All posts tagged: Nature

The House on the Hill

Growing up in Panama, I spent most of my weekends and summer vacations in my grandmother’s rustic beach house. The land where it’s located is about 10,000 square feet of lush vegetation and steep hills. Not so far one can see the Pacific Ocean. I remember clearly those hot summer days running around the estate with my brothers and cousins from dawn to dusk, when our parents would summon us back to the house worried we might encounter a snake in the dark. I remember my father rising early to plant trees and pick up different herbs. A cilantro tea each morning. Simpler times, indeed…  The contrast between the city, chaotic and densely populated, and the interior of the country is radical. Real estate developers and the hotel industry are responsible for more and more new luxury resorts and beachfront communities each year. Little by little, the landscape is tarnished. We are losing more and more of the virgin nature. My grandmother’s beach house is not completely abandoned, but it’s true that as her grandchildren …

Pleasure in the Pathless Woods

Corruption can be defined as the abuse of power for private benefit. This is one of the biggest challenges in Latin America and a pressing problem in Panamá. When I think about some of the economic and social repercussions of corrupt government officials, images of families living under the poverty line in zinc sheet houses come to mind, contrasting with sky-high towers and luxury sports cars racing the streets of Panama City. Inequality, injustice, poverty. Corruption has negative repercussions not only on society and the economy but also the environment. The issue of deforestation is another important environmental challenge that is affected by government corruption, specifically by resource exploitation and a lack of protection for tropical forests. Panama is home to an abundance of flora, fauna, and natural resources. Protecting the environment ensures clean air and water for humans; it also benefits the country’s ecotourism, which in turn helps boost the economy. This is where Ecovenao comes in. Located about 220 miles from our capital Panama City is Playa Venao, a popular surf spot in …

Camping Experience: Magic at La Yeguada, Panama

  December is my favorite month, not only because of the food, holidays, and celebrations, but because I get to catch up with old friends who I’ve missed throughout the year. And it was over a happy hour one scorching afternoon here in the city of Panama that an old friend of mine invited me to a camping trip at La Yeguada, a forest reserve located in the Veraguas province of Panama. As an innate adventurer and lover of nature, I have always wanted to go. My only worry was, of course, that I’d never camped before. The name La Yeguada, however, already seemed to promise a memorable experience, one I would never forgive myself for missing had I said no. Her family – including parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends they invite – have been going to La Yeguada every January for 15 years now; it is a big group, of all ages, and everyone is an expert at camping. The forest reserve protects the lake at La Yeguada, which provides hydraulic power …

Tropical Geometry

Tógo is a lovely boutique bed and breakfast located in Panama’s Pacific coast, with the most lush and tropical interior decoration. I have been there twice, it is one of my father’s favorite places to stay when looking for some peace and tranquility close to the sea. Panama City gets hectic, but we are lucky to have paradisiacal, turquoise beaches just an hour’s away. The B&B is colorfully decorated, with yellow and green couches, pillows made out of “Molas” (hand stitched embroidery designed by the Kuna Yala indigenous community), dozens of little Panamanian ornaments hanged on the walls, and the most vibrant paintings. Tógo is also home to five pets: two dogs and three cats, which get along “just fine”. Breakfast is a bowl of fresh fruit (pineapple, watermelon, papaya, and banana), followed by warm bread and home-made marmalade (raspberry or grape – your pick), eggs to your taste, and pancakes if you wish. If you are not sold yet, scroll through the photos I took of this tropical haven – opened in 2009 – and its …

Souvenirs from the South Pacific: Bondi to Coogee Walk

My friend Jess had told me that a must-do while in Sydney was the cliff top coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee. It was early October and it was finally starting to get warm and sunny outside. I had been to Bondi a few times in the winter but was eager to witness the beautiful Sydney coastline in less layers! I had a Monday off from work and woke up early to begin my commute to Coogee. I packed snacks, a large water bottle, headphones, and my camera – the photos from this walk are probably my favorite souvenir of my time in Oz.  The sun was shining and the ocean was a beautiful turquoise color, the waves alluring dozens of surfers from Coogee to Clovelly and Bronte, all the way up to Bondi. I encountered runners, hikers, dog-walkers, photographers, and children all throughout the 6km walk. It was hotter than expected, but needless to say I found plenty of shade under trees. The walk takes about two hours, but I kept finding beautiful photo ops and perfect areas to meditate. It was …