Ngobe-Bugle Ancestral Craftsmanship and New Technology
Al Natural Resort is designed and built pursuant to the principles of Natural Architecture according to which the constructions are to be in harmony with the surrounding landscape and ecology, the local traditional building technique and the dwellers. This reach is be best served by a design blending sustainable low impact western technologies with the ancestral archetype of the Ngobe-Bugle pole building constructions.
Each structure, designed after a particular model of a Ngobe-bugle traditional house, is raised from the ground built with wooden poles and thatch roof, using only natural non-toxic local low cost materials. The traditional design is slightly modified by raising the roof in order to give a standing person an uninterrupted view of the outside and by using lumber as flooring material in order to obtain well finished hardwood floors. The wooden sticks used for the visible structures of the cabin, as well as various wooden materials used for the furniture, are carefully selected for their organic forms to express the freedom and beauty of nature from the inside of the dwellings. They all comes from the nearby low land forest. All woods are treated and preserved with a non toxic substance, a boric acid derivative, and low VOC water based satin shellac. In addition, innovative designs, such as the concrete canal filled out with sea water protecting the base of each wooden pole from the termites and other wood-boring insects, and the multilayer roof structure, has prolonged greatly the life of those constructions. By prolonging the useful life of the construction, the sustainable supply of materials can be better protected.
The use of a renewable energy source namely solar power is not only a necessity due to the remoteness of Punta Vieja but is another example furthering the concept of sustainable living, just like the collection of rain water for use, showing how to fully benefit from the abundance of this non contaminated surface water source.
In order to integrate the resort into the landscape and to achieve privacy, each accommodation has its own individual structure surrounded by lush vegetation. The beauty and freedom of nature are emphasized in the choice of the building sites where trees, vegetations are incorporated in the design, of organic forms in the materials and of the openness of the construction to the surroundings. The result is remarquable by its harmony in the landscape and by the sweeping views and an undeniable sense of physical and spiritual well-being that it provides to each guest.
Each one of our rustic-chic thatch huts is a unique work of craft with many appealing artistic details, including decorative molas and the fine ceramic work, made in each bathroom by a talented Bastimentos Island resident artist, which is inspired by the surrounding nature and the ancestral patterns found in “chacaras”, the traditional Ngobe-Bugle woven bags.
Hospitality transpires through the elegant touch put into each dwelling, seemingly rustic yet well thought out for maximum comfort, and through the attentive care of your hosts and our well trained indigenous staff and guides.
We are very proud of the fact that the resort is run with the help of an authentic local staff and has been built so carefully by our local building team, which is composed almost entirely with indigenous persons coming from the nearby villages, with their ancestral technique. As a nature tourism development, providing as many as possible employments to the local indigenous population, and promoting the culture and the handicrafts of these population and developing harmonious and mutually beneficial contacts with them, are paramount goals of the project. We hope that Al Natural is just one example of the acknowledgement and appreciation of the Ngobe-Bugle people and its ancestral traditions, architecture and craftsmanship.