Kalu Yala is a new sustainable village being built in a Panamanian river valley to bring together entrepreneurs, artists, scientists and modern day romantics.
It is a Study Abroad Program that offers Innovation in the heart of Panamanian Jungle. Its mission is to build and redesign places to be more
Kalu Yala has 13 Academic Programs to choose from:
- Business and Entrepreneurship
- Construction Arts
- Culinary Arts
- Health and Wellness
- Outdoor Recreation
- Media Arts
- Political Science
This is the first time I heard about this kind of study program and I personally think it has an intriguing approach in applying passions in the real world. Getting involved in research work and development team is the best way to learn wherein actual solution in addressing social and environmental issues can be explored.
Utilizing the study in the search for best practices in sustainability and quality living in this Jungle-like basecamp is afterall a good training ground for someone who wanted to design an optimized living to share to the world.
Jungle Town . Does it scare you? Imagine living a totally different environment leaving behind your comfort zone…
Though it has a promising approach that can guarantee learning by helping build a sustainable town, it has been observed that Kalu Yala is NOT for everyone.
Here\’s some of the following \’Kalu Yala problems\’ you should know about before applying:
- Physical, mental, and social exhaustion. Living in the jungle, hiking through mountains, hopping buses between cities, hauling an oversized backpack … Yes. You are bound to move, a lot!
- The place runs entirely on solar energy, so power consumption is set around\’s the sun schedule where charging of phone might be hold on as \”non-essential\” .
- High Standards might complicate things. Materials and resources for a project must be brought to market in a socially and ecologically responsible way. It also has to be affordable, and able to be found in the region within a project\’s timeline.
- Triple Bottom Line system measure. Satisfying a project using TBL wasn\’t easy, this marker on sustainable approach is a hell of an obstacle.
- Panama is a Spanish speaking country. While the Kalu Yala Institute is English-language, you\’ll hear- and use- Spanish a lot during your time in Panama. Whether you\’re navigating the country, tracking down materials for your project, or trying to order a drink on your weekends in the city, you\’ll get at least the basics down during your semester. Kalu Yala offers weekly Spanish classes anyway, so there\’s really no excuse.
- Some people leave. Most students who leave do so for health or family reasons, or because they\’re not digging the jungle lifestyle.
- It\’s like a dormitory in a Jungle. The space is funky and intimate; you swear you\’ll go crazy at first. But by the semester\’s end, you would not trade those hilarious nights and mornings for the world.
- Every semester, students get one week off to travel in Panama as their Inspiration Week, while Panama is one of the safest countries in Latin America, if you let a semester of students loose you\’re bound to have some misadventures.
- You get creative living in a jungle. After Kalu Yala, you\’ll be forever on the lookout for ways to repurpose the materials around you.
- Be a healthy eater at Kalu Yala\’s organic, free range, vegetarians and / or gluten-free types.
- Learn to pee anywhere. They have bathrooms in the jungle. Flushable, modern toilets, if you must know. But they\’re just so far sometimes. Nature\’s always close, and you happen to live in a community where it\’s socially acceptable to walk 10 feet away and squat by a banana tree.
- You don\’t want to leave. Though you had an exciting path ahead of building something great and eager to share it to the world, saying goodbye is hard especially if you\’re able to embrace living close to nature and its simplicity.
Above all these \’problems\’, Kalu Yala\’ speaks of happiness, and great purpose along with some delicious food, beautiful architecture, incredible stories and lifelong relationships. A Strong, Adventurous and Resourceful person truly deserve this kind of learning experience.