Pajaro Jai

pajaro_jaiThe Pajaro Jai sailboat was constructed on the banks of a river in the Darien rainforest of Panama.

Hand built of tropical hardwoods, the Pajaro Jai is 92 feet long and 20 feet wide. She displaces over 160,000 pounds. The main mast is 100 feet high and 60,000 pounds of lead ballast the boat against 3,000 square feet of sail.

Although this Pajaro Jai was built using traditional methods, she incorporates some high-tech materials. The masts and stringers will be epoxy laminated wood reinforced with carbon fiber and S-glass.

Pajaro Jai Photos

The Pajaro Jai was launched in Panama and made its maiden voyage to Panama City, Panama.  Guests on board included the First Lady of Panama, Vivian Fernandez de Torrijos, the National Director of the United States Peace Corps Gaddi Vasquez, and the Peace Corps Director for Latin America, Allene Zanger.

The Pajaro Jai will travel from city to city, country to country, supporting groups working on projects relating to societal and environmental health. The Pajaro Jai will be sailed by revolving crews of indigenous peoples from Panama.

The Pajaro Jai will support the activities of many organizations.

The Pajaro Jai and Conservation:

The Pajaro Jai project encompasses much more than construction of a finely finished sailboat. It is “conservation through innovation” in practice.

The methods used and the precedents set are a microcosm of how a system that addresses the problems of deforestation, conservation, and development, might work. The project adheres to the principals espoused by the Pajaro Jai Foundation in addressing both human and ecological needs in the search for healthy long term change.

Lumber harvesting in the Darien is a reality that will continue into the future. The premium price the Pajaro Jai Foundation pays for lumber harvested in sustainable ways, demonstrates to lumber concessionaires that conservation can be profitable.

In an area where slash and burn agriculture and cattle farming provide the primary means for survival, the Pajaro Jai project provides alternatives which use fewer resources to yield more profit. Though the construction of the Pajaro Jai consumed over 100 trees, the men working on the boat are farmers who would otherwise provide for their families by burning trees by the thousands in order to plant cash crops and cattle pasture.

The completed boat will become an emissary from the Darien, an eloquent voice which speaks not only of the beauty of the rainforest, and of the people who live there, but also of the possibility of a healthy future for both.

The elegant lines are slowly revealed and like a living creature the Pajaro Jai rises from the disorder of logs and boards, metamorphosing into a sleek vessel which highlights the achievement of the people of the Darien, and demonstrates that innovative solutions can change our world.    Pajaro Jai Foundation.

The Pajaro Jai Foundation, based in Westport, Connecticut, owns the boat.  The Foundation was started in 1989 by former Panama Peace Corps volunteer James A. Brunton, Jr.  The Pajaro Jai Foundation is a Connecticut based 501c-3 non-profit corporation.

Contact the Pajaro Jai Foundation:

The Pajaro Jai Foundation, Ltd.
420 Post Road West, Suite 202
Westport, CT 06880 USA
Telephone: 207-460-4184

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