Hera is working with Geoversity on the creation of the Hera Biocultural Conference Center (Hera Nature) in the 4,900-hectare Mamoní Valley Preserve, Geoversity’s world campus in Panama. This landmark facility, being designed by the architect Gil Bakhtiar, will stand as a gateway to one of the 25 most important ecological areas in the world. "The biodiversity value of the Preserve”, explains Geoversity naturalist Lider Sucre, “lies in its role at a keystone location within the largest remaining stretch of connected forest --about two million hectares-- within the Tumbes-Choco-Magdalena Biodiversity Hotspot. Hera Nature will be a sacred gathering place within a conservancy protecting the narrowest and most vulnerable point in this precious biological corridor, the last best stronghold of many hundreds upon hundreds of threatened species.” The Preserve, only a two-hour drive from Panama’s capital city and 90-minutes away from a major international airport, also serves as a green buffer protecting the autonomous territory of the indigenous Guna people.
Hera Nature will be a conference, forest conservancy, and fellowship community dedicated to furthering the mission of Hera by establishing a “new type of physical gathering…unwavering in unconditional inclusion, amplifying the voices that arise from all walks of life, and serving to promote and highlight women and their incredible strength, tenacity, and creativity.”
The development of Hera Nature in team with Geoversity will be linked to the future Hera City in southern France and conducive, in form and programmatically, to the eventual establishment of a Hera City in Panama, with Hera Nature serving thereafter as its rural counterpart.
“Our vision” explained Geoversity president and co-founder Nathan Gray, “is to have Hera Nature positioned as the gateway and cultural center of the Mamoní Valley Preserve. The land we have picked for the main facilities, 13 hectares overlooking a magic spot we call Junglewood Falls on the Mamoní River, with easy road access, is ideally situated for that purpose. We plan on including 220 hectares of nearby elevated and forested land with ocean and valley views as Cerro Hera, a special forest conservancy. “
“We great value the Geoversity partnership” said Hera founder Marianela Mirpuri. “Among the Geoversity partner organizations we look forward to working with are the Guna General Congress, The Millennium Allianc for Humanity and the Biosphere at Stanford University and The Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere at Stanford University, and the Haiwatha Institute for Indigenous Knowledge, founded by the Grammy-award winning Native American singer and composer Joanne Shenandoah.” Hera Nature will be the primary location for Geoversity School of Biocultural Leadership seminars, conferences and special policy-maker planning sessions and retreats.
During a recent visit to Centro Mamoní, the Preserve’s science center located on the edge of the continental divide -along the fabled Jaguar Trail- Panama’s Minister of Tourism, Iván Eskeldsen, welcomed Marianela Mirpuri’s commitment to “creating a new type of physical gathering…unwavering in unconditional inclusion, amplifying the voices that arise from all walks of life…”
Hera founder Marianela Mirpuri with Gary Bencheghib, founder of Make a Change World (www.MakeAChange.World) at Geoversity’s “The Power of Nature” event in Panama City in February 2020.