Our goal is to conserve native Panamanian species of orchids, many of which are believed to be on their way to extinction. Estimates vary, but it is generally considered that the Republic of Panama is home to no less than 1,500 species of orchids, making it one of the most orchid-rich countries in the world. However, destruction of rain forests, accelerated by the recent rapid economic growth of the country, is depriving those flowers of their habitat. Particularly in El Valle, poverty plaguing the local population has led some to illegally pick up endangered species in the woods and sell them on the market, posing them a real and imminent threat.
Concerned about such a situation, we created APROVACA in 2001 in order to protect the flowers from extinction and seek for a more sustainable way of development. We therefore grow both the endangered endemic species and non-local horticultural ones in our nursery for different motives. We try to conserve the former by reproducing them, while selling the latter to visitors to raise funds for our eco-friendly activities and to make the very act of gathering wild orchids for profits redundant. Overall, we aim to conserve the local biodiversity and promote an environmentally conscious and sustainable form of tourism.