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Our Story

Baha Piñas is a remote area in Panama’s Darien Province. This special part of the world, which has no roads for 100 miles, is home to two worlds that could not be more different, but have become one in the same over the years.

The village of Piñas and Tropic Star Lodge have had a long-standing symbiotic relationship. The relationship grows stronger with each passing year, as does the opportunity to empower the community and protect the environment.

Tropic Star Lodge has relied on the people of Piñas to provide guests with unforgettable fishing experiences since its inception. Through training and experience, the humble village of Bahia Piñas has produced some of the world’s best fishing Captains and Mates, as well as many other key employees who have helped to make Tropic Star what it is today.

With your support, we will preserve this land, and lay the groundwork for foundations that will last for generations. This includes multi-phase community services and youth education initiatives, such as a Kindergarten school and numerous after-school programs for children of all ages, educational bursaries, community center building, soccer and sports fields, school, church, agricultural re-education, conservation education and initiatives, and more.

History of Piñas

The village of Pinas was created when the United Fruit Company bought the land in the early part of the nineteen hundreds as a pineapple plantation.  Workers came from nearby areas and started inhabiting the area thereby creating a community and the start of a village they named Bahia Pinas (due to the pineapple farming of course). The Embera and Wounaan Indians came down from the hills where they lived and some Afro-Columbians came to settle the village and work for the United Fruit company as well.

The land was sold to Ray Smith in the fifties by the United Fruit Company who formed Pesca de Panama and is today known as Tropic Star Lodge.

The common language spoken in the village and taught in the school is Spanish.  Wounaan and Embera are still spoken at home by these Indians.

Traditionally the people were farmers and hunters.  Over the years they started subsistence fishing in their local dugout canoes as well.

Today the economy of the village is based on income from sportfishing tourism.  Subsistence farming and fishing creates a small micro economy since farmers sell to those who work in tourism and store keepers bring goods from the city to sell.


Tropic Star and the Village of Piñas

A true symbiotic relationship exists between Tropic Star and the Village of Pinas.

Without the lodge it is hard for them to be sustainable and without the village it is impossible for the lodge to function.

For this reason Tropic Star Lodge plays an integral role in this non-profit as the sustainability and growth of this community is an integral part of the wellbeing and future of the lodge.  For years there has been ongoing work to support and help the village but so much more can be done.

Step 1 – Evaluate, study and plan each and every project.

Step 2 – Implement in phases

Step 3 – A Continuation of the program to ensure that not only do we reach our goals but that we keep them up for years to come.

As a Donor to this non-profit you will be investing in the wellbeing of a community, the reforestation and protection of a rainforest and of course the ongoing efforts in ocean conservation as well.

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