Jason was only 9 year old when his parents Dennis and Jeanne Cook decided to move to Panama to live out their calling to a leopard colony that his father had a dream about one night. After years of research and phone calls to all the right people no one had heard of a leopard colony in Panama. So out of pure dedications and faith Dennis packed up his family of six and a cousin (only one that spoke Spanish) and moved to Panama.
When his family finally got to Panama they was staying at a hotel by the airport (Riande) since they didn't know anyone in the country to stay with. I remember my father telling us that this was our last day in the hotel that he had ran out of money and none of his leads had worked out. So he called the 700 club in panama and they put us in contact with a man named David Spencer and he told us that he had a dream that we was coming and he couldn't believe we was there. So that night we had a place to stay and a car to drive and the craziest thing about it was this mans house we was staying at was only 7 miles from "Palo Seco" the leopard colony in his Fathers dreams.
I remember every Sunday after church we would either walk to the colony or drive depending on how much support we had at the time and visit the people of "Palo deco". I remember people pinching our cheeks and typical elderly behavior kids don't like. After a few years we got an offer from a man of some property he wanted to donate to us in the Jungles of the Darien Gap. I don't think this is what my father had planned for but he entertained the idea anyways. I remember the first time down to the jungles we went to a small village named "Puerto Lara" where the kids came running out to see the visitors. They were all just amazed by us being there. We started to hand out ice we had packed for cold drinks and it was the introduction of a lifetime. They whole village couldn't wrap their heads around it. Than we proceeded to get in a bud out canoe and started to head down this river that led to the capital of the providence "La Palma” What they didn't tell us was this river opened up into a bay that was fed by the ocean currents. So we ran into some pretty big waves to say the least. We finally got to the little town and were too much to talk about. Than the trip back to Puerto Lara was even worst. About half way back our out board motor stopped and we had to fight an out going tide with only stick and paddles. This was in 1983 and the first of many stories like this to come. Dennis knew right away that this would be his new calling. Dennis and Jeanne fell in love with the Indians and created a bond of trust that still lives on to this day. Jason and his brothers were there right along side of Dennis planting and harvesting the fields by hand. Working the fields and cutting down tree's to build the mission complex. Unbeknown to Jason this was creating a passion for the people of the Darien gap. The knowledge that the Indians gave him would come back later on in his life to create multiple companies that would benefit not only the Indians but the all Central America. Jason has created and partnered up with Family and investors to companies that will support his passion and to give back to the Indians that have given him so much knowledge of the jungle. Jason and his teams have created Jagua Ink (www.jaguaink.com) Sunara farms
( www.sunarafarms.com) And Pan-American Extraction Corp. These companies teach and market wild picked products found in the Jungles and sells them to the world market. This allows the Indians to keep their traditional family based traditions by supporting them through jobs and contract work. For example we hire only woman to work in Our Jagua Factory and pay them better than a typical days wage. We also hire them to go pick the fruit from the Jungles and we pay them per fruit. So when them men are coming back from work they can stop by the Jagua tree and double his days wage in a few hours. Pan-american Corp does the dame but with a special type of palm fruit they extract the kernel from and sell to the cosmetic industry. Sunara farms create jobs and a nutritional tea that fight map-nutrition in Central America. At this point all of the money has been reinvested to grow the efforts. A percentage of the money these companies make goes to the 501(c) 3 The Darien Initiative. Jason will be moving back to the Jungles from the USA to take the companies to the next level and create new product found in the jungles and most importantly to give back to the villages for giving us their traditions and love.