High Tide Case Study

Why would the Guna people of Panama leave the place where they've lived for over 150 years? Use these sources to determine if the environment and our relationships with it can be factors that force people from their homes.

Be the Interpreter

What can you learn from this quote?

  1. Who, according to this quote, will be “left behind”?
  2. Do you agree that a younger person would be more “likely to accept the move”? Why or why not?
  3. Challenge Question
  4. Can you think of examples in which “the least employed, the most ill, the oldest and weakest and most disabled” face challenges in your community? Why do you think this happens?

The government of Panama recognizes that many of the people don’t want to move. The younger the person is, the more likely they are to accept the move. The most able-bodied and highly educated people will move first. Thus, the least employed, the most ill, the oldest and weakest and most disabled, the least willing to move, will be the ones left behind.

—Scott Leckie, Director of Displacement Solutions

The New York Times: "Scott Leckie, Director of Displacement Solutions, a Geneva-based organization that works with people displaced by climate change." Coral Davenport, "Rising Seas," The New York Times, March 27, 2014.