La Montaña para Investigacion y Conservación Ambiental
La MICA is a facility for research and education that focuses on conservation and presentation of PNGDOTH while providing sustainable employment for local people. La MICA will be staffed by persons residing locally, and whenever possible, will utilize local services to support the station.
The main research station will be located near the ecotourism attractions of PNGDOTH, reclaiming a plot of land that was cut 10 years ago. Standardized trails winding through primary and mature secondary forest and a weather station will be maintained by La MICA to allow for consistent data collection and collaborative research.
Construction plans include a main facility with 1 general and 6 private laboratories,1 seminar and 3 classrooms, store, and library. A lodge includes a cafeteria, dining hall, first aid clinic, and 24-hour kitchen. Five cabins for researchers, a guide cabin, a student dormitory (sleeping 40-50 persons), and 2 bathhouses located on the hillside will overlook the nearby valley and forested mountains. A wood shop facilitates construct of experimental equipment. In the near future satellite laboratories will be located in communities within the park to allow researchers to travel and work in more remote locations.
All buildings are ecologically "green"; most materials used in construction are recycled or readily renewable resources. Solar panels and windmills will generate power for the station, while energy efficient appliances and power-saving lighting will reduce usage. Water will be conserved with composting toilets and flow-reduced faucet heads. Biodegradable soaps and cleaning products will be utilized by cleaning crews and encouraged for all guests.
Parque Nacional G.D. Omar Torrijos Herrera
Parque Nacional G. D. Omar Torrijos Herrera (PNGDOTH) is located in the heart of the interior of Panamá just three hours from Panamá City and the country’s international airport. PNGDOTH straddles the Continental Divide and encompassing both drier Pacific and moister Atlantic habitats. The enormous size (27,275 hectares) allows for many different types of habitats to be found within the boundaries, including montane, mid-elevation, and lowland forests, freshwater mountain streams, and freshwater rivers. Traditional communities are still residing within the boundaries and maintain a lifestyle without electricity or road access. People within the communities have been working with the land for hundreds of years and perform low impact subsistence farming within the rainforest.