Jimmy Stice, founder of the Panamanian sustainable community Kalu Yala featured in VICELAND's Jungletown series, has created a somewhat controversial business model in order to propel the growth of his platonic ideal of a town forward. Stice claims that his real estate venture— a 575-square-acre sum of land in Tres Brazos—aims to operate as a totally sustainable for-profit community once its development is complete. In order to gain capital for building, supplying, and maintaining the venture, Jimmy employs interns each semester who fly down and help him construct his dream. What's the catch? They're paying him to do it.
In the above video, VICE co-founder Shane Smith sits down with Stice in order to shed some light on what really goes on in Kalu Yala once the cameras stop rolling, and the dueling "capitalist and idealist natures" of Stice's business model. By touching upon issues unearthed by the interns during the series, Smith gains some insight into the reasons some of these young volunteers are opting leave the jungle, and why despite that, Jimmy still believes in Kalu Yala.