We could not possibly allow this day to pass by without paying tribute to the AMAZING Francine Roy. She is the owner, creator, hostess, imagination, heart and soul of Urraca Private Island. If you have had the pleasure of meeting this woman… you know what I mean!
The Birth of Urraca Private Island
This French-Canadian woman gave up her corporate career and set off on a sailboat by herself many years ago. She eventually landed in Bocas del Toro, Panama. Short story – she saw a beautiful clump of trees coming out of the sand beneath the water and envisioned this incredible fairyland resort. Not only does she welcome visitors from all over the world to her magical mangrove… she also rescues monkeys (and one kinkajou).
She is known for her infectious smile and the twinkle in her eye! Francine has an incredible zest for life and boundless energy. She has a heart that loves completely – people, animals, and the planet.
We first met Francine when we arrived as guests for our honeymoon in December of 2016. At that time, had no idea that a four-day vacation would change our lives so profoundly. I laid in bed wide awake our first night here at Urraca Private Island. When Mark asked me why I couldn’t sleep, I tried to explain to him the overwhelming feelings and thoughts I was experiencing. It was just beyond the scope of my imagination that a single woman could come to a foreign country, all alone, and create something as beautiful and wonderful as this resort. She lives in the middle of nowhere with a bunch of monkeys and loves every single second of it! I was in complete awe of her bravery and her accomplishments… and that admiration has only grown.
She has created relationships with the nearby indigenous Panamanian people – Ngobe Indians. Francine has employed them and helped to infuse monies into their community. She has taught them new skills they can take with them in life.
Francine is an incredible chef. The food is one of the most talked about benefits of staying here at Urraca Private Island.The meals served here at Urraca, from a tiny little kitchen, are among the greatest I’ve ever eaten. She has unbelievable gift for food presentation and makes every meal look like a work of art.
She has rescued countless monkeys through the years and mourned every single one that she couldn’t save. Francine knows the personalities, likes and and dislikes of each and every one of them. She would go hungry before one of her monkeys ever missed a meal.
Mark and I are fortunate to call Francine a close and true friend. We will celebrate her special day here at Urraca Private Island with a nice dinner, some rum, and some Neil Diamond music.
Happy Birthday, Francine. This world is a better place because of you.