Where the children play

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We don’t know of habits, but we do know of rhythm. All we see is beauty, all we seek is joy. Food for our senses. Our minds. To create. To be inspired. To share. And to whisper. Or to scream. To tell each other fairy tales. To live them. We dance with bears in the forest. Fight with invisible ninja-raccoons in the nights. Have tea parties with owls, squirrels and birds on the branches of an old tree. We sing quotes from songs and make them parts of our conversations. We find treasures in bins instead of trash.

We collect paint buckets from the streets and use them as wind shelters for our goodies on rooftops. Or as coolers for our beer cans. We build drums from empty juice bottles and pretend that sandwich ice cream boxes made of plastic are wine glasses. We are analog people in a digital world. We bass-hum. And sometimes we try to whistle at the same time. We copy the sounds of howling wolves and crying birds. We try to figure out what a bears kiss would feel like. Or that of a fish. Or of a turtle. We raccoon-sniff behind each others ears. And dance with each others shadows on the beach.

We create constantly changing and yet steady rhythms. We group-snuggle in bunk beds. We praise avocado and papaya. We squeeze as many of us as possible into our hula hoops. We tear flowers from cigarette filters that we pick from the streets. We have chewing-gum chew parties to produce glue. We see mandalas in the shadow of a tree. We make drawings in the sand. Use our fingers to write our names in the sky. And let the wind slowly erase them. We sing out aloud. We peel dry wood to find out what’s hidden underneath the crunchy crust. We spread spices over our meals as if they were fairy dust.

Our excitement for the little, the small, the tiny is contagious. Our enthusiasm mutual. We teach each other how to separate metal can tops from their bodies with our teeth. And make ashtrays shaped like flowers from them. We integrate chewing-gums that are stuck to the ceiling of our bunk beds into our bed design. We splash cups filled with water into each others faces out of a somewhat sneaky mood. We give our foreheads to one and another to think better. We dig and drag our feet through the sand to escape the burning heat on its surface. We walk down the stairs like Cinderella, just without shoes.

We turn around in circles only to feel dizzy in our heads for a while. We have sponge gatherings. We use scarfs as shelters to hide from the wind. We make up words like overwhelmption out of pure happiness. We create earrings from broken zipper pieces. We collect points for every single piece of rubbish that we find. And we win the game when we dunk them into the trash bin from afar. We make sand-spitting monsters from squashed green lime fruits.

We flatten our food and eat it in circles. We fruit-fish our pineapple from the same bowl with our lips. We create a piece of artwork from how we stir paint. We balance on the side of the pavement. Or the yellow line in the middle of the street. We witness how clouds swallow mountains by covering them with their shadows. And how the sun helps them escape darkness and brings them back into the light. We go on missions. Have quests and challenges. We embrace each other when we hug. Our happily ever after exists in each and every moment. With children’s eyes we see, with their hearts we feel, with their minds we discover. That’s what we do. This is where the children play. This is where we’re swept away. With the planet as our playground.

Sending you love from Casa Oro Eco Hostel, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

{slightly edited repost from www.nomadjazzing.wordpress.com}

Action speaks louder than words

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Since there is still a lot of cleaning and work to do in many regions, we kindly invite you to drop off donations at Casa Oro Eco Hostel anytime: water, food (such as bags of rice and beans), clothing, household items (bed linen and sheets) or monetary donations. Also: if you are interested to volunteer and help out on site, please just make yourself known at the front desk. Helping hands are more than welcome.

Together we can make recovery happen. Step by step.


Handing out basic goods in Comunidad de Collado.
Comunidad de Tortuga receiving aid
Cleaning up La Flor
Group of young locals and tourists who helped provide supplies

Spirits are high. Let’s keep it that way!

People of San Juan del Sur: Kristen Claeys

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“I began my yoga teaching journey just under a year ago while living in London, England, then moved away from my home in Austin, Texas, to follow my partner at the time, across the pond. Once we arrived, I found the person I thought I knew a stranger to me. While figuring out my reason for making this bold move, I decided to attend YogaLondon to try to bring peace into my life, deepen my practice – and maybe find my purpose. Little did I know how these first 200 hours of teacher training would change me forever. After realising my life at home was dramatically different than what I felt in my heart, I decided to enroll in a 300 hour yoga teacher training that would take me as far away from London as I could think of: Bali, Indonesia.

Before my travels to Southeast Asia, my grandfather suddenly passed away and I had to return to Texas for his funeral and take care of my grandmother. There my path was becoming clearer. I knew I needed to return to London, move out of my flat and follow my dreams of traveling around the world. So after making a circle around the globe, I returned to the U.S. to find my belongings, shipped all the way from London. Not knowing where my travels would take me next, I knew 5 years ago I had promised myself to travel to Nicaragua and decided I needed to make that a reality.

I arrived to Playa Gigante at the end of April to start a yoga teaching job, I believed was the dream I’d been waiting for. While being at the hotel, I quickly realised the owner and I had completely opposite ideas of what my purpose was while volunteering there; staying true to my heart – and what I’ve envisioned my experience to be – I decided to take a leap staying. Then I followed a couple I had met in Playa Gigante to San Juan del Sur and hoped to find a teaching opportunity quickly.

I fell in love with SJdS instantly. Its vibrancy, the beautiful colours, the mountain setting, its amazing sunsets. I imagined myself teaching yoga in Nicaragua and within one day my inbox had two teaching offerings. One in Granada, the other in SJdS. I chose to stay in San Juan to share my practice at Casa Oro after hearing of the wonderful things the owners visualise this place to be. I’ve been here for many weeks and we’ve been able to fill the yoga classes at Casa Oro with travellers and people from the community. Casa Oro offers classes every day: at 8 a.m. on the first floor and 5 p.m. on the Malecón by the beach, watching the sunset throughout class.

Classes are designed for everyone, no matter where they are in their practice. Our goal is to include the local community. Slowly but gradually this is being accomplished. Casa Oro’s practice of Karma Yoga, selfless actions, of providing free yoga to everyone in the community shows how committed the Circulo Initiative is to giving back to the entire community in SJdS.

I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of something so beautiful!”