Honeymoons that Give Back: Jicaro Island Ecolodge, Lake Nicaragua

Today’s Honeymoons that Give Back Feature comes from Lake Nicaragua, on a private island full of romantic, sustainable amenities and abounding in relaxing retreat-minded comforts.  The following information and photos are accredited to Jicaro Island’s EcoLodge’s website.
 
 
 
 
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Jicaro Island Ecolodge is a sustainably run luxury hotel located on a private island, Granada Isletas, Lake Nicaragua, just a short boat ride from a local colonial town. At Jicaro ecolodge hotel you stay in your own luxury two story house, a ‘casita’, raised up above the ground like a treehouse. The nine casitas on the island all have lake views and are only a short walk from the pool, restaurant, and wellness center. You can relax in the private space of your casita with its views of Lake Nicaragua or join other guests in the communal areas. Jicaro Island Ecolodge was built on the premise of sustainability. Just a few examples of how the hotel is sustainable:
    • Water is filtered for drinking, so no plastic bottles going to landfill.

 

    • Water is heated with solar panels for guest and kitchen use.

 

    • No air conditioning is installed on the island. Cross ventilation and ceiling fans create enough of a cooling effect to ensure guest comfort.

 

    • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. While there is a strong recycling program installed, the focus due to the island location is on reducing. Bring as little trash to the island as possible.

 

    • Wastewater is treated on the island with a treatment plant complying not only with Nicaraguan but internationally accepted standards.

 

    • Hiring of a local staff is essential to the success of the lodge. We want to spread the potential wealth that tourism brings to Nicaragua by hiring locals as employees, subcontracting services locally and buying and producing locally.

 

    • Use of organic and biodegradable soaps, cleaning detergents and spa products.

 

    • Chlorine free systems to clean water in the pool.

 

    • Energy efficient lighting and illumination throughout the island.

 

    • Underground electricity system that does not interfere with the surrounding wildlife.

 

    • Low energy bulbs

 

    • Education of local communities in sustainable practices

 

    • Pigs and chickens

 

  • Dinner ordering
Jicaro Island Ecolodge is a member of the Cayuga Collection of Sustainable Luxury Hotels.
 
 
 
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In collaboration with US-based 501c3 Earth Equilibrium, Jicaro has developed a community-based outreach program focused on the support and implementation of educational projects that encourage sustainable community development. Padre Nello School is located just a short boat ride away from Jicaro on the mainland shores of Lake Nicaragua. Approximately 88 children attend Padre Nello School every day, Monday through Friday, from 7:00am until noon. The school has just 4 classrooms: one which is used for kindergarten and the other three for elementary education. Each classroom is used to instruct two different grade levels simultaneously by one teacher.
 
 
 
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One of the primary challenges to providing clean water at Padre Nello is the fact that the school does not have access to any form of commercial energy service. Therefore, the goal of the water filtration project is to introduce a clean technology which utilizes energy generated by solar panels. In addition to providing energy for the new water filtration system, the solar panels will also power a small network of lights and outlets the classrooms as well as the community health center! Not only can this project facilitate classroom instruction, but also the ability for medical professionals to operate vital equipment needed during medical exams. This project has been exclusively funded through the generous donations of the Jicaro guests! The water filtration project was created out of necessity for safe drinking water for the children who attend Padre Nello School. There is currently no access to clean drinking water at the school, so children and teachers are forced to use lake water for all of their daily activities. Once installation is completed, the water filtration system will benefit not only the children and teachers at the school, but also the approximately 600 people living in the surrounding community! People in the community currently rely almost exclusively on expensive bottled water for their daily consumption, so this project will have significant broad-ranging impacts for Las Isletas. This project has been exclusively funded through the generous donations of  Jicaro guests! If you want to support with this community project you can do it by delivering your donation during your check out in Front Desk or alternatively online via the Earth Equilibrium website.
Built entirely from timber reclaimed from trees blown down by hurricane Felix, the buildings and furniture are made of tropical hardwoods which provide a solid and beautiful environment in harmony with the natural setting. The hotel was built with minimum impact to the island and with very careful planning in terms of water supply, waste water treatment and electricity usage. The team in charge of the management of Jicaro has a 12 year track record running ecolodges and sustainable hotels in Costa Rica and has brought this accumulated know how to Nicaragua. Jicaro Island Ecolodge donates a percentage of its profits to support new ideas to implement healthy lifestyle alternatives for members of the surrounding community. The primary goal of these projects is to provide sustainable solutions capable of improving the quality of life of our neighbours.
 
 
 
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CHICKEN COOP
In September of 2013, in cooperation with a local Granada family, Jicaro constructed a chicken coop to provide a new economic alternative for local families who now earn extra income through the sale of organic eggs. The chicken coop is managed by a local Granada family who supplies eggs to Jicaro for use in some of their meals!
EDIBLE GARDEN
In November 2013, Jicaro began constructing a small edible garden to grow herbs and vegetables. The herbs and produce generated by the garden are shared 50/50 by Jicaro and the families who care for the plants.
PIG FARM
In October of 2012, Jicaro purchased a pair of pigs to begin a breeding program. The pigs serve several functions, from providing food for local families to disposing of Jicaro’s organic waste to even serving as a source of energy for cooking!
BIODIGESTER
As part of their sustainable philosophy, the support of clean energy technologies is a key facet of their work. In October of 2012, Jicaro introduced a biodigester to the pig farm which turns pig waste into a form of clean energy. Prior to the biodigester project, the families in this area were cutting down trees and using them as biomass for cooking. In order to minimize both the negative environmental and health aspects of biomass cooking, Jicaro introduced the biodigester! The biodigester is located on the same property as the pig farm and the two projects combined have been able to provide both sustainable food and as well as sustainable energy! The pig farm, bio-digester, and chicken coop are all located just 5 minutes from Jicaro by boat or kayak if you are interested in taking a complimentary tour to see these projects in action!
 
 
 
For more information about booking your Honeymoon that Gives Back at Jicaro Island Ecolodge visit their site today.

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