The Kalu Yala Institute: Environment & Community Internships in Panama
98% Rating
(24 Reviews)

The Kalu Yala Institute: Environment & Community Internships in Panama

At Kalu Yala, we are in the process of building the world's most sustainable modern village nestled in the Panamanian rainforest in an ecologically-responsible way. Within the Institute, programs take place in two venues: creating the town's foundation in Kalu Yala, and developing relationships in our neighboring town of San Miguel. All programs will participate in a outdoor valley-based seminar each Monday on the Foundations of Innovation, Creativity, and Sustainability, and many interdisciplinary and cultural programming with be offered. Many programs will collaborate with and learn from Panamanian contacts in various academic fields and esteemed institutions.

  • Biology: Gain a broad understanding of rainforest systems
  • Business: Plan, fund, and launch a new company in only two months
  • Construction Arts: Become adept at post & beam carpentry and structural masonry
  • Culinary Arts: Work directly with local farms on maintaining a local, seasonal menu
  • Design Thinking: Combine independent thinking with technical skills
  • Engineering: Design, build, and test all the systems necessary to support a thriving population
  • Hospitality: Learn how to manage a visitor experience built around human connection to nature
  • Media Arts: Reinvent the way we tell stories about sustainability and the world as a whole.
  • Outdoor Recreation: Enhance your outdoor skills and knowledge out in the field
  • Political Science: Dive into rural challenges and solutions in Latin America
  • Public Education & Community Development: Develop effective community-organizing tactics
  • Public Health & Wellness: Learn what constitutes the wellbeing of individuals and communities
  • Sustainable Agriculture: Grasp permaculture farm planning & management
  • Sustainable education
  • Off-the-grid living
  • Farm-to-Table meals
  • Design your own project
  • Free Spanish classes
North America » Panama » Panama City
Starting Price
Price Details
Each semester lasts for 10-weeks with a tuition for the Spring & Summer 2018 semesters of $7,495 USD. Inquire further about financial aid and scholarship options. Your tuition covers housing, meal plan, transportation to and from Tocumen airport (PTY), highly-qualified instructors, program and project supplies, and other Institute needs – all of which directly correlate with ensuring an amazing Institute experience. Budget breakdowns are available upon request.
Other Locations
San Martín, Panamá

Questions & Answers

Different semesters have different numbers of people applying and so do different programs. Generally the summer semester has the most people wanting to come, but program popularity can vary a lot from one semester to the next. Overall, though, about 1/4-1/3 will be interviewed after applying, and about 1/4-1/3 of people will be accepted and attend.
We don't have independent accreditation, but the majority of people that come and are currently enrolled at an accredited institution get their semester approved for credit through their school. Overall, about 75% of students who are enrolled in a college or university and try to get credit for their semester at Kalu Yala are able to get it qualified. You'll need to speak with your adviser and/or...
While most of Kalu Yala's participants are enrolled in university studies, it isn't a requirement. Some people may be taking a gap year or even a career break when they attend.
Hi Reader of Kalu Yala Reviews! I was there with the KY company in Panama City during the dry season (U.S. spring time) of 2013. I also visit the KY HQ in the village of San Miguel, as well as the KY jungle base in the outskirts of Tres Brazos. Knowing Spanish is moderately valuable if you are doing a program such as business interning in the city, most valuable in making closer connections with t...

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Program Reviews (24)

Default avatar
24 years old
Atlanta, GA
Florida State University

Perfect for what I wanted to do


I got to work on what I wanted plus get 5 days of travel time for every 10 days of work- so I accomplished both my goal to grow in the work environment plus see the sights of Panama. Win-Win.

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24 years old
San Francisco, California
San Francisco State University

Kalu Yala - Sustainable Community


Kalu Yala was a perfect internship program to end my college career. They have great values and goals for the future. I was actually in the outdoor recreation program, not the community outreach (teaching) program. We spent most of our time in the jungle, which was one hell of an experience! Projects included; blazing trails, signing trails, building structures, creating activity itineraries and more. The great thing about this internship, for a person like me, is that you can work on anything that inspires you...making you own project. If you like adventure, Kalu Yala is for you!

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24 years old
austin, texas
University of Texas- Austin

Kalu Yala is a great experience for young people looking to make social change in a foreign setting.


My favorite part about being a part of Kalu Yala was the life long friendships that I made while there. Along with that, the feeling that we were able to help empower the community of Sn Miguel, through small yet meaningful projects was very fulfilling.

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24 years old
Emory University

Good Experience


Kalu Yala is a young and energetic organization that is all about flexibility and figuring out a way for each of its employees to find personal fulfillment while in Panama. I really enjoyed my time there

About The Provider


The Kalu Yala Institute offers an alternative study abroad program with a distinct focus on learning-by-doing. You will live, study, and design projects within a burgeoning, sustainable modern town nestled in the tropical Panamanian jungle.

At Kalu Yala, college students and young professionals are granted