Keen to get up to fresh water and its associated flora and fauna, we continued south past other islands, finally anchoring close to Boca de Tigre Lodge. Immediately beside us, there arrived dugouts and the lodge's metal canoes laden with locals, smiling and holding up wares. We found similar scenes at other lodges we explored. These destinations provided a ready market of visitors, and the locals had developed their trade; with sign language, they bargained hard.
Following advice, I had shirts and shampoo, thread and fishing hooks, pens and colored paper, and more at the ready. Their goods were woven baskets patterned in pink and green, lidded pots and mats, and much seed jewelry. I liked a small bowl and offered a designer blouse, but the woman indicated she wanted six shirts and shampoo! Of course, my instinct was to give it to her—these people appear so poor—but we've always believed an exchange should have some realistic value, so we settled for much less, with some mats included.