The sale of molas and mola items is an important source of income for the women and families of the Comarca de Kuna Yala. It is so important that mola sales have been credited as being the biggest reason that health care and education have improved in this territory. But... Panama remains a developing country and the San Blas islands are remote. Health care is costly relative to the standards of living. Eyecare and school supplies are luxuries.
So... beyond paying top dollar for the quality of work I look for in molas, I do three things: I regularly send eyeglasses to the Kunas, I have set up a medical fund on the island of Mulatupo and I send school supplies when I can.
For the eyeglasses... I purchase glasses, send them to friends and they take the glasses with them to the islands when they travel there. Once on the islands, the glasses are distributed to the Kuna. This happens three times a year. (You can find out more about this in the article Eyeglasses.)
For the medical fund... I wire money to a friend. This friend takes the money to the hospital. This money is added into the account where initially is was used to pay for health care for the mola makers that called on it but, now, since the Kunas have a type of health care (all can go to see a doctor as along as they go to an island with a hospital) the money is used, instead, to buy equipment and supplies for the hospital.
All of these activities are financed through the money I save from my mola sales. So, although you already give back to the Kuna by supporting my sales of their art, several of you have asked how you could contribute directly to my glasses and medical fund efforts. To that end, you can now donate to this via PayPal here...
Yes... this is a matter of trust on your end. And it is my response to the request for this from my customers.
For both the request and the trust...