize at the Lotteria del mar ;o)))