Every day we hear or read on the news and social media how business and ecological preservation are at odds with each other. Oil pipelines, dams, industrial manufacturing developments, and Gran Turismo resorts promise progress and economical well being at the expense of our planet. The general sentiment is that this is a zero sum game where you can either have a profitable, first class business or you can be ecologically and socially responsible.
However, we at Jicaro Ecolodge think differently. The corner stones of our business model at Jicaro Ecolodge, and of the Cayuga Collection in general, are sustainability and luxury. We believe that it is possible to have the best of both worlds and our actions speak louder than words.
Jicaro strives to reconcile a taste for luxury living with a consciousness of the environment. The showers in each of the nine lakefront bungalows are heated by solar panels, and the rooms are cooled by cross ventilation rather than air conditioning, and our 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.
This measures however don’t take away form our guests’ luxury experience as our little Island offers a full service spa, a saltwater infinity pool, a sunset-facing yoga deck and a fancy alfresco restaurant where the chef can customize a dinner menu from local ingredients.
In collaboration with US-based Earth Equilibrium, Jicaro has developed a community-based outreach program focused on the support and implementation of educational projects that encourage sustainable community development. At the forefront of these projects you can find the Padre Nello School.
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.
You can mix business with sustainability, we are a living proof of that. All you need is to commit truly to an idea and an aspiration, with out compromising the core values you started with.