La Mariposa Spanish School & Eco-Hotel in Nicaragua

La Mariposa Spanish School & Eco-Hotel in Nicaragua

Since the beginning the Mariposa has tried to co-exist in a way that both contributes to the local community and to the surrounding environment whilst also being aware of the need to keep our own "footprint" to a minimum. The creation of community feeling within the Mariposa itself is a crucial part of what we hope to achieve - but, of course, this needs the commitment of all of the staff and the guests to work. The animals too are part of that! We ask everyone to try and be aware of the effect of each and every decision that we take and how it might affect the community and the environment.

Practical Information:

  • The power for electricity is solar. We have 9 solar panels on the roof and they provide the power for the fridge, internet, TV, lights and fans. The electricity is stored in batteries (you can see them in the classroom just off the entrance) and it does run out, especially when the hotel is full. It is really important to remember to switch off fans and lights when you are not in your room and please donīt switch anything on unless necessary. In case of solar power failure we do have commercial power back up but this can take a few minutes to come on.

  • A great deal of power goes into charging up computers, iPods etc - please try and keep this to a minimum. Please DO NOT use your computer as a kind of comfort teddy bear, use it only when really necessary. A good idea is to not leave a computer on whilst you are chatting!!!

  • The wireless internet connection is switched on from approx 7.00am to 6.00pm daily. We do not leave it on overnight in order to save solar power but if you need it on for longer please ask. You are welcome to bring your own laptop or use the office computer for short periods.

  • Water is becoming a huge problem in la Concepcion (as in the rest of the world). We have built a latrine which is perfectly sanitary and uses absolutely no water. Please use it whenever possible. We try and achieve a balance between keeping the hotel clean but not over-using detergents, disinfectants etc. Your used shower water is collected in a special tank, used to water the garden - we ask you to help with this by using organic products in the shower. A rainwater collection and storage system has been installed.

  • Hot water for showers and washing is also solar heated. In very sunny weather it can get really hot. Clothes washing is done by hand - the kitchen staff will do it for you for a small charge or we can show you how to do it.

  • We buy whatever we can locally and try and avoid imported goods (an exception is the boxed house wine which comes from Chile). The materials used in construction (the building was completed in 2006) were locally sourced and the furniture is all made in the nearby town of Masatepe. It is often very difficult for artisan workers to find markets for their goods so we buy as much from them as possible - we also have a small shop within the Mariposa where students can purchase a range of local produce from honey to wooden jewelry (great for last minute gifts). Food supplies are bought from local farms, the co-operative store in San Juan de la Concepcion and the market in Jinotepe - this is a more expensive option than going to the supermarket but again allows us to support the local community.

  • We have planted over a hundred trees on our small piece of land, including ceiba, guanacaste and cedro, to replace some of the wood we have used.

  • The Mariposa organic farm has been going for about a year - it has been hard to get going but we aim to grow as much of our own produce as possible and hopefully have some left over to donate to the Panama school. We have produced our own excellent coffee, kidney beans (part of the staple diet in Nicaragua), oranges, bananas and a range of vegetables. We keep free range hens, turkeys and ducks to provide fresh eggs. A wormery provides organic compost.

  • We serve mostly vegetables, beans, pulses, eggs, cheese, rice etc with fish and chicken for those who want it twice a week. The menus at the Mariposa are largely driven by what is in season and available - so you may see a glut of salad leaves or beets! We do a weekly shop at the Jinotepe market and keep supermarket shopping to an absolute minimum. Meals are served buffet style (breakfast between 7.15am and 8.00am; lunch at noon; dinner around 6.30ish - it is announced by the ringing of a Swiss cow bell!). Please - if you are at the front of the queue bear in mind those behind you and donīt take more than your fair share. Second helpings are often, but not always, available.

  • We sell Nicaraguan beer and wine (boxed, from Chile). The Nicaraguan rum is very good but currently boycotted because of the use of pesticides which is having an adverse effect on the sugar cane workers (we have information available on this in the Mariposa).

  • We are an eco-hotel and so we do not set out to eliminate all insect life as they are an important part of the food supply for many birds, bats etc. That is NOT to say we are opposed to killing individual mosquitoes who may be about to do you harm though it is worth mentioning that mossies are not too much of a problem during the dry season i.e. December though to May. But do bring your mosquito nets and DEET (non toxic insect repellents are non toxic but less effective). Because we have a lot of wildlife here including lizards, bats, birds, frogs, spiders many insects (including mosquitoes) are naturally controlled. Other insects which you may not want to meet are scorpions (they are not poisonous here but you would not want to be bitten by one) and the pico caballo (spiders which look like tarantulas but are smaller and brown not black - they are completely harmless). Should you come across anything you donīt want in your room just ask one of the Mariposa staff to remove it. Many of our light bulbs are yellow - this color is deliberate as it repels insects and stops them being attracted to the building at night. Plus they are low energy.

  • As much as possible we fix or recycle - for example plastic bottles are used to house decorative plants on the patio! Stuff that would be thrown away in the USA is mended here and there is a lot of "natural recycling" in Nicaragua. Rubbish on the streets is a problem, especially plastic bags, but Nicaraguans actually generate very little rubbish or pollution compared to Westerners. But please try and help us here by not buying snacks in plastic or aluminum foil packets. They take forever to biodegrade.

The dining room at La Mariposa Spanish School & Eco-Hotel in Nicaragua

The grounds at La Mariposa Spanish School & Eco-Hotel in Nicaragua
Flowering plant in the garden at La Mariposa Spanish School & Eco-Hotel in Nicaragua

A room at La Mariposa Spanish School & Eco-Hotel in Nicaragua
The terrace and veranda at La Mariposa Spanish School & Eco-Hotel in Nicaragua

Flowering plant in the garden at La Mariposa Spanish School & Eco-Hotel in Nicaragua

La Mariposa Spanish School & Eco-Hotel in Nicaragua Statnekov Internet Consulting