So, I spent my first month and a week working in San Miguel with the Community Outreach program, teaching English to children and organizing a San Miguel soccer team while trying to initiate interest for a county wide tournament. More importantly, I adjusted versus assimilating to a new culture or mindframe, and became comfortable with lonesome international traveling and getting by… .
Now, in a much different flow, space and pace, I’m out of the village and here in Panamá City working with the Business program, supplementing the interns with their projects and the CEO with organization and other administrative tasks.
The three main projects, though all integrated include: Mainly, the rebranding of Casa Yala from a hostel to guest house with coworking space and amenities by remodeling the Casa Yala Guest House and intern quarters and beginning the Casa Yala intern urban garden for sustainability and beautification purposes. Secondly, we’re hosting the Casa Yala Re-launch Party and the art show/exhibition to bring about social and LOHAS community awareness of Kalu Yala and its cause and goals. And lastly, but also integrated with the art show and re-launch party, the introduction and creation of awareness for the Kalu Yala Escape Eco-Tours to be offered as adventure recreation in the Kalu Yala valley.
I’ve been joining the interns and networking with organizations such as Pot to Plate and Jardín Urbano in order to locate and connect with like-minded people involved and advocating the lifestyle of health and sustainability. Fellow intern Karen and I volunteered with Pot to Plate and asked if they’d be interested in co-sponsoring the Casa Yala re-launch and art show… AFTER one of them initiated the joint effort. Things are looking great!
I’ve also been connecting with the art community here in the city, via social media and the universities. I’ve worked on a press release explaining the significance of Casa Yala as a social center, the past and upcoming art event and the Kalu Yala concept of living and creating. I’m really excited about prepping for the relaunch, connecting with the art community and reaching possible tourists for the valley. This all involves a lot of research, digging and then physical social networking.
Other than branding productivity, along with the CEO and my peers, we’ve been working on living conditions and team dynamics in order to create an environment conducive to more productivity for the future, and perpetuate or sustain that condition for interns and semesters to come.
By being in the city and seeing the business development aspect of Kalu Yala, not just the community development aspect, it has all come full circle now what Kalu Yala is really about and ready to accomplish. I can not wait until “the company” starts using Casa Yala Guest House/social center as the outlet to introducing people to Kalu Yala’s from the ground up base camp and ideals during the re-launch/introduction party.
It’s going to be grand! Hopefully, all of the valley interns, anthropology and community outreach as well as business interns will be in attendance to give narrative and share media of their own experiences with Kalu Yala in the jungle, valleys and mountains and with Panamanian culture in general. But conversations with these charming individuals alone is more than entertaining.
I get to and am currently witnessing and involved in the building of a brand from the ground up. I am loving these people and this opportunity to experience and contribute to this company and cause, and can not wait to see what will be accomplished within the next month of my stay and over all for the Kalu Yala brand.
Can we say big things poppin’?