The Big Hairy Audacious goal of Mesa Verde Restaurant Association within Panama is to decrease the percentage of total organic waste deposited in Cerro Patacon landfill dump from 45% to at least 15% in 10 years, and create a sense of environmental and social responsibility amongst Panamanians.

The issue: Hunger and unnecessary organic waste. 

Organic Waste: a precious resource

Who will Mesa Verde affect?  Mesa Verde will help Restaurant owners increase their positive environmental and social impact while benefiting low-resource people, our community and our environment.

What will we do?  Mesa Verde will revolutionize the restaurant industry within Panama. We will be working with restaurants at a national level through a ‘green’ Restaurant Association that allows member restaurants to have a positive environmental and social impact.


We will re-allocate the edible food destined for the dump to Soup Kitchens and the Homeless. Partner NGOs will connect with Mesa Verde restaurant members and pick up edible food on a weekly basis.

We will re-direct organic waste destined for the dump to the Mesa Verde Farm where it is composted and transformed into fertilizer.

Why focus on Organic Waste?  Panama’s economy is developing at a rapid rate that is promoting consumerism at a level never seen before. Along with wealth comes responsibility; therefore it is absolutely vital that Panamanians develop an ecologically- and socially-conscious mindset. If the city continues its rapid growth with no strategy to manage the damaging side-effects of expansion, the social and environmental consequences will be severe.

Unbalanced, unsustainable: Our current system

We want decrease the amount of organic waste in landfill dumps. Why? Landfill dumps poison the earth and become breeding grounds for malaria and dengue, making it difficult for communities that are near the main landfill to live healthily and with dignity.

We want to prevent hunger. Why? 12.63 of Panamanians do not receive enough food daily. Yet while 12.63% of the population goes hungry, restaurants around the country are throwing out untouched food.

As long as our unbalanced system perpetrates the problems of waste and hunger, we must act.