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As an ongoing effort to celebrate the many people that make San Juan del Sur such a vibrant and thriving community, we sat down with our in-house Spanish teacher, Ceidy Granados, to discover more about her life, work and inspiration.



“My name is Ceidy Granados. I’m a Spanish teacher in San Juan del Sur. I’ve lived here my whole life. I love the Nicaraguan beaches, the mountains and the tranquility. My favorite activity here in my hometown is the canopy tour. And my favorite spot in the country is the Corn Islands.

I choose to be a Spanish teacher, because I like to teach and meet people to learn about their cultures. Also: I needed a job. I think it’s difficult for a person who comes from another country to communicate without knowing the language, so I’m happy I can help them learn Spanish. I’ve been teaching in SJdS for 13 years with students of all ages, including children. I don’t only teach in a school, I give private lessons, too.

Three of my current students stay at Casa Oro. And I come to the hostel for their  lessons throughout the week.  I like teaching private classes, because I get to leave school routine. We can go to the park and walk around the city. Some advice I give my students is to make friends with locals to improve their learning. I’d describe my teaching as dynamic and patient. The class is structured around every students level.

I want to teach for the rest of my life, because I love what I do. My dream was to study International Relations, but because of the economic situation I will not be able to go to college. I realized I was able to interact with people from all over the world without having studied International Relations by becoming a teacher.

My mom has inspired me most in my life, because even though my dad left us when I was a small child, she was always able to provide for us, despite the difficult times. I’m passionate about being with my family – and visiting church. My greatest strength is my love for others. My biggest weakness is sentimentality.

I wish to have a business of my own in the future. With the help of God…”

Ceidy offers both private and group Spanish instruction for students of all levels in the comfort of Casa Oro Eco Hostel, Casa Andalucia and Nuestra Casa Boutique Bed & Breakfasts. For more information regarding classes and scheduling, please contact the Casa Oro front desk. 

Meet the Travelers: Gillian and Alex

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Gillian and Alex enjoying their time at Casa Andalucia.

The inspiration behind everything that we are building has always been about the people. We’re not seeking to add ourselves to the already overcrowded bandwagon of tourism for the pure sake of profit, but we are seeking to cultivate a community of people who share our ideals of living of a life that is simple, holistic, sustainable and fulfilling.

We are full of so much gratitude for the people that have come to experience the beauty and chill vibe of San Juan Del Sur and that they’ve decided to invest in us by making our bed and breakfast establishments apart of that experience. Most recently, two beautiful souls drifted into Casa Andalucia and it was such an honor to have the opportunity to connect with them during their 2 week stay.

Gillian and Alex had such generous spirits and it was refreshing to meet a couple trekking around the world with the purpose of building a community not only for themselves, but to support the healing of this planet and uniting the people.

It’s a pleasure to be able to share this short interview with two of our favorite guests and offer an up close and personal look into why we have initiated this regeneration project and who we are doing it for.


Q: Give me a little information about your backgrounds. What are your current professions?

A: We wear a lot of hats! Alex and I both freelance- he works in finance and I write and teach yoga. We started a dating profile writing service last year,, where we help people find love online. We also run a couples travel blog and facebook group

Fortunately, we can work from pretty much anywhere in the world so despite our busy lives, we still get lots of quality beach time in. 🙂


Q: What inspired your journey to Nicaragua?

A: We want to buy some land and build an eco-retreat and thought Nicaragua might be the place to do that. It wasn’t a fit for various reasons, so we are now in Costa Rica looking for the perfect spot.


Q: What does sustainable living mean to you?

A: To leave as little of a footprint as possible and, hopefully, leave wherever we have lived a better place. Our dream is to build a sustainable community that will provide our guests with both a respite from the modern world, as well as serve as a center for education and inspiration on ways they can rely less upon the grid.


Q: What do you take away from your experience in San Juan Del Sur?

A: Although San Juan itself can be a little hectic, the beaches and countryside surrounding the town are breathtakingly beautiful and peaceful. There is much to be explored in Nicaragua, but San Juan Del Sur has its own flare of authenticity and that’s what makes it stand out. There is so much potential in what this place can become—what it has become over the years –and it’s going to be amazing to see that progression the next time that we return.


Consciousness: Using Mindfulness to Cultivate World Change

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Akasha taking a moment to ground and connect in a garden located in Granada.

Recognize that your problems (and the problems of the world) aren’t random—they’re present because a larger purpose is trying to unfold through you.

