Monday, March 24, 2014

La Mariposa Spanish School, Eco-Hotel and Research Center

We took a tour of the Spanish School and went to the top of the hill where there is space for groups do to research.  If you walk, it is 40 minutes from the school to the research center.  At the research center, we saw a building made from rice husks / straw bales stuffed into chicken wire, then cement on the outside and inside.  During excavation for the building, they found clay pots and have built spaces inside to hold them.  The tables are made from a fallen tree.  Noel from Masaya helped with this design.

You can easily see the Masaya volcano from here.  The sulfur fumes limit the kinds of plants that grow around here.  Near the volcano live 500 people, 200 of them children – the air is so bad they really shouldn’t be living there.  There are volcanic rocks everywhere here.  There are five craters of the Masaya volcano.  The sulfur in the air is so strong that it dissolves metal including galvanized roofs, and locks (which may last only 3 or 4 months).  This eruption began in the 1700s and it’s still emitting lots of smoke – it’s in the rain water, so you can’t drink it.  It doesn’t often blow over to the research center.

The research center’s bamboo dorms hold up to 24 people.  The teachers have separate quarters.  There’s no internet, and the lights and shower are solar.  There are tanks above the showers.
They catch rainwater which goes into a big concrete box.  The outhouse holes are very deep – 20 meters – they don’t have an odor.

80% of the veggies and some of the fruit that is consumed at Mariposa is grown on-site.
Back down at the school, we see horses.  Most are rescued, but a few were born here including one baby who is only 2 months old and still nursing.  Guests ride the horses once per week.

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