Anne Walker Harrison, originally from Nashville. Director of the Internship Program at Kalu Yala.
First of all, tell us a little about your position at Kalu Yala.
I’m the Director of the Internship Program at Kalu Yala. Basically I coordinate with and between our staff and executive team to make sure our operations run smoothly and in a fashion that aligns with our brand values.
How do you explain the company to someone new? What do the interns do?
Kalu Yala is both a community and also a company working to responsibly develop a 7,000-acre tract of land in the Pacora River valley. We run an internship program where students from all over the world come to study varying aspects of development and sustainability while immersing themselves in a foreign environment. (City and jungle both qualify in this case…) At the same time, we are striving towards the longterm goal of developing a permanent community that would thrive off of and also nurture the Tres Brazos property.
What sparked the idea for the pig roast?
The pig roast idea has been a long time in the making. We have always played with the idea of having a Matanza, (a traditional Panamanian BBQ where an entire cow is slaughtered) and after a recent trip home I was even more inspired by an event called Cochon 555. Cochon is a touring pig roast with multi chefs and a large foodie following. Early this spring just seemed like the time to run with the idea, and so off we went. Planning an off-the-grid event for 75 people requires a good amount of foresight. Preparations included sourcing our pigs from a local San Miguel farmer, inviting our three chefs to participate, gaining sponsorship for our compostable tableware from Stusty Party, and finally making sure that our basecamp was ready to host for the first time ever.
The basecamp looks great. What do you recommend, though, in Panama City?
Two things I love in the city: Any of David Henesy’s four restaurants [La Posta, Market, La Chesa & Elephant Grill] — top quality food and service, which can be hard to come by down here.
[I also recommend] Ceviche and stocking up on fresh fish at the local fish market; it’s inexpensive and some of the best quality and variety you’ll find.
What’s your favorite thing you’re wearing?
The long gold necklace with blue ornament at the end. I bought it with one of my best friends, Mary Demere, in Soho while table shopping after a delicious brunch last August. The designer was selling her work and had a great unique style. We both bought a necklace and now I think of her whenever I wear mine.