{Awakening to Higher Consciousness, Deepak Chopra and Eckhart Tolle}

Planet Earth and humanity is presently enduring an extraordinary shift. This shift is not just affecting us on an environmental level, but physically, mentally, and spiritually as well. All facets of our existence is being ripped at the seams and as we watch everything that was once familiar to us be broken down by the process of this deep transformation—one questions how we can remain fully present and use this transformation as a catalyst to make changes not only within us, but within world around us. Once we begin to ponder the bigger picture behind the many events that are currently being played out on the world stage and what role we are playing in its production, a universal signal is sent out that we are aware that there is something beyond the mundane surface taking place.

This is the first step along the path of consciousness.

Defined simply, consciousness is the state of being awake and mindful of one’s surroundings. On a deeper level, it’s being in tune with (and responsible for) our own vibration and the vibration of everything around us—be it the sky, the moon, the trees, or a simple rock. It is also being in tune with all that is taking place—the good, the bad, and the ugly. No longer can we stand by complacently and observe the world through rose colored lenses. Political unrest, racial injustice, a depleting water supply and dramatic climate fluctuations are just some the serious issues Mother Nature is using to get our attention, but how far will she have to go to wake us up to the reality that we can no longer continue to use her land indiscriminately?

So it brings us back to the question of: How can we use consciousness to cultivate world change? How can we be more connected with what is going on around us and use that energy to empower transformation? It starts with simply setting the intention. Set a daily intention of raising your consciousness through being aware of the present moment. We as humans alternate between being in stuck in past experiences or worrying ourselves into a future that doesn’t even exist yet. The one way we can nurture change in the world is by being grounded in the now. Yesterday has passed away and tomorrow is yet to come. In this moment, the present is all there is. Exercise fully being where you are.

Once you begin practicing the art of personal awareness—this awareness can then be expanded out into the environment. Make time at least once a week (more if possible) to connect with nature. Take off your shoes and ground your soles to the earth. Stand in the presence of Mother Nature and use your senses to feel the soil beneath your feet and listen to the sounds of the animal life. This simple act of standing in stillness not only deepens your connection with the planet you inhabit, but it deepens your connection within yourself—which is the foundation of consciousness.

Lastly—GET INVOLVED. Find a cause that resonates with you and make a commitment to be of service. Whether it’s volunteering a few hours a week at a community garden, serving food to the homeless at a shelter or going as far as traveling abroad and doing a work exchange on a permaculture farm—there is no better way of gaining a more in depth understanding about the problems of the world than immersing oneself in an experience that will bring one face to face with who and what is being affected.

As we press forward with the regeneration project, we are reminded daily about the importance of using mindfulness to create a space that fosters sustainability, holistic living and a unified community—while also surrendering to the unknown. Transformation can often be a chaotic process, but this chaos is necessary if one desires to shape a new world. Being dedicated to the vision while also remaining conscious of the here and now is something we strive towards—and we challenge you do the same as you move forward on your individual journeys.

Be the change you wish to see in the world.

Reflections of a Collaborator: The Blank Canvas

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Muffa, checking on one of the experimental gardens, with the compost toilet and shade structure in the background.

It’s a special time at Rancho Regeneracion.  So much has come to fruition – the compost, gardens, water well, compost toilet, shade structure, “ranchito”.  Yet there is still so much to be decided.

As someone who wants to have an impact, this is the sweet spot.  There is momentum, there are some basic resources, yet there is plenty of room for creativity.  There is a vision to get behind, but the details are unknown.

It isn’t easy to come into a system like this. It requires a lot of personal accountability, creativity and motivation.  When we arrived, we were toured around, shown what was going on, introduced to who was doing what.  But there was little instruction as to where exactly we would fit into this mix.  Instead, the project leaders empowered us to determine how best we contribute.

And as we’ve found our way – identifying our projects, getting into a rhythm work wise – the unknowns and need for adaptability remain.  The initial purpose of the yurt was to house collaborators on the farm. We came up with a 20-foot diameter design with capacity for 4 bunk beds.  But in our search for bamboo, we could only come up with enough for a 15-foot yurt – too small for a sleeping space.  And so we adapted.  We found a new need and opportunity – to build at one of the highest points on the property overlooking the ocean.  The lightness of the bamboo, and the moveability of a yurt, make it the perfect structure for that location right now.  And so we push forward.

Walking down from the future location of the yurt.

It’s a bit disheveled, but that’s exactly what it is supposed to be.  This flexibility is what makes Rancho Regeneracion so special.  It’s what makes it a group creation – one that is influenced by every hand and mind that comes to contribute.

