GIVING BACK TO EARTH
Ometepe Island Biosphere Reserve is located in Nicaragua’s subtropical zone. Surrounded by the largest freshwater lake in Central America, Lake Nicaragua, Ometepe boasts of a variety of ecosystems. The two major ecosystems, wetlands and tropical rainforests, are characterised by Spanish cedar, janissary, ceiba, guanacaste and evergreen trees. The subtropical climate and fertile volcanic ash enables the growth of many rare and unique endemic species.
Two imposing volcanoes, Maderas and Concepcion, define the topography of the island. Maderas rises up 1,394 metres in the east of the island and still active Conception rises up 1,610 metres in the northwest. The two volcanoes are separated by the isthmus, a flat land formed by the eruption of lava millions of years ago, and give Ometepe a form of an hourglass.
Ometepe´s nature is strong and vibrant, providing a home to a large variety of tropical plants, insects and wild species like howler monkey, white-face capuchin monkey, boa constrictor, agouti, tayra and yellow-nape parrot.
The original tribes, Nicaraos and Mayans, that inhabited the island thousands of years ago, make the Ometepe Biosphere Reserve an important historical site. Mayans regarded Ometepe as their promised land and a sacred island. The prehistoric rock carvings, petroglyphs, found on Maderas volcano date back 1,700 years. Isolated from the rest of the Nicaragua Ometepe feels far away from the rest of the world.
Nevertheless, pesticides, herbicides, lacking sanitation and a loss of wild animal habitat are challenges that are starting to affect Ometepe just like any other parts of the world. Regardless from Ometepe being a protected Biosphere Reserve, the use of agricultural chemicals are not controlled and products like Roundup and Gramoxone are freely sold and used. Information about the dangers of these products are minimal and locals tend to fumigate without using protective clothing or masks. We are actively educating our workforce about the dangers they and our pristine nature face by spraying these toxins.
We are not using chemical products on our land and work toward healing and improving the soil from any previous use of herbicides or pesticides.
We wish to give our visitors an opportunity to experience the deep harmony of our lush subtropical surroundings.
The two magnificent volcanos are visible everywhere on our land and give an energetically powerful, ever-present feature to our location.
We have found a good size petroglyph on our land to be conserved into its original place! After one and half years without use of toxins, a sighting of rare hawks and dancing of hundreds of butterflies are our daily delight.
Currently we are planting more trees and shrubs to create a barrier to protect our land from pesticides and herbicides sprayed by neighbouring farmers. Our aim is to grow fruit and vegetables that fulfil organic standards and plant increasing variety of butterflies and bees attracting plants.
In the future we wish to buy some adjacent land in order to reforest it and provide an undisturbed area for wildlife.
It is also important for us to help the locals improve their sanitation. Currently the small community near our land has it’s dirty water running onto the road and from there with rain water it most likely ends up unfiltered into the lake.