Our beautiful piece of land is situated on one of the northernmost beaches on the Nicaraguan Pacific Coast called “Playa Venecia“. This beach stretches from the Padre Ramos estuary, a protected zone with lots of mangroves and critically endangered Hawksbill turtles, aaaaaalllllllll the way to the fishing village of Mechapa.
Despite some local houses, small fincas and a few expat homes, it is still considered a virgin beach with lots of native vegetation. This kilometer-long and conveniently wide stretch of sand is an important nesting ground for Olive Ridley sea turtles and maybe also for other types of sea turtles… the thing is: we don’t really know the details yet.
Venecia is one of the last spots on the Nicaraguan Pacific Coast which you would call “untouched”. It is at least untouched from tourism, but there have always been people from the local fishing communities living here. As one of the first businesses bringing tourism to this zone, we want to demonstrate that development per se isn’t bad for the environment, and that it can fit into highly sensitive coastal ecosystems if it is done right. Hopefully, we can act as a role model for any future building projects taking place on this very special peninsula, being an example for best practices when it comes to the coexistence of tourism development, community welfare and conservation efforts.
Our land measures around 28.000 m² with a dimension of roughly 115 x 240 m.
It is a totally virgin plot of land, which means: it is covered by seasonally dry forest with spiky bushes and lower growing trees towards the beachfront. Over time, we will eliminate certain invasive and ecologically less valuable species and plant precious ornamental plants and fruit trees as well as trees which give shade year-round.
We have lots of work ahead of us, but we want to do it slow – slow – slow. First of all, we will focus on building our own house and the basic project infrastructure, consisting of a few cabins as well as the community space and kitchen. We will not use all of the available space right at once, because we want to keep the opportunity to expand and improve in the future.
The first thing we did after purchasing our land was contracting a group of local people to build a local-style fence around our property, made out of wooden poles being crafted from the trees growing here. We hope to plant a lot of stuff along those lines and create a “living fence” over time, so that one day, you will not even notice the man-made boundaries any more.
After a one-month stay in my homecountry, we came back to see how the first rains of the season turned our land into a real beachfront jungle! We proceeded to contract some more villagers to build a local-style well, where we’ll get all the water necessary for cleaning, showering and cooking from. At the moment we are still finetuning the plans for our house, and once this is done, we’ll start getting all the necessary permits and developing our volunteer programs. I hope you’ll follow our progress!