For some people, this may sound crazy.  It may sound doomed for failure.  But for others, this is what the world needs.  These are the experiments worth testing, that may just result in something special that makes a lasting impact.  We don’t know, but we believe that it’s worth trying.

Reflections of a Collaborator: Coming to Nica

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Sam and Lynn, prior to getting down and dirty in Nicaragua.

My partner, Lynn, and I arrived in San Juan del Sur two weeks ago.  We first met Muffa through mutual friends at Burning Man in early September.  Shortly thereafter, we applied for collaborator positions at Casa Oro and Rancho Regeneracion.

This is our first time working while traveling.  We love to travel – to explore new places and cultures, to meet new people, to be unsure about what each day may hold.  And we also love surrounding ourselves with like-minded people and contributing to something bigger than ourselves.  So we posted a long shot on facebook….

“Friends of FB!  Lynn and I will be traveling abroad for ~5 weeks this Oct/Nov.  We’re excited to surf, and want to contribute our time and energy to the building of a space.  Does anyone know any cool folks building an eco-community/hostel/resort that fits this mold?  Let us know!”

Sure enough, within a few minutes, three friends put us in touch with Muffa.

During our first “official” conversation, I shared my excitement to build a yurt, and Lynn shared her excitement to create art.  It seemed a bit far fetched as neither of us had formal experience with either.  Muffa asked a few questions, and then without hesitation said, “yeah, let’s do it”.  There was a long pause.  We were convinced he must have misread our applications, or misunderstood our level of expertise.  Yet two weeks into being here, I’m in the midst of gathering bamboo poles for the 15-foot diameter yurt, and Lynn’s busy with her second floor mural.

Sam working with the team on the yurt.
Lynn busy with mural #2.

We’re just one example of many when it comes to the experiences of collaborators here.  We see it every day, and it’s affirmed by stories of those past and present – there is mutual trust that we are all curious and capable of learning.  Action is prioritized over excessive planning.  Resources are limited, so everyone is inspired to do the best they can with what they have.

As someone who is mostly guided by logic, I’ve always believed that a thorough to-do list was the key to progress.  But I’m learning here that good vibes and responsibility might go a longer way towards getting things done.


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When travelling around, it is very important to find an accomodation which makes you feel at home. A bed and a breakfast is not enough. Normally, it is the vibe of the place that attracts travellers, people who would like to work or volunteer there, and locals who hang around.

What makes this lodging special, then?

Good value for money. _dsc7811

Price is important, but quality, too. Variety is no doubt the best option. Affordable beds in dorms for the lower budgets, cosy private rooms for the higher ones, an assorted breakfast which offers a different menu every day, a kitchen that allows you to cook your own meals. These ingredients could be considered as core for a winning recipy.




Being away from home is not easy, sometimes, especially if you are away for quite a while. You break up with your routines, but in a way, you miss them, too. Your sports practise, your frequent visit to the cinema, to events or exhibitions, your local bar to hang around with friends… When your accommodation provides you with all this, there is no need for you to feel homesick. It is then when you decide to stay longer than planned.


The bar.


If the hostel offers an engaging public space which is open for outside visitors, it opens up the heart of the place to welcome everyone in it, including the local community. The bar becomes the area for communication, for interaction; it allows conversation to happen under a warm light and inviting music. It is where most events take place and where dancing can keep going until it is time for the quiet ones to sleep.


The vibe.


In the end, it is the atmosphere, the vibe of the accommodation what invites you to take the first step into it, what makes you change your plans and instead of staying for a night makes you keep postponing your check-out. Maybe it is the friends that you have made there, maybe it is the quietness that the space offers you. When you make your way, there is something which stops you and invites you to stay. And we have it. Come and visit us in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua.


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We all have stories that we like sharing with other people. We are made of stories. And when we compare our tales with other travellers, we realise that we are not that different from one another. We are all connected in a way. Of all places, hostels offer the possibility of becoming storytelling centres.

Yamini Benites and Subali (Camila), Brasil.

“We have just finished a course in a therapy called Bioe_dsc8989nergetics. As soon as we were done with our studies, we decided to go travelling . . . Nicaragua had been a dreamt destination for many years. Curiously, our first workshop in meditation has been in Casa Oro.
We have connected here our passion for meditation and for Nicaragua. In the following days, we have invitations to share our knowledge in many
different parts of the country.”


Dane Wobbema, United States._dsc8889


“I broke up with my girlfriend in May, quit my job in June. In the process of starting a business I decided I needed a reset: to learn to surf and to get out of my comfort zone in the States, to move from the mountains to the sea.”

