Nafi Sall ’20 and Kate Alonso ’19 describe the groups arrival into the Mamoni Valley Preserve where they will spend the next couple of days exploring and doing research.
We woke up bright and early in bustling Panama City, ready for the day ahead. We hopped into the vans, ready to go to the nature reserve in Mamoní, where we will be spending the next four days doing research on the effects of soil according to the number of worms or caterpillars inhabited in the soil.
After a long three-hour car ride, we were eager to get out and explore the new vicinity for our trip. On first sight, we could tell the ecosystem of the area was extremely wholesome, with leafy trees, large plants, and blooming flowers encompassing the region and us. As we started walking around the rain forest, we got to see the accommodations, including an Eco green compost system and a rain powered electricity unit.
The open common space is surrounded by all sides of scenic views and the sounds of chirping birds, croaking frogs, and buzzing insects. Lunch was served after our exploration, including a special Panamanian cuisine. After lunch, we were split into two teams and assigned a challenge of building a boat with only tools consisting of bamboo, a large tarp, and rope. The objective was to create a buoyant and efficient way to make a way across the pool without sinking. Each boat was buoyant enough to float across the water, however, only one team came out on top of the race.
The Eco friendly accommodations at the reserve reflects on the quality of the area surrounding. Because of the compost area, constant push of recycling, and the use of reusable energy, this makes the region clean and preserved. The focus on this trip is to remember the effects of sustainability and how it can age the environment around us. This experience of being able to work with people whose everyday lives are dedicated to the preservation of the rain forest is a privilege. We as a group hope that we can take away these values and bring them back to Deerfield.