By: Margaux de Borchgrave & Laetitia Van Hoecke
Fotos Ana Gabriela Chavez
Nicaragua has been experiencing an ecological crisis. In the last five years, deforestation has doubled*. Nicaragua has lost 78% of its forest in the past 60 years. On top of that, the use of agrochemicals like Roundup increased 500% in the last 20 years, contaminating the water sources, the soil, and human health.
To bring local solutions to a global issue the brand new “Eco-Cultural center Apapachoa,” just opened its doors in the middle of the natural reserve “El Bajo,” below the dramatic hills of El Crucero a unique landscape in Nicaragua. It is located just about 30 minutes from busy Managua in the rural community of Santa Julia.
Apapachoa in Nahuatl, the original indigenous language of Nicaragua means “to hug with your soul.”
What is an eco-cultural center? It’s a place that promotes arts, music, sports as well as organic, bio-intensive agriculture and permaculture. In brief, it is a cultural center in the middle of a 2300 acres jungle trying to reach sustainability based on three axes: the agriculture, the cultural center, and the eco-tourism.
The center will also offer different types of agriculture-related workshops and art masterclasses throughout the year open to whoever would like to learn about ecological and environmentally friendly techniques. For example, on the 26th and 27th of November, you can sign up for a weekend workshop in Bio-construction where you get to learn how to build a Geo-dome made out of bamboo. The programs always include activities like camping there, eating together, connecting with the community and participating in yoga, capoeira or music class. Soon you will be able to see on our website a full calender of activities and workshops for the next six months.
The multicultural pioneer group who moved to Apapachoa to start the project includes funky musicians, passionate ecologists, diverse artists, yogis and ambitious social entrepreneurs. With all their skills they teach a variety of classes open to the community and the public such as yoga, music, percussions, capoeira, art, permaculture and English.
What the center wants to share with you is the “Apapachoa” experience, it’s about young people living a different kind of life, away from the city, reconnecting with nature, with our basic needs and mostly sometimes just to reconnect with ourselves.
Apapachoa also welcomes volunteers from all around the globe to join their extended family, to come live and share this experience with them. The Apapachoa volunteers work about 4 hours a day in all the areas of the center. Helping on the farm, giving classes to the kids, participating in the community kitchen, helping building eco-constructions, etc. During their stay, they will be able to enjoy and participate in all the activities offered by the center and visit the area. The volunteers stay in eco-houses overlooking an incredible landscape of the jungle.
Laetitia, one of Apapachoa’s first volunteers, describes her experience as a “well-needed retreat from her former busy life. Bringing her deep learning where she learns things she didn’t know about nature and herself”.
Contact us on our website: www.apapachoanicaragua.com,