23 January 2014

That beautiful palm tree, part I

     Coconuts are important in Bluefields as well as in other parts of Nicaragua: they're used in all sorts of ways for human consumption as well as for animal food. A Bluefields resident tells me coconuts are getting harder and harder to come by. Not many coconut trees are grown inland in either of the country's autonomous regions and most of the coconuts used in these places come from trees that grow along the Caribbean coast.   Much of what gets harvested along the RAAS coast goes to RAAN which has caused the price of coconuts in Bluefields to increase.
     Since there are so few people who live full-time along any part of Nicaragua's Caribbean coast, theft of coconuts is an ongoing problem. After I opened the creek from the lagoon to the beach, we had some 'thiefs' who used the creek because it provided easy access to coconuts from trees growing along the coast. Harvesting coconuts takes awhile whether you're stealing them or not; and, boats were left near our dock for days. Bags of husked coconuts were then hauled back to the boats and taken to wherever stolen coconuts go. We began to take pictures of this sort of activity in a very obvious way, asking people to smile for the camera, although the two in the photo below wouldn't turn around and smile. It's been a year or so since the creek has brought us anymore coconut 'thiefs.'  

     But boats still travel up the Caribbean along the coast, mostly entering the sea where Bluefields Bay meets El Bluff. A neighbor recently told me that the coconut trees on one of his places was pretty well stripped clean and the only sign of human activity was a trail of prints to and from the Caribbean...and the huge pile of husks.