A New Town

Currently accessible only by two miles of rough dirt road, our valley is located 50 minutes from downtown Panama City and 35 minutes from the international airport. On this tropical frontier, a settlement is being established with plans to grow into a thriving town.

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our history in the making

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1825 - 1886
Railways, cable cars, electric street trolleys, and the modern automobile are all invented, accelerating man's speed and distance beyond that of a horse for the first time in history.
1913
The Ford Model T assembly line begins mass production of cars, making freedom of individual, high speed movement possible for large numbers of people and igniting a sense of wonder for the future.
1933
Le Corbusier's Charter of Athens introduces the idea of separating cities into areas such as residential and commercial, ushering in the modern zoning that has led to strip malls and gated communities.
1947
Levittown invents mass produced housing, creating the model that became the suburbs and introducing cheap, disposable buildings, made with synthetic materials and without craftsmen to the world.
1950s
The great flight from the cities to the suburbs begins, along with a decline in civic participation ranging from local government to bowling clubs which will continue for over 30 years.
1960s
Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" and Jane Jacobs "Death and Life of Great American Cities" begin the environmental and new urbanist movements to save the planet and return walkable places to beauty and glory...
January
Founders Jimmy Stice, Scott Romsa, and Kimberly Hall choose Panama as the ideal location to introduce the new model for sustainable living that will come to be called Kalu Yala.
June - December
After moving to Panama, the partners spend the rest of the year travelling the entire country collecting the data and contacts needed to find the perfect land for their town to be.
March
At a Coca Cola stand in a small village grandfathered into the Chagres National Park, a chance encounter with an old park ranger leads to hearing about a hidden valley that few people know about.
May - December
Jimmy, Scott, and Kimberly spend months hiking the 7,000 acre valley, becoming friends with the people whose families had claimed the land for cattle grazing in the 1950's and in the nearby small towns.
August
575 acres are purchased from the Navarro family whose farming success over the past 30 years has refocused most of their operations and interests far away in the Darien province of Panama.
October
Extensive land planning begins, analyzing the entire 7,000 acre valley and watershed where Kalu Yala's land sits, in order take into consideration how every action might impact other people and environments.
January
With the global economy in disarray, Kalu Yala's plans are put on hold while the founders assess the situation. What they discover over the next months of renewed research will change everything.
February - December
The economic collapse becomes a resource for Kalu Yala, stress testing real estate and community development models around the world and exposing the deep seated weaknesses of current models.
May
100 guests and 7 thought leaders gather at Serenbe, Georgia for the open discussion of how to build a place that will deliver the highest quality of living for its residents. The answer: Together.
June
Kalu Yala's research and development institute launches from its humble beginning with 10 students working in Panama City. These first studies provide a blueprint for the wellspring of knowledge to come.
January
The institute opens it doors in San Miguel, the closest town to Kalu Yala, with the intention of collecting local knowledge while ensuring Kalu Yala acts as a good neighbor to the region.
May
40 students join the institute, opening the third and final research campus off-the-grid on the actual land of Kalu Yala. Students begin cultivating the lifestyle that is the result of their research to share it with the world.
January
Word begins to spread beyond the borders of Panama as Google offers to host meetings for Kalu Yala from its New York office, introducing North America's entrepreneur community to the new town.
September
Jimmy speaks as his first TEDx in Mexico, asking audience members 'How would our neighborhoods be different if they were owned by the people who lived in them?' and introducing one of the key concepts of Kalu Yala, localized ownership.
January
Kalu Yala begins accepting visitors who want to come to the valley to experience the beautifully simple living that has been developed there by students working for the institute.
December
150 guests gather for Kalu Yala's first large event, The Jungle Adventure, bringing entrepreneurs from around the world off-the-grid to the jungle to imagine what is possible from life there.
March
The 'City within a Building' called The Guest House is designed to house institute dorms, a hostel, a luxury boutique hotel, two restaurants, two bars, and a co-working and conference area planned to break ground in late 2016.
July
The institute begins its farm-to-table culinary program and starts its first company, Kalu Yala Farms, by launching the company’s first product, Ambienté, a lemongrass and cranberry hibiscus tea.
The Institute adds the Design Thinking Program and doubles the capacity in Town square, building a new kitchen and 3 additional ranchos for hosting more guests and students.
February
150 change makers from Latin America and North America travel to Kalu Yala for the inaugural HATCHLatAm, a creativity symposium where thought leaders discuss and design solutions for the world's most pressing issues.

bringing the mission to life

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Real towns deliver what real estate developments only claim to. Kalu Yala is a new town being built to deliver a 21st century quality of life in the new global economy.

Design+

Designed to be whole from the time the first house is built, interconnected to make sustainable living possible, free to develop organically over time, and so beautiful you will never forget.

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Economics+

Minimize imports. Maximize exports. Create an incubator for entrepreneurs to develop world changing business ideas. Kalu Yala is tilting the tables in favor of local businesses over global ones.

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Community+

We didn’t create the movement. We didn’t make you a part of it. We’re just building one of the places where all of us can come together. This isn’t a project. This is a way of life.

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Adventure+

We were born with explorers souls at a time where a great work wants doing. Kalu Yala is our base camp for launching this century’s expeditions into human potential.

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Designed to be whole from the time the first house is built, interconnected to make sustainable living possible, free to develop organically over time, and so beautiful you will never forget.

underline

Minimize imports. Maximize exports. Create an incubator for entrepreneurs to develop world changing business ideas. Kalu Yala is tilting the tables in favor of local businesses over global ones.

underline

We didn’t create the movement. We didn’t make you a part of it. We’re just building one of the places where all of us can come together. This isn’t a project. This is a way of life.

underline

We were born with explorers souls at a time where a great work wants doing. Kalu Yala is our base camp for launching this century’s expeditions into human potential.

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