"I was just starting my career as a cartographer when the Kuna General Congress appointed me to manage the redrawing of the southern boundary of Kuna Yala, that is along the continental divide. Since that was before the days of the GPS, we accomplished our mission the hard way. We established the continental ridge line by hiking up, and often crawling up, every north flowing river and stream in our territory to its source.
During those long and arduous hikes, which often lasted a week to two weeks, we came upon the trails of hunters and the loggers of precious woods. We found the well-worn ridge trails once used by drug smugglers. It saddened me to realize that those who really knew these steep forest lands where those who used them for illegal sport, exploitation, and cover. I remember day dreaming about some day having the tools and the knowledge to adequately map and protect these forests and rivers.
Earth Train's action plan for the mapping and monitoring of the lands around the upper Mamoní and the forests of western Kuna Yala is, for me, a dream coming true. This project has my total support."
- Enrique Arias, former Secretary General, Kuna General Congress and member of Earth Train's Board of Advisors