Favorite part of today’s trip from David to Bocas del Toro: at the water-taxi dock there were three little fellas, all squirming around trying to carry your bag and tell you what was going on. “5 minutes, then we go” one confided in me, very seriously.
They are walking the tight rope of the tourism tout, between offering a service and making an income on one hand, and on the other exploitation and trickery. “$5” one assured me. It was only $4, he was going to pocket the extra.
They hopped with capuchin monkey agility over to the bow and passed bags in for the ride, and after I passed mine off to one particular little fellow (the one in the picture) he came and asked me for a tip “$0.40. For food.” I gave him the change in my pocket, and couldn’t help but admonish “dollars come and go, but honor stays.” Not sure if he listened or understood, but I couldn’t resist a smile as he scampered off, laughing and playing with his friends.