“I walked around the whole town of San Juan del Sur and, for some reason I was drawn to Casa Oro.”






Federico, Nicaragua.

“I don’t have a story, only memories.”

Surfing the nica waves for over 15 years.



Juan Carlos, Argentina.

“My story? How can I start?

I used to live in Calafate, Patagonia. I used to work in a bank.

Last year I travelled to Cuba _dsc8931and this trip left me unquiet. I understood that if I continued with the life that I had I was meant to enjoy only 15 or 20 days of holidays per year. There was a click in my head. It made me untie myself from all the bonds that were keeping me in that position.

It was a progressive change. In the whole past year, the idea of searching a new way of life grew in my mind. Being part of the system allows you less and less freedom.”


Alexandra, United States with a Cuban origin

When I turned 25 last January, I decided it was time for a change. I did not want to keep living the life that I was leading. It was not a bad life, in fact, most people would have been very comfortable in it, but it was too simple for me. I felt _dsc1234that something bigger was missing, as if I were running in circles, doing the same things everyday, with the same people, rushing everywhere.

Talking about travelling and seeing the world was one thing, putting those dreams into action, quite another. Yet I didn’t want to become that woman that I was. Words were not enough for me, so I had to move. The knowledge of a necessary inner healing, together with the urge to start anew and assess myself spiritually, took me to The Sanctuary at Two Rivers, Costa Rica, where I live and work now. I’m a resident yogi, and a plant based culinary intern.

Finding this place so easily and at the right time symbolises for me that it was meant to happen. You can feel it inside. In a couple of months I sold my car, I left my appartment, said goodbye to my friends and family, and shaved my hair to arrive fresh and start anew in the jungle.

In these five months in the jungle, I have experienced that when you grant yourself the gift of time, you can heal, you can get to know yourself, as you have nowhere else to run. You are alone with your thoughts. There is no price for me to that experience because it is magic what happens, it’s the only word I can find to describe it.


Sebastian, Uruguay.


“I was travelling from San Juan to Rivas, destination Ometepe. I was listening to an Argentinian band, La Renga, on my loudspeaker, because I had no headphones. That made a guy from Argentina talk to me. We got involved in a random conversation and he ended up convincing me to apply for a volunteering position in Casa Oro as bar attendant. That was Ezequiel, who was changing his position at the bar to start working at Rancho Regeneracion project.”


Ezequiel, Argentina_dsc9119

“I was robbed in Granada. All my money was gone. Some people at the hostel there told me that I could easily find a job was in San Juan del Sur, so I hitchhiked to San Juan.

As soon as I arrived, I started asking everywhere for a position as a volunteer. I was offered to work at the bar in Casa Oro. But I needed to make money, too. It was low season, so the best I could find was a restaurant that gave me a meal in exchange of bringing them customers at the shout of “almuerzos, almuerzos.”

It was a fun period, working at the restaurant during the day, and at the bar at night time. But I changed my volunteering position, moving to the permaculture project. I am an environmental engineer, so I wanted to know better the work that it is done there. I was eager to learn about the compost and all the processes that were taking place at “la finca”, as we call it. At the same time, I felt I could help with my experience and knowledge in the field. I do not bring customers to the Asador Areliz anymore, but I sell sweet cakes all around San Juan after I finish work at Rancho Regeneracion”


Pilar, Spain

Myself, the person who is writing about everyone else.

“My life is a continuous_dsc8856 contradiction, an everlasting dichotomy. I always want to stay in a place, but at the same time, move somewhere else.

I have spent the last month and a half volunteering at Casa Oro, being part of the different projects that they are carrying out. On the one side, I want to continue working in San Juan del Sur, seeing the seeds develop into something bigger. On the other side, I want to continue travelling, exploring, moving. As said, a neverending contradiction, an ongoing tune in my head: should I stay or should I go?”


Casa Oro Lounge & Cultural Center “Tonatiuhichan”

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Tonatiuhichan, the Sun’s house in the Mexica’s mythology, gives name to our new space on the top floor of Casa Oro. After a regeneration of the bar, our new spot has been progressively filled out with music and cultural events. In the two months that the cultural programme has been running, we have hosted photography exhibitions, live music, poetry readings and cinema nights, all free of charge, extending the invitation to anyone who wanted to join us.


