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Sustainable Practices of Selva Negra, Nicaragua


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A quick overview of the best sustainable practices implemented by Selva Negra coffee plantation, organic farm and ecolodge in North Nicaragua, in the mountain between Matagalpa and Jinotega. Find more information on the NGO website:

Published in: Environment

Sustainable Practices of Selva Negra, Nicaragua

  1. 1. ECO-LODGE MATAGALPA, NICARAGUA - - (505) 2772 3883 Treating each other and our planet thinking of the future…
  2. 2. SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES Construction Tourists’ awareness Energy Local Heritage Transport / Green Mobility Agriculture and Catering Waste Management Local Development Social Responsibility Water Management
  3. 3. AGRICULTURE & CATERING •80% of restaurant food & beverage is from the organic production of Selva Negra farm: vegetable, fruits, coffee, cacao, cheese, milk, meat…
  4. 4. AGRICULTURE & CATERING •Use of organic pesticide produced at Selva Negra from Limonaria, Malanga, Eucalyptus and Castor oil leaves (among others).
  5. 5. AGRICULTURE & CATERING •Fruit trees all around the property for hotel guests natural juices and morning fruit, but also for the personal consumption of workers and their families.
  6. 6. AGRICULTURE & CATERING •Organic coffee with over 50% shade for better coffee quality and respect of the environment to avoid deforestation.
  7. 7. AGRICULTURE & CATERING •Cows are rotated on different fields to give the ground time to regenerate itself: “intensive pasture ranching”
  8. 8. AGRICULTURE & CATERING •Soda plastic bottles are reused as insects traps. They are filled in with a mixture of coffee and alcohol to capture coffee borers (in Spanish “broca”).
  9. 9. WASTE MANAGEMENT •Organic wastes are used to make composts for coffee plantations. About 7 millions pounds of compost are made and placed every year at the farm. •Regular truck trips are done to collect ashes, cow manure, rice husk and coffee pulps from other surrounding farms as well.
  10. 10. WASTE MANAGEMENT •Coffee pulp is used to feed redworms in order to make humus used then as coffee fertilizer.
  11. 11. WASTE MANAGEMENT •Debris from tree pruning is left on the ground for retaining water and avoid soil erosion throughout the plantation.
  12. 12. WASTE MANAGEMENT •Leftover food of the restaurant feeds the pigs.
  13. 13. WASTE MANAGEMENT •Three biodigestors to convert organic waste (honey water from coffee cleaning, cows and pigs manure, human waste) into biogas and organic fertilizer.
  14. 14. WASTE MANAGEMENT •Although the estate houses more than 400, includes a farm, and an eco lodge, Selva Negra generates less than a 55 gallon drum of trash a week. The rest is all reused and recycled.
  15. 15. WASTE MANAGEMENT •Selva Negra collects utilizes old tires to build stairs throughout the property and makes it easier for workers to walk around.
  16. 16. LOCAL DEVELOPMENT •About 200 local people work permanently at Selva Negra’s coffee plantation, sustainable farm and eco-lodges (sometimes for 3 generations already).
  17. 17. LOCAL DEVELOPMENT •Workers live with their families in houses offered by Selva Negra: 54 well-maintained houses are found in the community.
  18. 18. LOCAL DEVELOPMENT •Selva Negra promotes and sells handcrafts from North Nicaragua and farm workers families. Establishing relationships directly with the artisans.
  19. 19. LOCAL DEVELOPMENT •Selva Negra promotes promotes traditional art, heritage and culture by hosting local dance and musical groups.
  20. 20. LOCAL DEVELOPMENT •Selva Negra supports local educational institutions by providing training to hospitality and agricultural graduates from local universities, offering placements to these students and trainees when possible, and hosting over 2000 Nicaraguan university students in educational day tours of the sustainable farm and ecolodge.
  21. 21. LOCAL DEVELOPMENT •Children of Selva Negra workers are encouraged to develop new skills and services onsite: like wood, metal and mechanical workshops for example.
  22. 22. •Around 70 children go to the farm school. The government provides two teachers, and Selva Negra offers two extra teachers for better education quality. Adventure Travel Agency, from USA, started also to fund one of those teachers. SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
  23. 23. •100% of the personnel in the farm and ecolodge are Nicaraguan. With 99% being local to the neighboring communities and Selva Negra itself. SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
  24. 24. •Scholarship opportunities for continued education are sponsored by Selva Negra and private donators such as Richard and Karol Popkin. SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
  25. 25. •Teenagers are given an opportunity to receive training on computers as well as hospitality internship at the ecolodge. Giving them better job placement chances outside of Selva Negra. SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
  26. 26. •An adult and children's library is available within the community. SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
  27. 27. •Special ONIL wood stoves are installed in workers houses for better efficiency and air quality within the house. SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
  28. 28. •Selva Negra offers a clinic and doctor for the community’s health concerns including health education and community hygiene. SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
  29. 29. •Students are regularly welcomed at Selva Negra to lead onsite research and learn from their best sustainable practices. SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
  30. 30. WATER MANAGEMENT •The farm’s spring water contributes to the beginning of the “Rio Grande de Matagalpa” river.
  31. 31. •An intensive sanitation process is in place to ensure the proper wastewater filtering through a biodigestors and irrigation. WATER MANAGEMENT
  32. 32. WATER MANAGEMENT •Reusing towels program at the hotel to help save water, electricity, soap, and labor.
  33. 33. CONSTRUCTION •Cabanas were well integrated within the forest with green roofs and natural colors.
  34. 34. CONSTRUCTION •Bio-diversity is maintained by preserving natural environments and habitats and enforcing no hunting or deforesting. With the assistance of various local and international organizations, Selva Negra monitors its flora and fauna and use it as a gauge of bio diversity conservation.
  35. 35. TOURISTS’ AWARENESS •During tours of the coffee estate and sustainable farm, guests can get the full experience of integration. This is the best way to understand how the various sustainable projects work together.
  36. 36. ENERGY •The entire estate produces less CO2 than an average American household! Produces 200 tons/year Removes 580 tons/year Credit of 380 tons/year
  37. 37. ENERGY •The ecolodge’s laundry room enforce a variety of energy conservation methods including gas washing machine and limited ironing policy. Restaurant tables have changed to solid wood tops avoiding the use of tablecloths and their ironing.
  38. 38. ENERGY •Selva Negra generates its own power with a hydroelectric turbine sourced from a man-made lake. This eases the dependence on commercially generated energy.
  39. 39. ENERGY •Hot water in the showers is heated with solar panels.
  40. 40. ENERGY •One cabin has been converted to fully solar with solar panels for both electricity and hot water making it energy self-sufficient.
  41. 41. ENERGY •Three biodigestors are on site to produce biogas which is used in the farm kitchen.
  42. 42. LOCAL HERITAGE •Clinic for animals
  43. 43. LOCAL HERITAGE •Different guided tours to learn about the nature and local agriculture: farm tour, animal tour, coffee tour, cacao tour, bird watching, and a night mountain walk.
  44. 44. LOCAL HERITAGE •Eddy Kuhl has studied extensively the history of the Matagalpa region and written several books on these subjects.
  45. 45. LOCAL HERITAGE •Located throughout the estate are many educational murals depicting indigenous history, language and art.
  46. 46. TRANSPORT / GREEN MOBILITY •Horseback riding
  47. 47. TRANSPORT / GREEN MOBILITY •Encourage people to walk through the mountain while respecting nature, observing animals and insects from a respectful distance and staying on the marked trails.
  48. 48. ECO-LODGE MATAGALPA, NICARAGUA - - (505) 2772 3883 Treating each other and our planet thinking of the future…