Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America, located between Honduras and Costa Rica and between the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. The Pacific region is the most populated and holds natural beauties like Lake Cocibolca (home to Ometepe Island) and Lake Managua. The Caribbean region - on the Atlantic side - is home to 20% of the population with tropical forests and lagoons. 39% of Nicaragua's surface is covered by forests, including rainforest reserves with a rich biodiversity of birds and native wildlife. Nicaragua's weather has 2 seasons every year: Summer (or dry season) from November to April, and rainy (or green) season May to October. Nicaragua's culture is very easy going yet lively. Nicas (an affectionate short for "nicaraguans") are friendly and welcoming, and are very proud of the country's heritage and traditions. The country's civil society is very active and organized, considered one of the most organized in the Americas. The local economy relies heavily in agriculture and cattle raising (22% of GDP). Crops with highest productivity include coffee, tobacco, peanuts, bananas and sugar. Small farmers are dedicated to the production of coffee, corn, and beans for local consumption. Dairy products, processed meat, fish, and poultry provide a significant contribution to the national economy. Communications, real state, and tourism have grown steadily in recent years and are considered key areas of opportunity for the country's development.
Xiomara is UP Nicaragua's founder and a social entrepreneur, she has been living in Granada for the last 10 years where she co-founded The Garden Café and the Thousand Cranes shop, both businesses generate 30 full-time direct employments & work to promote positive community impact as well as tourism industry sustainability. In 2011 Xiomara had a revealing experience in her restaurant, which made her aware of the vulnerability girls face in Nicaragua, especially in tourist destinations. This experience pushed her to reach out to other members of the community and businesses, since then she has been contributing to the protection and empowerment of girls through education. In 2015, Xiomara founded Unleash Potential Nicaragua, a non-profit social enterprise with the mission to educate, empower and inspire low-income Nicaraguan girls and with the vision that UPNicaragua girls become conscious, educated and dynamic women with bright futures who want to and are able to contribute to the development of Nicaraguan society.
Café Las Marías was started by a family that has worked in coffee for many generations. She started Cafe Las Marías to offer specialty coffee from bean to cup. Their mission is to offer consumers an authentically Nicaraguan coffee experience and offer multiple methods of infusion, not just the espresso machine that is offered in typical coffee shops. In our shop we keep an open concept where you can see everything from the roasting to the preparation of our coffees.
Karla Jaimes is the founder and owner of Charlie's: Handmade accessories and crafts. She has a passion for handmade products and all things creative. She is nicaragüense por gracia de Dios and has been working since she was 15. She is married and has a beautiful 2-year-old baby. 3 years ago she started her business: Charlie's, as a way to generate additional income. She took a course to learn how to make bows and very soon her clients started asking for customized designs. Her dream is to make people fall in love with creating beautiful products with their own hands and to share her creativity with visitors
El Perezoso is a community tourism agency that started four years ago in Leon from a multicultural group with the objective to promote community and rural tourism in Nicaragua.
Our goal is to provide unique experiences to travelers and provide a positive footprint to the communities we work with. We try to merge the tourist industry principles with the principles of economic and social development with the purpose of supporting local communities.
Doña Lupe and her family live in the community of El Tambo in Tola Rivas. Surrounded by natural beauty and diverse flora and fauna they enjoy sharing their livelihoods with people who visit their farm and teach you about the functionality of a rural farm in a sustainable and community setting.
Berna Flores loves nature, and when she started her own business she was inspired by her experiences visiting a family farm every weekend where she became fascinated by the diversity of plants available in Nicaragua. She is now an expert on trees and plants that grow locally. Her motivation was always to replicate the landscapes she had seen in her very own garden, but the lack of a wide space became a challenge. This gave her the idea to start a miniature forest in her home with bonsai trees and exotic plants and she became so passionate about it that it turned into a business: Epifania.