Paradise & Peril: The Sustainability Stakes in Panama

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Zoe St. John farm tour

Zoe St. John gives Northwestern University students a farm tour. (Colin Boyle/Medill)

Northwestern University
Medill's Nadine Daher reports that residents and interns at Kalu Yala are working on adding hiking trails around the community to the AllTrails app, which allows you to use your phone as an offline GPS tracker. 
Sights and Sounds of Guna Yala – March 2018 by Colin Boyle
Sights and Sounds of Guna Yala – March 2018 by Colin Boyle
Northwestern University
Speckled just north of the vivacious Panamanian coastline is a chain of islands facing the threat of disappearing. The islands' daunting fate is not determined by the doing of their inhabitants, but rather by the world around them.
The road to Kalu Yala
Northwestern University
Medill's Colin Boyle covers how Kalu Yala staff and media interns coped with the hard-hitting docu-series while still working sustainably in a Panamanian jungle.
Guna in San Blas Islands

Diwigdi Valiente says that many older Guna people don’t understand climate change, especially since they have lived traditional lives that contribute very little to the problem. (Alex Schwartz/Medill)

Northwestern University
Medill's Jessica Mordacq reports from Panama: The San Blas Islands and Kalu Yala are two very different environments in Panama that both revolve heavily around tourism.
Aresio Valiente López and Diwigdi Valiente

The father and son pair, Aresio Valiente López and Diwigdi Valiente, pose for a portrait in the university where López teaches, la Universidad de Panamá. The two share a dynamic bond, a call and response relationship of bouncing ideas off of each other, always out of a sense of mutual pride. (Colin Boyle/Medill)

Northwestern University
Medill's Laura Zornosa reports from Panama: Sustainability means preserving the culture of San Blas’ sinking islands for this environmental advocate.
Photo of ingredients to be used in Kalu Yala's cooking class

Ingredients from the farm and local stores to be used in a cooking class at Kalu Yala. (Kelley Czajka/Medill)

Northwestern University
Kalu Yala's culinary staff and interns are serving up sustainable and delicious meals in the Panamanian jungle.
kalu yala 1
Northwestern University
What are the financial and cultural challenges Kalu Yala is facing in recruiting Panamanian residents as interns and staff?

Kalu Yala welcomes visitors and interns with a scenic, yet challenging hike up and down the valley. (Photos by Cassie Majewski/Medill)

Northwestern University
Hoping to maximize the benefits of time spent in nature, a group of interns in Panama are investigating the possibility of a new model for a holistic mental health approach.

Clay Springer, the director of the outdoor recreation program, teaches his interns about allergic reactions during their Wilderness First Aid class. (Lila Reynolds/Medill)

Northwestern University
Cultural differences underlie much of the relationship between Kalu Yala and its neighbors as people get to know each other and learn from the contrasts.
Northwestern University
Young people are exploring food systems through farming. We compared the group we met while in Panama with an urban farm on the South Side of Chicago. 

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