Essay Title

Rooted in Nature

 I come from a relatively small country in Latin America, an isthmus that unites North America with South America. It is a place that is known to be the bridge to the world, and the heart of the universe. I come from Panama. And the name “Panama” itself comes from an old indigenous word meaning “Abundance of fish, trees and butterflies.” In other words, it stands for abundance of flora and fauna. Panama has one of the bluest skies, clearest oceans, and the greenest sceneries of the world. More than an important logistics and commercial center, which closes the gap between countries, it´s a place that holds intrinsic value. Hence, Panama is an enriched country of a diverse of natural, historic, and cultural treasures among the decades, but what Panama is not it’s a place of mining. 


In late October, the president signed off the contract for First Quantum Minerals which granted the Canadian-based mining company to operate Central America’s largest copper mine, causing an uproar of the nation’s sovereignty and triggering widespread protests in the streets of Panama and overseas. Most corporations with their unsatisfied hunger for natural resources, for profit, and their lack of accountability are intended actions that are tearing apart the home to one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world and the largest biological corridor in Mesoamerica, a lifeline for migratory species. Consequently, the extensive deforestation, the abuse of natural resources, social injustices, climate changes and habitat destructions are putting us under severe threat which can cause our basics of life-sustaining requirements to not be able to meet up to the standards. If we can´t have something as basic as a good quality of water, air, food, house, health, and education. Then, with what right our governors have a say in the lands our ancestors fought for freedom? With what right the little amount of people in the congress can decide for the whole population? In what sense, dare they say, “for the people” when hosting the next presidential elections campaigns.


Panamanians and foreigners are speaking up: “El oro de Panamá es verde” (Panama’s gold is green). We are standing as a nation, raising our voices and flags to guard our homeland and its invaluable biodiversity because there is nothing more valuable and precious than to preserve our mother nature to ensure a prosper and inclusive world for the people and the planet which is mainly the mission of the United Nations Agenda 2030. Then, by encouraging consistent actions that impact not only positively the well-being of its people and environment, but also to guarantee the one of our future generations. We must comprehend that the sustainable management of the natural resources on our planet is essential to both social and economic growth. Thus, it´s on our duty to promote the sustainable use of our biodiversity, ecosystems, and wildlife while conserving and being responsible agents on using our natural resources.  I do not wish for our vision of a sustainable world to only exist in Utopia. I could paint you a fairytale on how ideal it could be if everyone turns vegan and hippies. No, my point is to build up a foundation that allows our society to thrive toward a sustainable world is challenging, yet not impossible. It is time for the world to listen to its citizens. It is time for the world to listen to our mother nature.


I do hope we are loud in our existence, to develop a vision, to act upon it, to advocate for our beliefs. Nature is ours to protect, cherish and nourish. Me and nature. We are one. Nature can live without me, but I could never live without nature. When looking around us, what elements of nature are left to be seen? When buying our groceries, do we look beyond the quality? When throwing away what we no longer use, do we ever wonder where they end up? Our relationship with nature isn’t only a concept of mind. The truth is nature isn’t only about using tote bags or banning plastic straws. Being sustainable isn’t the new trend. It contains much of a depth seen in microscopes. When I was a child, I felt the urgency to do something that could be of great impact. But I didn’t know where to start with. We are always encouraged to go green and do so call little things to become the role model citizen. Yet is it enough? Will it ever be? 


In high school, the teacher always quoted John Wesley: “Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, to all the souls you can, in every place you can, at all the times you can, with all the zeal you can, as long as ever you can.” And that’s when I finally understood that “being human” has such a role of active responsibility in this world because we are intrinsically related as in roots to our mother nature. There is an unbreakable bond which is why we carry in our blood the will of not only power, but also of change. Home is and always have been what keeps our heart beating. Home is a memory not far away, dear to the heart and foreign to pain. I hope whenever we think of home, we think of our purpose and existence. 

For us, for the future. Let´s protect our mother earth!


Photo Reference

Photo by Jeremy Bishop:

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