Land/Watershed Conservation- 400 hectares protected:
Los Quetzales owns 400 hectares of the Chiriqui Viejo river watershed, which sits on the border between Friendship International Park and Volcan Baru National Park. The cloudforest reserve has been protected since 1970.
Rainforest carrying capacity is limited by law (detailed in environmental impact study) to 24 persons and 8 cabins (3 presently in construction over previous housing sites) minimizing disturbance of the flora and fauna. We also offer camping grounds, which reduce impact on the environment.
Development of one hectare in our local farming village of 420 persons is limited to seven buildings (10 rooms, 5 suites, a family room and dorms, spa, stable, maintenance shop, 1 cabin and housing for 4 staff members and their families).
Water Use and Conservation:
Naturally-flowing local underground spring water is piped from our pristine cloudforest and has been used for general consumption at the lodge and cabins for over 20 years.
Reforestation- 7,000 trees planted:
We have planted about 7,000 trees including heliconias, giant ferns, palms, and a variety of native hardwood trees. About 50 trees are visibly producing the aguacatillo fruit (eaten by the Resplendent Quetzal and other birds).
All cabins were built in areas that had been deforested over 50 years ago.
Native species are used in landscaping, mostly flower and seed producing shrubs and trees to attract birds. Flowers used in all rooms and common areas are harvested on our own premises.
Community benefits- local staff:
We provide jobs and training to over 45 persons in the ecotourism business, who otherwise would need to migrate to cities, seeking jobs, or find work locally in non-sustainable agriculture, mining or hydroelectric plants which promote the erosion and contamination of soils.
100% of staff is Panamanian, including its General Manager and 95% of our hotel and cabin staff lives within walking or biking distance from the hotel.
We are working on developing relationships with indigenous Ngobe-Bogle artisans to sell their art and crafts in our hotel store.
Recycling- NO SALE OF WATER BOTTLES!
We have a comprehensive recycling program and separate paper, plastics, aluminum and glass. We do not sell disposable water bottles. Instead, we offer the cleaned and recycled water bottles free to our guests after cleaning and refilling them at taps and faucets available throughout the property.
Natural Food and Products- Organic Garden:
The restaurant salad bar uses home-grown organic ingredients from our garden- arugula, watercress, broccoli, cauliflower, red lettuce, snow peas and herbs for tea.
Dairy products come from our 5 cows. We produce our own yogurt, butter, cheese, cream cheese and milk.
Spa uses all natural ingredients for facials and exfoliations, such as coffee, chocolate, pineapple, sugar, volcanic mud, almond, olive oil, and eucalyptus. We have eliminated the use of any chemical products.
Renewable Energy- solar panels, personal hydroelectric generator, florescent bulbs, gravity powered sanitation system:
The lodge is lit with energy saving florescent light bulbs. There are no electric lights in the cabins so as to minimize the disturbance of wildlife.
Water is heated with one of 7 solar panels. Water system gravity-powered.
A hydroelectric generator supplies 50% of our energy needs at the lodge.
Composting and Homemade Fertilizer:
Vegetable waste from the kitchen is fed to worms and the compost is used to fertilize organic vegetable gardens.
Excess edible food is fed to our dogs.
We are in the process of creating our own top soil with recycled ingredients- ash from our chimneys, and dried waste from our cows and horses.
We employ a full time lawyer that has been instructed to promote the enforce laws written to deter the use of chemicals, hunting of endangered species, mining, deforestation and cattle ranching operations inside 30,000 hectares of legally protected areas, such as Friendship International Park.
Future Project Ideas:
Free-range organic chicken project planned.
Homemade soap project planned.
Composting toilets project possible in new hot springs area.
Please write with any other suggestions!
Los Quetzales Ecolodge & Spa: Proud to be Panamanian, privileged to be global.