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La Mariposa Spanish School & Eco-Hotel

HopHost since 27 September 2014

La Mariposa, Spanish School, Nicaragua
La Mariposa, Spanish School, Nicaragua
La Mariposa, Spanish School, Nicaragua
La Mariposa, Spanish School, Nicaragua
La Mariposa, Spanish School, Nicaragua
La Mariposa, Spanish School, Nicaragua
La Mariposa, Spanish School, Nicaragua
La Mariposa, Spanish School, Nicaragua
Address Escuela de Español La Mariposa
Town : San Juan de la Concepción, Masaya
Country : Nicaragua
Facility : Community based tourism
Welcoming swaps : all year long

Go to the website


Telephone number : + 505 866 99455

  • Capacité d’accueil : 8 chambres + 24 chambres chez l’habitant + 18 lits au dortoir

La Mariposa is a great example of a project in responsible tourism implemented and developed by Paulette (from the UK) in 2006 in Nicaragua, in the region of the Massaya Volcano. La Mariposa is initially a school of spanish, but it’s now much more, and is currently becoming a Foundation for Sustainable Tourism and Local Development. All the profits which can be generated by the school / eco-hotel are totally used to support community projects.

Récit de l’expérience de Florie, suivez le lien ci-dessous:
La Mariposa, Non-Profit Hotel & Spanish School

Agriculture & Catering:

  • Food is freshly cooked, mostly vegetarian and much of it harvested on La Mariposa’s organic farm.
  • What is not grown is bought in local markets, avoiding supermarkets.
  • Locally sourced organic coffee is served.
  • Farm and community garden project use and try sustainable methods, such as mixes of nime tree leaves and mixed planting to control pests, watering by hand to minimize wastage, production of their own compost from worms and oxen manure.
  • Chickens and turkeys provide free range organic eggs.

Waste Management:

  • Wastes are recycled.
  • Family-style meals to avoid food perdition.
  • Filtered water is always available to fill up water bottles.
  • Refillable shower gels bottles.

Local Development:

  • La Mariposa puts $3 to $5000 a week into the local economy through wages, homestays and purchases.
  • They ensure constant on the job training in eco friendly ways of hotel management.
  • They are exploring the possibility of transforming the Mariposa into a worker owned and run co-operative.
  • Wages are reasonable (but not high), and workers also receive a month’s paid holiday per year, a month’s wages at Xmas, severance pay and social security.
  • Their goal is to help as many families as possible across the community (rather than pay a lot to a select few).
  • Homestays are with families who are open, friendly and always happy to welcome and chat with students.
  • Locally made jewelry, small paintings, and handcraft in recycled paper are sold directly from the producer.

Social Responsibility:

  • La Mariposa is a small non-profit Spanish school and eco-hotel, all the money collected is used to employ local employees and support more than 15 community projects : bakery and women’s sewing cooperative, computer classes for teenagers, folklore dancing classes for children, providing eco cookers, latrines, potable water and solar panels, reforestation initiatives, teaching literacy to adults, construction of a children’s playground, work together with the national park of Volcan Masaya to set up an eco tourism project…
  • They do not set up their own projects: ideas and initiatives come directly from people in the community and, at their request, they employ people to work with them.
  • An eco-built center serves as a meeting place (and a great location for parties!) for both La Mariposa and local people. Gradually this will build into an environmental education center with exhibitions and demonstrations on, for example, how to produce organic fertilizer from worms.

Water Management:

  • Rainwater is collected during the rainy season.
  • Hotel’s guests are encouraged to reused water from their shower to flush the toilet (a bucket is placed in the shower to permit it).
  • Grey water from showers are collected and filtered.
  • Latrines (dry toilets) for public toilets and cabanas.


  • Locally made out of sustainable wood at the Hotel.
  • At El Piscacho group center, the buildings were built of local sustainable materials such as straw, thatch, recycled tires, bamboo, caniza.
  • Construction of a children’s playground with recycled material.
  • Furniture is sourced from local carpenters who use sustainable woods and fibers such as banana fiber. Blankets in the hotel rooms are purchased from a family weaving cooperative in Leon (there isn’t one in La Concepcion area).

Travelers’ Awareness:

  • Travelers’ awareness is raised during the whole experience on environmental and development issues of Nicaragua though examples with the local community.
  • Also, hotel’s guests are specifically invited to use consciously water and energy are they constitute precious resources.


  • Solar power for fans, lights (with low consumption bulbs), kitchen & bathroom hot water.
  • Use as few large electric machines as possible.

Local Heritage & Biodiversity:

  • An outstanding program of activities take Mariposa students further afield to better understand and discover Nicaragua culture, history, environmental and development issues (the activities are rotating on a monthly schedule).
  • An Ecological Reserve has been established on 5 acres of land, including a frog and dragonfly pond; special planting of fruit and forest trees and flowers to attract and feed birds, bats, butterflies and other insects; planting of rare trees and plants to increase local biodiversity. Iguana, guatusa, squirrels have all been spotted and the intention is to care for larger mammals as well.
  • Vegetal nursery to provide trees and plants for reforestation in the surrounding communities.
  • Rescued animals and wildlife habitat: around 50 dogs rescued from the streets, rescued horses (work just once a week offering Sunday morning rides), cats, monkeys, parrots…

Transports & Green Mobility:

  • Hotel’s guests are invited to use public transportation.
  • Many activities include hiking or horseback riding.

Welcome to Nicaragua,

We look forward to welcoming you !

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