Sustainability For A Vibrant Future
The Construction Of A Sustainable Lodge
Giving Fallen Timber A Second Life
Built entirely from timber reclaimed from trees blown down by Hurricane Felix, the buildings and furniture at Jicaro Island are made of tropical hardwoods — which have FSC / Rainforest Alliance Wood Certification.
Great care was taken whilst building Jicaro to maintain the existing character of the Island and the lush vegetation. None of the large trees were cut or boulders moved.
In September 2007, hurricane Felix landed on Nicaragua’s North Atlantic Coast. Instead of losing strength on landfall Felix gained strength and travelled West leaving in its trail more than one million hectares of devastated rainforest.
There was little loss of human life and little was reported about Hurricane Felix in the international press, but the environmental impact on the Nicaraguan forest was huge.
Simplemente Madera, designers and builders of both furniture and buildings in Jicaro, was already supporting sustainable forestry with the indigenous communities in the hurricane affected areas before the devastation. After the hurricane Felix, working with environmental organizations, local communities and government agencies, Simplemente Madera worked to recover fallen timber and transform it into furniture, buildings and crafts.
Jicaro Island is one of the results of these initiatives. Built entirely from timber reclaimed from trees blown down by Hurricane Felix, the buildings and furniture are made of tropical hardwoods which have FSC / Rainforest Alliance Wood Certification.
Great care was taken whilst building Jicaro to maintain the existing character of the island and the lush vegetation. When building, contractors did not remove any of the large trees or boulders and so the land dictated the form of the resort.
Conservation & Community
Our Sustainability Mission
At Jicaro Island, we believe in sustainable travel — and hospitality practices that look after the environment and also benefit the local community.
The facilities were built with minimum impact to the island and with very careful planning in terms of water supply, waste water treatment and electricity usage.
Some of our sustainability initiatives include:
- Water is filtered for drinking (so no plastic bottles go 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 we have a strong recycling program, our focus is to reduce — bring as little trash to the island as possible.
- Wastewater is treated on the island with a treatment plant complying with internationally accepted standards.
- 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.
- Pigs and chickens
And when it comes to our Island Community, we:
- Provide education to local communities on sustainable practices
- Hire local staff — which is essential to the success of Jicaro Island. We want to spread the potential wealth that tourism brings to Nicaragua by hiring local employees, buying local goods, and supporting local businesses and farmers.
Supporting Padre Nello School
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.
SOLAR PANEL PROJECT
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 our 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 in the classrooms as well as the community health center.
Not only will 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 our Jicaro guests!
If you want to support this community project you can do it by delivering your donation during your check out in Front Desk.
Our Sustainable Food Projects
At Jicaro Island, we take great care to source local produce wherever possible — for our restaurant, and for the surrounding island communities.
Jicaro Island 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.
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 our meals!
Jicaro constructed a small 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.
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!
As part of our sustainable philosophy, the support of clean energy technologies is a key facet of our work. 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, please let us know!