It’s the end of January and a new set of interns have arrived from different parts of the world to contribute to Kalu Yala’s mission in developing a more sustainable future. When you enter a room full of young, enthusiastic interns, all eager to listen and learn, do research and implement their ideas, you will most certainly sense the richness of human capital and professionalism within the walls of Kalu Yala. In the end you will see it does not matter whether those walls are made of concrete, bamboo or palm leaves.
While lingering in these moments I cannot but marvel at the joy of joint working and the process of learning from one another. The synergy this project gets from binding students from different fields of science together gives it a big advantage and is an impressive scene to witness. One of the most intriguing parts of this internship so far has been the variety of topics covered just within these few weeks. Some call this a cross-pollination of ideas, some cross-fertilization or transdisciplinary, but I would like to say it’s also about enjoying life in itself and having fun together.
As a business intern I am more than grateful of all the new information about flora, fauna, wood construction and doing sustainable business that I’ve been privileged to see, feel and learn during these first three weeks in Kalu Yala. When working in a project as ambitious and admirable as KY, business interns need also to go beyond the business as usual – just turning beauty and natural assets into money and marketing ideas isn’t good enough. We need to develop a sustainable approach, as everything can’t be measured by equations and models. In this world of deadlines and tight schedules, we often tend to forget that there’s a different kind of reality surrounding us that is a more tranquil, an intangible reality of nature’s assets and values. Panama is a living example of both of these surroundings with its new, modern citylife and still almost untouchable nature. Through the exponential growth of urbanism, human beings have lost their connection to the natural environment. Kalu Yala provides urban dwellers the opportunity to rekindle their connection with nature.
This being said, the business program will continue brainstorming to find new ideas, such as creating a working sustainable eco-tourism plan for the KY valley, as well as exploring the jungle and learning how to perceive the valuable landscape and nature that ultimately sustains all life on earth.