Ask Away Blog: Giving Back with The Kalu Yala Institute

Giving Back with The Kalu Yala Institute

Wednesday, January 31, 2018



I love organizations that give back to the community and provide new experiences for the people that are doing the work.  So today I wanted to introduce you to an organization that gives back and tell you the truth about Kalu Yala. Despite some of the Kalu Yala criticism you may have come across, it's really an amazing idea and I wanted to explain that to you.

Kalu Yala is in the process of building the world's most sustainable modern village deep  in the Panamanian rainforest.  Their goal is to do this in an ecologically-responsible way.  In order to achieve this goal they are focusing on creating the foundation of the town in Kalu Yala AND developing relationships with the nearby town of San Miguel. 

There are outdoor seminars every Monday that go over the Foundations of Innovation, Creativity, and Sustainability, and many other interdisciplinary and cultural programming is offered.  To navigate any Kalu Yala problems they are collaborating with and learning from Panamanian contacts in various academic fields and from reputable institutions. 

It's an amazing learning opportunity for participants to gain a better understanding of rainforest systems and even work with local farms to maintain a seasonal local menu.  For construction, participants become familiar with post and beam carpentry and structural masonry.  And when it comes to hospitality they learn how to manage a visitor experience that's built around human connection to nature.

Impressed yet? There are still so many more aspects where participants gain knowledge on various topics. For political science participants dive into rural challenges and solutions for Latin America and for public health and wellness they learn what constitutes the wellbeing of people and communities. 

On an environmental level they use media arts to reinvent the way we tell stories about sustainability and the world as a whole and for outdoor recreation they enhance their skills and knowledge of the outdoors by being out in the field.  The truth about Kalu Yala is that so much can be learned and experienced that benefits the participants and the community.  Community internships are so beneficial and the experience you take with you lasts for life.  Participants enjoy off-the-grid living, sustainable education, farm-to-table meals and even free Spanish classes! 

Each semester lasts for 10-weeks and you can even explore financial aid and scholarship options.  Tuition covers housing, meal plans, transportation to and from the airport instructors, program and project supplies, and other needs that directly relate to the amazing experience participants will get. 

I hope I've enlightened you and possibly even motivated you to look into something like this.  

















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