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About Us

The Lawrence Family Trust owns Dolphin Bay Preserve SA.

Lamont ("Monte") and Regina ("Ginny") Lawrence - who established the trust, first visited the Bocas del Toro area in 2004.  
Joining them was their two children and their friend and attorney, and co-trustee of their trust, Ted Hannig.
Originally the family was affiliated with Nature Air, the world's first carbon-neutral airline, but ultimately the family decided to act independently.

The Lawrences fell in love with Dolphin Bay.  The marveled at the local beauty and the natural environment.
Ginny insisted the property name have "preserve" in it, because she wanted everyone to remember the beauty of this area and the natural conditions that needed to be preserved.
She envisioned an eco-tour facility at the property so others could enjoy the natural beauty and be inspired.  
"Leave soft footprints" was her instruction when it came to considering development.

Ginny had a dream of a family vacation spot with thatched palapas over the water, sustainable tourism practices, and helping indigenous people with education and respect.
She also believed there may be items to help health in the rain forest that might be of interest to  Western Medicine.  

But it was health that posed the greatest challenge.  Ginny has been battling a medical condition for the past two years, and so substantial progress has been halted awaiting her recovery.
Day eco-tours and other low impact activities have commenced.

Ted Hannig - frequently visits Bocas and oversees the property management, is an attorney and co-trustee of the ownership group.  
He owns his own law firm, Hannig Law Firm LLP, in "Silicon Valley" that has the highest independent rating available for both skills and ethics.
He started his business and legal career after studying international business and business law at the University of Tokyo as an apprentence  for one of the world's largest corporate CEO's in helping him evaluate venture capital investment in medical technology.  He earned his law degree and MBA from the University of Santa Clara.  He is involved in supporting over 100 charities, sits on the board and has founded and co-founded several charities.  The scholarship program he proposed to celebrate the birth of his daughter has helped over 300 high school students with scholarships totaling over $1 million.  Ted has always had a passion for nature, particularly reef and ocean environments.  He handled the original acquisition of the 100- acre Dolphin Bay Preserve property.  Questions regarding ownership or development of the property may be sent to him at or you may call him in the US at (650) 482-3020.

Dawna Knapp - Our naturalist guide and project manager received her Masters’ Degree in Environment and Community from Humboldt State University in 2003, and is committed to enhancing the ecotourism experience by involving participants in hands-on, experiential education. With nearly ten years of experience in the ecotourism industry, she is fully capable of helping tourists understand their impact on the environment and finding ways to minimize their Ecological Footprint, not only while traveling but in all daily activities.

Dawna frequently volunteers for the Smithsonian, working directly with Marlon Smith, the Education and Outreach Coordinator. She visits schools in the area to provide local students with environmental education, including species identification and the Three R’s – Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.

Alexis Simon - Our boat driver is well trained to maintain a safe distance from dolphins and wildlife. He is a local who has navigated these waters all his life.

Santiago Jiménez - Our caretaker is a member of the Guaymi branch of the Ngöbe tribe, and he has worked on the farm since 1971.

Elva Jiménez - Santiago's wife demonstrates how she makes mochila bags from local fibers, and bowls and handicrafts from the calabaza gourd. All proceeds from the sale of these arts and crafts go to support the women’s cooperative of Shark Hole.

Artola Lopez - The assistant caretaker keeps the trails and facilities of Dolphin Bay Preserve well-maintained.

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