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The first decision was to buy land from someone of like-mind with a significant level of commitment to Nicaragua. Nica Dev is Nicaragua’s first solar-powered community and features over 140 acres of green space between the lots, a 450 acre private reserve, a committed reforestation project (over 90,000 trees to date).

We were also very conscious of the environment during construction of the ranch and with the ongoing operation.


In Our Hood…










  • 100% of our employees are from the immediate local communities.
  • Rancho Chilamate sponsors local sport teams to support efforts to keep locals involved in productive activities.
  • We make financial contributions to numerous requests for assistance with medical and education costs through our COMMUNITY FUND – funded in part by our horseback riding tours.
  • Support local efforts to clean up and beautify the area – with special acknowledgement to Paso Pacifico for their continuing efforts to change the environment through local education.

During Construction

  • The entire construction crew was hired from the two villages nearby.
  • We used recycled roof tiles.
  • All building materials were sourced in Nicaragua, including flooring, electrical and plumbing.
  • Local wood and sand was delivered by oxcart whenever possible.
  • Wood was purchased with permission from the local authorities to be harvested, cut and pulled out of the forest by oxen.
  • All iron work was supplied by a local fabricator in our village.
  • Doors and windows were supplied by a local carpenter.

Ranch Operation

  • Electricity for Rancho Chilamate is provided by solar energy.
  • We have drilled our own well and water is pumped to our holding tanks.
  • We burn our own paper trash and participate in the plastics recycling program in San Juan del Sur.
  • Clothes are dried on a line… direct solar power.
  • Rainwater management includes the use of trenches to channel heavy amounts of rainfall thereby reducing soil erosion.
  • Gardens and landscaping maintained without the use of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides with the use of homemade natural solutions to combat certain insects (garlic, onion, chili pepper solution).
  • Where possible, we buy products directly from the local community.
  • Rancho Chilamate has its own organic vegetable garden including fruit trees and herbs.

It is our goal that the longer we live here, the greater our involvement in, and commitment to, our community will be.