Paul's Mission Statement For TropicRiverWoods, In Panamá...An Eco-Experiment AND Personal Commitment To The Greening Of A Beleagered Mother Earth!


When I look at myself critically, and quite objectively, I always see the colour GREEN.  I am alternatively classified by those who know me as "Paul, The Wise Gardener!" and "Paul, The Palm Doctor!"  It appears obvious that somehow I feel safer as well as happier, when I gravitate to my very personal green, living and natural world.  Certainly, like any other supposedly civilised human being, I can be temporarily awed, or at least influenced by the many manmade "wonders" of the New Millenium, like Paul Discovers a Jewel...He Names It: TropicRiverWoods!!gleaming, towering office buildings, racy, sleek and overly computerised automobiles, Japanese consumer electronics (AKA adult "toys"), modern U.S. expressways & shopping malls (except, perhaps, when they are overcrowded with hoards of fellow humans), and so on...But, these accoutrements of modern living, in the end, leave me consistently a bit vacuously unsatiated.  A pattern here? Hmmm.

On the other hand, after experiencing the lushness of a verdant palm frond, a neon-coloured bromeliad blooming high up in a Honduran mahogany tree, or the obviously blatant "tropicalness" of a breadfruit tree replete with "greenish-yellow cannonball-like fruits", I seem to get consistently "carried away" to some sort of botanical nirvana!   My partner, Brad, says that if I am one thing, it is consistent.  It just seems that "one cannot go wrong" allowing oneself to be enraptured by nature.   Why?  Because throughout all of the Millennia that our species has trod upon the earth (often irresponsibly, I have to say), Nature & GREEN have always provided an ageless source of comfort...and sustenance!!

Now, as we "urban" ourselves to death it seems, greenery is even MORE of a safety zone.  And that is how my quest for an ultimate haven and an ultimate purpose for my short life found its ULTIMATE GOAL!   With the immeasurable assistance of the world's library: the internet, I was able to explore a world that was far greener and far more natural than my home in that ULTIMATELY URBAN playland that is South Florida!

TropicRiverWoods adjoins Panama's newest portion of The InterAmerican Highway.After years of searching, Panamá stood out as a beacon to me.  It is tropically lush, it is relatively close, geographically; it is, outside of Panama City, pristine, and oh yes, still affordable!  Impressive too, is the fact that Panamá proudly embraces its rich native culture.  Indeed, Kuna, Guaymi, Ngobe, and numerous other native Panameños are officially represented in the government, and prime lands are governed by the native peoples, themselves!   That is certainly very different from the way our American Bureau of Indian Affairs "administers" the U.S. native tribes' collective needs.  So, In Panamá I was surprised, yet pleased, to discover a progressive civil libertarian society that champions its rich and diverse cultural fabric as opposed to those societies which do not honour their native peoples.

I bought a plane ticket in 2002, and explored the region called Bocas del Toro...and profoundly, "fell in love!"  There, I found many "Gringos" also looking for an elusive piece of paradise, but the majority seemed to be looking for the paradise that meant sipping piña coladas on the beach, or seeing Bocas, as the tourists call the entire region, as a place where they could still make a "killing" in the real estate market.  These avant garde Bocas visionaries probably will make money, and I suppose, that there is nothing wrong with that particular mentality, but that ideology is really just for looking to extend a bit of the U.S., Canada, or Europe "lifestyle" to a wild and relatively untamed land.  I thought, "OK", let them look towards the BEACH...I'm going inland.  By the way, I was told by an ex-pat realtor from Texas, that I was making a major ex-pats lived where I was looking, and that the native Panameños wouldn't "take" to a gringo going into their turf!  I went anyway!

I didn't need the support of an ex-pat bar or boutique, being the particularly difficult, independent, & loner-ish bastard, that I am!  No, I wanted, remember...natural GREEN!  I found it here and it fits me like the cliched glove!  After several exploratory trips (which confirmed my resolve to stay away from my fellow ex-patriated avaricious Americans), Brad & I finally, in November, 2002 met up with a very sweet gentleman who worked in a fruit box corrugation plant (for 37 years), named Filiberto Reid!  He was gracious, gentle, proud of his heritage (a bi-lingual West Indian), and very much "in-tune" to our personalities!  He showed us his lovely 56 hectare "finca" off the new Carreterra Inter-Americano.  We explored it, the three of us; bonded readily, and carved a portion out for Brad & me.  The land we toured was hilly, verdant, had a magnificent unspoiled view to the Caribbean...and it fitted my mind's "vision" as a place to tend for the rest of my earth years, in all ways botanical.  I was in the GREEN, finally.

One Needs To Look No Further Than At This Impressive (And Frightening) Night View Of The Globe To See How Important Is The Commitment To Save Our Precious Tropical Rainforests !  The World Is Rapidly Filling In Its Land Area's With Lights...And People!!

When we returned back to Miami (which is always a culture shock, in itself) I now, began to think of this land's name.  The 9.5 hectares (or  approximately 25 acres) that we purchased from Filiberto would be named: TropicRiverWoods!  How easy that choice was for me!  Our finca was true to all of those three words...the dreamed about "seed" was finally planted!  Now, TropicRiverWoods can, indeed, take root, dear friends!  Yes, I am surrounded by GREEN...and I am contented.  There's a lot of work to be done; "and miles to go before I sleep!"  We must plan the tree planting carefully; we must begin the realisation of our "green sustainable home" concept with a delicately situated elevated treetop pole foundation which will serve as our "nest" & a future vistors' centre!



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