Our Staff & Community
At Isla Palenque, we believe the concept of “local” is the key to sustainable hospitality. That’s why we hire local and buy local, and invest in our community and natural surroundings.
Meet our Panamanian Team
At Isla Palenque, our staff is almost exclusively Panamanian, with a great many coming from nearby Boca Chica and David. Hiring locally is the cornerstone to our commitment to the community.
Our salaries are higher than the national average, and we employ our staff year-round, never laying them off in low season as is the case with many hotels. We actively seek to create opportunities for professional and personal growth for them, running cross-training courses and promoting internally whenever possible.
Immerse yourself in everything Panama
At Isla Palenque, we make a conscious effort to source as many products as we can from as close to home as possible.
The fish we serve is caught by the fishermen of nearby Boca Chica, and much of our restaurant food comes from our own organic farm or from just around the corner. Our minibars are stocked with only local drinks and snacks, and our organic, flavorsome coffee comes from Boquete, just a few hours from Isla Palenque. On the island, guests can enjoy 100% Panamanian bathroom amenities too, and our resort furniture is also made on-site or locally.
The Ngabe Tribe
Working with Panama’s largest indigenous group
The Ngäbe people are an indigenous group who live in a special area in the westernmost provinces of Panama, including Chiriqui. Most still live below the poverty line and some choose to live secluded from modern societies.
Most Ngäbe work as subsistence farmers and agricultural laborers, while some make traditional beaded necklaces to sell for a little extra income. In support of the group, we stock some of these beaded necklaces at Isla Palenque for our guests to purchase.
Bringing Recycling to Boca Chica
Sharing our ideas with our neighbors
Refuse, reduce, reuse and recycle – four rules to live by! These four Rs are the pillars of solid waste management at Isla Palenque.
We refuse certain items that could turn into trash like single-use plastic water bottles and straws. We reduce waste wherever possible, and whatever can be recycled or reused – like leftovers for compost – certainly always is. We are working with the local Boca Chica community to share these philosophies and initiate the area’s first recycling system.
Travel Locally, Travel Responsibly
“This place is really amazing. The island is lush and the people are like a family. They give you the feeling of professionalism as well as friendliness; they care about you and about the island with all its raw nature – it´s ecotourism at its finest.”
– June, Germany