Welcome to Eco-Horqueta: The Hidden Jewel of the West of the Barú Volcano
The Beginning of Our History
! Hello, I am Lorraine; An Estonian-Panamanian "millennial" who felt lost. Yes, without a compass to guide me at 23 years old.
My dad Bruno, may he rest in peace, and my Mother They provided me with a life of much love and comfort. Thanks to them, I was able to study at the prestigious César Ritz Academy of Culinary Arts, in Bouveret, Switzerland.
When I return to my country and feel the absence of my Father and see me at 23 years in that madding crowd of the city, with the same routine as always, talking to my friends about everything and nothing at the same time, the city began to be a heavy load on my shoulders and getting up every day became a nightmare.
I decided to go to Estonia, my father's country of birth, and it was that trip that changed my life. By being there, observing the culture and roots of my Father, I was able to see how protective they were with Nature and how families go out to the parks to enjoy it.
However, what had the greatest impact on me was seeing some ancient trees in a forest very close to the city, and I felt so small next to these trees and, at the same time, placing myself under their branches, I felt so protected and gave me untold rejuvenating energy.
There I learned that strong connection that every human being can have with Nature. Embracing and contemplating the immensity of a tree, made me reflect that you are a tiny being, that fills you with energy, relaxes you and makes you reflect on your whole life . I returned to my country of birth, Panama, and decided to leave everything in the city and move to a green and magical town called Boquete.
At last my compass pointed me to the right path for me and I set about planning everything. After six months, I invited my mother and María Jesús, a Spanish therapist girl who was looking for an option in Panama.
Starting the Eco Horqueta idea
Boquete, A beautiful and mystical town, that almost everyone who visits it, does not want to leave. Why? Simple. For its natural beauty and the rejuvenating energy that the trees and the Barú Volcano give off.
Boquete is a town that has grown immensely in the last 15 years in population, structure and culture. This multicultural town is home to more than 20 different nationalities and has been listed as one of the best places in the world to retire. These, and many other reasons, influenced my decision to move here.
Now, Boquete is 6-7 hours from Panama City and 20 minutes outside the center of the town of Boquete, so literally! I moved to the mountains, without electricity, without WiFi, without drinking water, without a house, etc., I settled in a camping house to be in contact with Mother Jungle.
Horqueta is a fairly secluded town, about 20 minutes by car from the nerve center of Boquete. It focuses mainly on traditional agricultural farms and coffees.
As I inherited a small land estate from my Dad that was completely regenerated for more than 20 years, what was my biggest surprise when I returned? The trees that my Father sent to plant were super tall and that feeling of protection, love and healing settled in my mind and in my body. This would be my perfect place!
First night in the Barranca
Working the land
In 2014, when I visited Europe, this ecological issue was part of the governments' agenda and, in fact, "millennials" travel to countries that have these concepts.
So, I read and studied this topic to see how I could bring it to life.
I encountered various difficulties. For that year, Panama lacked Laws that sponsored the Eco-friendly construction system with Mother Earth and from there I had to build the bungalows and the restaurant as required by the Municipality of Boquete.
On the other hand, I sought advice to produce organic and plant trees that would serve as homes for other living beings.
If it weren't for the fact that I lived in Switzerland, I would think it would be impossible to build on a hillside.
Months of planning went by and my idea was to build the cabins and the main cabin out of rustic material. It was quite an ambitious project, and my acquaintances and friends considered it crazy. Must be seen to be believed!
The Pioneers of Team Eco Horqueta
As the months passed, my Mother moved with me and later María Jesús joined and joined with the sole purpose of reforesting, protecting and caring for this land. The trails were started and like magic, Nature and Divine force aligned to make this place a reality.
Family, friends and volunteers from more than 10 countries came to help us!
Together we did several days of hard work, solving obstacles along the way, laughing, crying, fighting, enjoying, but above all supporting the idea unconditionally. After 4 years fixing roads, planting tires, growing plants and trees, harvesting fruits, laying floors and tiles, ceilings, tables, chairs, Eco Horqueta has become a reality!
Salma al adawi
Estefani de Gracia
Andres de la Iglesia
Ferreteria El Dorado
Enrique Miranda son
Maria Jesus Navarro
Isaac and Brenda Quiel
Minoshka, Ninoshka and Jean Pierre Ramirez
Ovid Urriola Constr.
Yara Van Schaik