HATCH Latin America / Panama


HATCH Latin America @ Kalu Yala & Selina   //   Feb 8-12, 2017


The mission for launching HATCH Latin America was to engineer a pipeline for innovation and entrepreneurship between the Americas.  It’s working.  To do this, we gathered some of the best and brightest minds from across Latin America to collaborate, starting with our HATCH Latin America Board of Advisors.  The inaugural HATCH Latin America was a smashing success.  Students with astronauts, Emmy award winners, journalists, inventors, musicians and entrepreneurs gathered to help solve real world challenges.  Watch the highlights video here, and read about it in La Estrella’s “Four Days of Innovation in the Jungle” and “Superheroes Cited in Panama” and also featured twice in ForbesHow To Tap The Only Three Types Of Creativity” and “How The Strongest Leaders Build Regenerative Teams.”  Check out a conversation between HATCHers Emmy-nominated actor Tim Daly and NASA scientist Michelle Thaller during the inaugural HATCH Latin America at Kalu Yala in the Panamanian rainforest.

The goal: To create an innovation superhighway between the two Americas.

HATCH Latin America 2016 curation breakdown:

  • Aggregated social media audience was + 2 Million for HATCH Latin America
  • 15 countries represented
  • 20% Students
  • 25% Panamanians
  • Within 5% of a 50/50 Latin American balance
  • Within 5% of a 50/50 gender balance

For HATCH Latin America, the HATCH tribe camps in the most intense biological system in the world:  The Rainforest.

 Tucked away within a dense forest landscape just 50 minutes from Panama City, the camp at Kalu Yala (which means “sacred ground”), is in the perfect situation for exploring the surrounding jungle, and the valley is accessible only by a rugged dirt road.  The “Off-Grid” experience is magnificent.  A chance to un-plug, to re-connect.


Kalu Yala is a sustainable community in the middle of the Panamanian jungle. Since its founding nearly a decade ago, CEO Jimmy Stice has been seeking out and connecting with some of the world’s foremost experts on sustainable energy, permaculture forests, and community design. It’s located on a 600-acre farm set in a 7,000 acre valley adjacent to Panama’s famed Chagres National Park, known as one of the world’s top 20 “biological hotspots.”

Kalu Yala employees and interns strive to develop best practices for diverse cultures and communities coexisting with nature. Permaculture food forests feed the community and return species complexity to the area. Shared work with the neighboring communities and teaching in local schools helps foster intercultural exchange.

Kalu Yala’s first development phase is its institute, an experiential education program for students from around the world who are collecting, implementing, and documenting best practices in sustainable living. The work-study program has hosted students from 25 countries and 150 colleges. Over the next several years, Kalu Yala also plans to launch a tourism/hospitality business, a startup incubator and a real estate venture that will sell beautiful eco-friendly homes to locals and foreigners alike.

Now, HATCH and Kalu Yala have joined forces in parallel to the local ecosystem and Panama’s economy, to connect North America and South America.


  • MENTORSHIP.   At Kalu Yala, there are four quarters of student internships who are given the opportunity to apply their passions in the real world. They work as part of the research and development team, and interface with the local community. Team members utilize their studies in the search for best practices in sustainability and quality living.
  • ENTREPRENEURSHIP.  The Kalu Yala team is building an entrepreneurial incubator / launch pad for student-led businesses that can help local communities.
  • SUSTAINABLE.  The founder is building the world’s most sustainable modern city, from the ground up.  It’s a testing ground for prototypes and best practices in green, sustainable, and mixed-grid power.
  • CONNECTED TO NATURE.  Disconnected from the grid, so that we can reconnect to one another
  • A BIOLOGICAL HOTSPOT:  One of the 25 biological hotspots in the world with the most biodiverse small farm in Panama with an evolved permaculture forest designed by global experts
  • The best farm-to- table dining experience in Central America


The HATCH + Kalu Yala + Selina collaboration was incredible.  HATCH culminates at Selina Hostels in Panama City, with a decompression session at Selina Playa Venao.  Selina is re-imagining the modern day hostel by converging co-work and co-play spaces for digital nomads.  Selina is just over a year old, and is quickly growing from 3 locations to 10 by the end of 2016, and over 90 locations within the next 4 years. Selina has been extremely thoughtful in finding premium locations at epic destinations, taking several important factors into consideration.  

It’s clear that Selina is building more than a chain of places to sleep; the vibe at Selina is carefully designed for those with a zest for life, and appreciation for conscious living.  All of the furniture and fixtures are hand-crafted by up-cycling found trash, rubble, and debris and giving second life to previously consumed resources.  To accomplish scaling at this rate with such artisan craftsmanship, Selina’s Creative Director trained ex-gang members to be carpenters, builders, and welders.   

Digital nomadism a term is used to describe knowledge workers who have taken the tech economy’s move away from traditional office culture—and its flexing of the boundaries between work and leisure—to an extreme solution.  Your after work and lunch break activities at Selina allow you to explore cultures, exchange knowledge, and live a fun, adventurous life.  If surfing the internet is just as important as surfing world-class waves then you’ve chosen the right place.

The world is your office.  And your office is a community.  A connected series of work destinations where you can intersect and collide with diverse international world views, and exchange knowledge in a healthy, sustainable, and intentionally designed environment.