Kevin Mclendon
Kevin Mclendon
April 11, 2017
Welcome to the Jungle.

I met Jimmy Stice 4 years ago at SxSW. For a multitude of reasons, we became fast friends. Through a random turn of events that can only occur at SxSW, we ended up bunking up in a ridiculous Airbnb mansion that was walking distance to all the Austin hot spots. It was a classic case of the property owner trying to price gouge during festival week and ultimately renting it to our crew for pennies on the dollar. We were happy to oblige. We had a very eclectic group from all over the country mostly connected through Summit by way of Stephan Cesarini, the ultimate connector. We had a great week. If we weren’t attending a party, we were hosting one. Not one official SxSW content session was attended. By the end of the week, a trip to Panama had been booked to visit Jimmy’s jungle brainchild Kalu Yala: the world’s most sustainable town.

Over the next 4 years, Telegraph and Kalu Yala would grow together. Jimmy was growing, cultivating, innovating, and pivoting his education offering and we were doing the same with our agency. We would advise where applicable both on the business and brand strategy. Watching the Kalu Yala Institute grow from a handful of students each semester to 150 for this upcoming summer semester was very cool. Receiving the call from Jimmy last year that Kalu Yala was to be the subject of a Viceland documentary directed by Ondi Timoner was even cooler.

And so it was that “Jungletown” was born. Ondi being a two-time Sundance Grand Jury winner brought the production instant street cred and the ability to attract both the millennial target audience of Viceland as well as the arts and filmmaking community.  The show airs Tuesdays at 9 central on Viceland and has debuted to critical acclaim.

Building the world’s most sustainable town and thereby saving the world from humans is tough work. The documentary does a great job of telling the unfiltered story of the struggles associated with life in the jungle, communal living, and true sustainability.

 

To watch Viceland's "Jungletown," click here.

To learn more about Kalu Yala, visit kaluyala.com