Alouatta Sanctuary (Part 2), Panama

Since the Alouatta has no address (common in places like Panama), I decided to grab the GPS. This is where I live:

N 08 24.948

W 082 11.876

Screen shot 2013-01-21 at 11.01.05

I am no longer lost 🙂

It can be extremely difficult to create a home in a place so extremely foreign, but with some time and care I’ve found myself talking real pleasure in doing things like cooking, yoga and gardening (along with researching). Below is the before and after of my little vegetable garden. It now has some garlic, ginger, pineapple, squash and tomato growing in it.


Screen shot 2013-03-09 at 18.42.25


Screen shot 2013-03-09 at 18.41.28

My relationship with the monkeys has also changed. I’ve begun to understand their different personalities as well as likes and dislikes. For example, Nina is like an independent 12 year-old kid. She likes to do what she wants on her time, but occasionally she decides that she misses her “mother” and wants a little snuggle. Coco was raised as a pet the longest, so he acts the least like a monkey in the wild should. Mojo is like the little king of the jungle, yet he’s also the youngest (7 months) so he likes to climb way up into the canopy and then dangles around your neck when he’s tired.



And it turns out that working and living at a remote location with almost all girls isn’t so bad. It has become kinda like a family here. Without the everyday distractions of “real world” life, I’ve found myself truly being able to focus on myself and what I want with my life- its been a long time since I’ve been able to do this. And it’s the little things that I’m discovering- I want to take dance classes when I return, work as an EMT, learn more Spanish and get an internship in neurology or cognitive studies. The location doesn’t matter, which leaves so much up to the imagination!

Alex with Mojo and Nina

Alex with Mojo and Nina

Not only that, but I feel so confident being here now. I’ve met so many single, young women traveling around Panama and Central America including a few visits from some good old friends like Alex pictured above. We’ve been friends ever since we both lived abroad in France! And in Panama everyone is so nice! And I feel safe- to travel with friends, alone and just to live. Panama is truly a special place. ~B


9 thoughts on “Alouatta Sanctuary (Part 2), Panama

  1. Pingback: Dominical, Costa Rica | 23 and Unfunny

  2. Hi Brittany,My name is Steve ,michelle my wife and I built the place and planted it up, I am glad you are now enjoying it, I have been away for 8 months and I miss it very much, its solitude is its beauty, the monkeys are its blood and the visitors were the beat of its heart, ,go out at night down the river ,youll see lots of frogs ,and go see the parrots that roost in the swamps in the bay,they roost in the hundreds. enjoy

    • Steve and Michelle, nice to meet you! Thank you so much for writing. The gardens here are absolutely spectacular and are growing quite well. Do you happen to know what the name of the green small tree that has pinkish/red immature leaves on it is? Its has a lanceolate-like leaf with a waxy coloration in the way that it reflects light. We’re been trying to identify it without any luck. I believe it was planted rather recently and the juvenile monkeys absolutely love it! Also, thanks for the pointers! I absolutely love frogs, so I’m very excited about the wet season that is soon to come. What is the best way to get to the parrot bay from here? Thanks so much Steven for finding my blog,

      • hi Brittany,the trees I planted along the river as you go down the drive on the left hand side , there are some big ones .Its called Pithecellobium longifollium,,the monos love the new leaves ,we pick it and bring it up to the babys ,but they could be introduced to them in the field ,try propigate from seed ,I planned to plant it everywhere .
        ask Pablo to take you down to the bay ,late afternoon is best.look up in the afternoon in the sky you will see the parrots heading off to roost.Also look for the big (very big) boxy frog that lives by the spring, he will be out when it starts to rain.Savages foam frog,I think is the species,Dont go down to the bottom river at night on your own,there are some big Fer De Lance,but its realy nice down there,So get a good torch ,long pants and explore.

      • Oh wonderful! Thank you so much! That is all extremely helpful information. Pablo actually just had his first child, so he’s been a bit busy lately, but I will definitely make it a point to ask him. I will try to propagate it from the seeds, although it may not be the season for the seeds quite yet. And I will be sure to look for/avoid both the large frog and the fee de lances- maybe I can post some pictures. We haven’t seen many fer de lances yet, but quite a few coral snakes and king snakes have been around. Stay in touch! ~B

  3. Steve – I am taking a group of eighteen there this weekend. What are you doing with yourself now that you have passed the mantle of the lodge on? Rob Brown (

  4. An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a little analysis on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast because I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If possible, as you become expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more details? It is highly helpful for me. Big thumb up for this blog post!

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