Walking up to the Valley basecamp for the first time was somewhat akin to a child walking into Disney World for the very first time- with so many things to do where does one start? The possibilities for the future development of Kalu Yala are endless; with a group of highly motivated, passionate, and innovative interns and directors what can be accomplished in the next three months is only confined by the brevity of our time here. In our first five days in the Valley we tackled the necessities of life.
Thanks to our wonderful cook, Johnny, two of the three essentials of life, water and food, are taken care of; therefore, our group of nineteen tackled the third necessity- shelter. Armed with machetes, handsaws, hammers, nails and the resources teeming in the Valley, we set out to create a shade structure to shelter us from the sometimes brutal sun.
Working together we built a structure of 10 “posts” (trees harvested from the valley) to hold up a 15 foot tarp that provides much needed shade. Now complete with bamboo walls and the beginning of a palm leaf roof, the structure provides not only shelter but a common area where interns and directors can come together, discuss ideas, and enjoy one another’s company- an essential factor in the continued growth of the Kalu Yala culture.
With the three basic needs for life taken care of, our next trip into the valley will allow time to research project possibilities and endless opportunities for every intern to expand his/her knowledge as well as contribute to the continued growth of the Kalu Yala vision. With the autonomy to create and research our own ideas for the future benefit of the company, I know that this highly self-motivated group will accomplish amazing things in the next three months.