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EcoBusiness Opportunities

Incubator

The 8thLife Panama Collaborative Work-Life Initiative is mainly an eco-business incubator

The Initiative has two physical components, Astoria Guest House - the operations center, & The Finca - 21Ha (52 acres) of land for developing the Eco-Community. These two physical spaces permit the incorporation of a number of elements. 

As you read through this list, think of the many component parts of each element - many of these parts are potential businesses. This is the list of elements we envision the initiative incorporating:
  • intentional community eco-village based on integral permaculture design principles (on The Finca)
  • eco-enterprise incubator, shared workspace for eco-community members & volunteers (at Astoria Guest House)
  • artisan & craftspeople's incubator, shared workspace, & storefront for eco-community members and local residents
  • promoting and strengthening the local economy of Las Guabas Arriba and Anton through example
  • training/workshops in eco-economics, the circular economy, 'buy local', and local economic development
  • community gardens and local produce and artisan markets
  • permaculture courses and other practical, hands-on learning experiences such as eco-building

Imagination

That's what it takes to look at something and see your desired future.

Here's some ideas we had of businesses that could be started up during the initial phase of the project while we're still not physically present on the farm all the time:
  • Bamboo: since it grows quickly, has many possible uses on the Finca, and can be sold locally.  Resident members would source building materials for their houses on the Finca first, and there will be many uses in the common areas. It's also good for furniture and can be used for decorations.  
  • Honey: reestablishing a healthy bee population in the world is an important task - and honey production should be linked to other agricultural products, like possibly passion fruit.
  • Hemp: we'll need to study Panamanian law to be sure it can be grown here, but it would be great to have this plant for construction, consumption and so many other uses
  • Coconuts: there are a number of products that come from the coconut, including coconut water, milk, and oil, shredded coconut, and coconut fibers. 

A few more ideas:

  • the land is ideal for a small rustic campground.  Based on our experience with the Guest House, we think a small section of the land could be designated for this.
  • we are keen to have eco-builders / engineering enthusiasts, especially those that are excited about working with recycled materials.  Possibly the most important tasks for next generations, together with re-creating soil & regenerating vital eco-systems, is to find ways to use the huge quantities of 'rubbish' that our industrial societies have generated, and transform those once again into valuable resources.
    • Making small-scale windmills, water-pumps, water-collection infrastructures and solar-power tech is an important addition to all of the above, as well as finding innovative ways to make houses from waste materials.
  • this is the perfect place for whoever already has or wishes to develop an online business or is a writer for example. The peace & quiet of the surroundings, combined with the great beauty of the place & internet connection at the Guest House is very supportive of this kind of work as well.

Some businesses for when people are living on the Finca:

  • growing & selling organic produce, which can be sold in the popular local markets or in tourist oriented markets  or can be sold more profitably processed in some way
    • fruits and vegetables
    • nursery plants
    • chickens
    • pigs, goats, sheep
    • rabbits, guinea pigs
And of course we're open to suggestions!