BARRIO – The 1,200 inhabitants of the island of Gardi Sugdub are relocating to mainland Panama in 2023 as their land is being overtaken by the rising Caribbean Sea.
Climate change is forcing the indigenous Guna people to become the first residents of Latin America to be moved because their home for 100 years faces being submerged as the world’s sea levels rise.
They will be moved to modern homes in the new community of La Barriada late next year.
Gardi Sugdub is one of the 365 islands that make up the Blas archipelago. Most are uninhabited, but 39 were settled more than a century and a half ago by 30,000 Guna, who came from the Colombian and Panamanian mainland.