Fetching fresh water in San Blas, Panama

Getting fresh water to the islands in San Blas is a task.  There isn’t any infrastructure in this part of the country so fresh water for bathing and cooking has to be fetched.  First the boat gets loaded with the empty water barrells and the trip through the sea to the river begins.  Tie the boat up to a tree and start your  precarious and slippery (if it’s been raining) hike to the resevoirs where fresh water is collected from higher up on the mountain.  Fill the barrells and then start the hike back down to the boat and back home where the water is then pumped into the storage tank.

This and visiting the Kuna Cemetery can be done in the same trip.  It may not sound thrilling but the ride up the river and the short hike are beautiful and well worth the hour and a half it takes.  Plus, you can leave your mark on the water tanks the way myself and my friends Antonio and Eva did!

Bathe in it, shower in it and cook with it…but if you’re not accustomed to untreated water then don’t drink it!