We have welcomed artists from all over the world to share their stories with our audience. There has been regular gigs every Thursday and Saturday, and jam sessions on Fridays. We have built a loyalty from travellers and locals who attend our rooftop terrace looking for quality events. Songs have been sung in many different languages, the languages of the world, and we have connected with each other, irrespective of our origins.julians-photo-exhibitionjam-sessionsdiego-flyer








Cinema nights started with a selection of Latin American awarded films, as we considered that many travellers could be interested in knowing more about the countries that they were visiting. We started the screenings with The Motorcycle Diaries, a film that reflects the spirit of many of us. “Let the world change you… And you can change the world”.


We chose fairly recent films, so as to show what it has been done in Latin America in the last years, to prove the quality that our cinema has. We included works whose original language was not Spanish but minor languages, such as the Amazonic ones in El Abrazo de la Serpiente, the Mayan language kaqchikel in Ixcanul or guaraní in the Paraguayan Siete Cajas. We wanted to show our audience the diversity of the Spanish-speaking countries, to illustrate through the film industry the topics that concern not only directors or script-writers but the majority of the population. We have laughed and cried with these films. But above all, we have learned.


Locals and travellers have met in our cultural space “Tonatiuhichan” to interact and realise that their stories, their dreams and their preocuppations connect them in a special way. And we are happy to have provided San Juan del Sur with a place that was so much needed, a centre with a “special vibe”, as many stoppers-by have described it.


Thanks to everyone that has made it possible!


See our progress on Facebook:

and Instagram:

Rooftop Regeneration

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Within Casa Oro, our home for the budget friendly backpacker, our rooftop has served as both a chill bar in the evening and a space of relaxation during the day for yogis, musicians, book-lovers and hammock swayers.

Now we’re turning it up a notch. Much of what we love about our space will remain the same – our chill, relaxed and happy vibe isn’t going anywhere. Only new celebratory elements will find themselves discovered: celebration of the arts – visual, spoken and performance – celebration of finer refreshments: think wine, champagne and artisanal beers – and celebration of regenerative living at its fullest.

The transformation of our humble home on the roof into a cultural center of regeneration is our invitation to you – and the whole expansive world – to join us in our soul-fueled mission of regeneration: for Mother Nature, communities, economies and all of our human spirits.

Celebrate transformation with us on our regenerated rooftop terrace. This is only the beginning. 

Brushstroke by Brushstroke

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Without art the earth is incomplete, and we feel the same for Nuestra Casa, our newest home created for travelers, by travelers. We envision a place where the world feels not only welcomed but inspired by nature and moved to immerse themselves among its offerings: its bountiful hills, its glorious waters, its swinging branches, its spacious fields, its sparkling sands. Artists from around the world – from Australia to Spain to Managua – joined us for a weekend-turned-weeklong artistic celebration – a painting party – to celebrate art with a nature-inspired twist.

We dreamt our vision for Art-A-Thon, and very quickly our vision became reality. We invited the artists to eat, sleep and paint in Our House as we wrapped the final steps of our remodeling. Each day, each hour, each moment was a step: a step towards more colorful, vibrant living, a step towards a fuller sense of community, a step towards a hub of inspiration for regeneration.

Art does not belong solely in museums and galleries. The vitality which art brings to culture is transcendent; it transcends the limitations found within our minds, whether these limitations were created by external expectations or from our own biased perceptions. A limitation we find intent to override is the one that separates us from nature; the one that shapes our understanding in such a way that nature is a destination. Nature is a trip to the beach, a hike in the woods, a ride on our sailboat, but more rarely is it something we interact with each and every day from the moment we awake. We believe nature should be a presence that encompasses us from dusk to dawn and for all the moments in between.

On the outskirts of San Juan we are the stewards of 80 acres of land, the foundation of Rancho Regeneración, a regenerative community where things come full circle. The ranch serves as a farm, learning center, and laboratory, closely interweaved with Nuestra Casa and our sister homes Casa Andalucia and Casa Oro, and various initiatives within and surrounding San Juan del Sur. Together, we are regenerating communities, economies, Mother Nature, and, most significantly, the human spirit. The day our artists arrived, they traveled to our ranch to seek inspiration before returning to Nuestra Casa to pour their hearts onto our walls.

Brushstroke by brushstroke, our artists created masterpieces, and for many of them it was the first time their canvases had been walls. Some had only rarely picked up a paintbrush, exploring art primarily through a pencil or pen, or through observing the artwork of their lovers. While many identified as artists, few identified as professionals, yet the art seen on the walls defies their self-proclaimed identities. This was a dream we longed for with Art-A-Thon, and it’s a dream we long for all: to see oneself in a new light; to recognize the potential and capabilities stirring in one’s mind, anxious to burst alive into action. These artists created with us for a reason. You are here for a reason. Art is transcendent. Together, we can regenerate the world. Join us.