Kuna women manage family money whether they earn it or not, Yasmina tells us. "The men sell coconuts, then buy cigarettes and whatever they need and give the rest of their money to their wives. In old times, the women used to put coins in a box around their neck. When they went dancing, the coins jangled."

"I arranged to buy ten of my grandfather's coconut trees for five dollars each. They are valuable. The traders who come here from Cartagena, Colombia pay twelve cents for one coconut.


Local people pay twenty-five cents for half a coconut leaf, and they need hundreds of leaves to make a roof that lasts fifteen years. When you buy coconut trees, you get the land under them automatically. I built a house and lived on that land for three years."

Later, she shows us a fenced plot she has loaned to the elementary school this year so the eight and nine year olds can learn science by growing tomatoes, oranges and lemons as if they had a little farm.

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