Is Our World Upside Down?

The world really does seem to be upside down. What happened to the famous friendliness of the American People? Now they are telling the world how to run their lives! Fighting each other for positions either in their daily life or in their jobs. Defending their opinions about family, money, religion and politics in such a way that America definitely needs the world’s largest army of attorneys to keep peace officially in the country. It is disgusting, watching what’s going on in D.C., defending the world’s most lucrative jobs (read: politicians). No words, no phrases are dirty enough to use in defending their position!

Enjoying an orange in his upside down world

Enjoying an orange in his upside down world

To use that phrase in connection with the political and economic world arena seems like a kind of an insult to a sloth, who lives in a kind of upside down world. This sloth is the two-toed variety, a slow-moving tropical American mammal that hangs upside down from the branches of trees, using its long limbs and hooked claws. A sloth is a tree dweller and extremely slow-moving.Norma with sloth

We had an opportunity to interact with several sloths and other animals at an animal refuge in Panama. A wonderful peaceful place established by a retired executive from the United States, donating all her time and money for the well-being of injured or abandoned animals. Once the animals are raised or fit again to dwell in the forests, they will be released.

One of the forests where thousands of animals are at home is the subject of our report in this letter.

 

Norma & Frank in Las Lajas plantationHard hat, jeans and boots used to be my daily uniform in the 1970s and 1980s, walking forests around the world. My job at that time was almost the opposite of what we are pursuing today. In the 70s and 80s, I tried to get the best trees for furniture production. We had only one goal: get the best for the lowest price! Clear cuts in the Amazon region as well as many countries in Africa, in Burma, in India and, to a very large extent, in the United States. The “slaughter” of forests is still going on! The reason for this damage is still the same as it was in the 70s and 80s: GREED and ECONOMIC POWER on a very short-sighted basis.

Here, Norma and I are inspecting a rain forest reforestation project in Panama. This forest is a perfect fit for what we call “Impact Investment.” This particular project is almost 21 years old! Building Forests. This has been the slogan of the Rainforest Manager for many years, emphasizing its ecological commitment to planning sustainable mixed forests rather than monoculture (only one specie of tree).

Tree photoIt is interesting to see trees in an almost perfect environment up to 20 years old. I always wondered what a 20-year old teak tree in Panama looks like, since I used to buy teak from Burma.

Meeting the people who take care of the forest is very important for learning if they are really working for the property. The friendliness of the forest workers is a visual sign that they are well-treated. Stories about their families tells me that the employer takes care of them. Their compensation here is above the average salary and includes social benefits for the workers and their families, including educational support. These are just some of the advantages of working for the rainforest management company.

Since “Building Forests” is their slogan, they begin with a rainforest right at the nursery. This will be used to build up or to supplement forests to achieve a mixed and sustainable rainforest. The nursery can provide extra income from the sale of seedlings. These timber tracts are not only pursued to grow precious trees native to Central America, but also to  harvest the mature crop of trees and Nurseryreplace them with young trees to achieve sustainability.

The forest management actually takes care of the marketing of the timber harvest. Some of these timbers command high prices on international markets. The local markets are buyers of timber as well. However, considering all the teak plantations offered to people, telling them this is the way to get settled in Panama, this market can become pretty overcrowded. Keeping in mind Panama’s infrastructure for the furniture and building industry, it is really amazing how well the market is functioning. In view of this situation, the forest management of the properties we are inspecting has established a brand newmarket in Panama that can take care of the timber harvest. This amazing venture will be the topic of my next newsletter, so be watching for that!

 

Why are we walking through the jungle on a hot and humid day? Most of you know that, if we suggest an investment, we doRainforest our due diligence, not only on the numbers, but with every possible checkup we can make to see if we ourselves would invest in the project. With my background in the timber business worldwide, I must admit I have never seen an operator more knowledgeable and diligent than the one we are working with in these reforestation projects. This is one of the best investment opportunities for someone who is tired of feeding Wall Street and who is looking for safety and security with the huge upside potential supplied through “Impact Investing”!

Here is the word again: IMPACT INVESTING  If you are not 100% certain what this means, click on the words to see a detailed explanation.

Impact investing is not just filling the pockets of one entity and leaving everyone else out on the streets (could be Wall Street!). It is an investment philosophy which benefits you as the investor while also benefitting the communities surrounding and involved with these plantations. These benefits include long-term jobs for residents and indigenous groups in the area, fair pay with social support. It benefits the land, the air and the environment. Of course, the seller also profits, thus enabling them to provide additional such opportunities.

This investment opportunity is not only for huge investors. We are able to structure packages to fit your level of investment, even setting up gifts for your children or grandchildren!

Contact us today by comment or email to fpb@AnAmericanInPanama.org and we will show you a custom-made investment package to fit your criteria!

 

 

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