Two Legs or Four ~
We are all committed to making your stay here unforgettable !
Rancho Chilamate is the realised vision of Canadian expat Blue ~ known locally as Doña Azul. Building from the ground up since 2008, Blue’s passion for Nicaragua, her ranch, her plethora of animals and her peeps shines through every smile. She has plenty of stories to share ~ so maybe it’s worth talking about in the saddle or over a glass of wine.
Check out the recent Travel Channel Episode
Right Hand Man
Carlos has been at the Ranch since day one and even participated in the construction of the Hacienda back in 2008. We seriously couldn’t do it without the multi-tasking, problem solving, know-how of Carlos Sanchez. He lives in the town down the road with his wife Leighla and their five sons. Definitely the perfect right hand man for Blue… maybe even a left too.
Everyone loves Mamasita. Especially the crew here at the ranch. Living proof that age is only a number ~ Alicia saw her 70th birthday a few years ago now and continues to give it her all in cooking, gardening, mothering, cleaning and butchering as required. Her loving hand is in every corner of Rancho Chilamate. And if that wasn’t enough ~ she is one of the matriarchs of her community and is a major player in a Women’s Jam Cooperative in El Carrizal. Her strength, guts and tenacity are continually an inspiration.
Claudia first came to Nicaragua from Switzerland on a trip in 2014. She fell in love and decided to come back for a more permanent stay which brought her to Rancho Chilamate. With more than 20 years of riding experience under her belt, she is a great Head Wrangler and works tirelessly with the our herd and ensures all of our guests enjoy themselves safely on our tours. Claudia can entertain you in English, Spanish, or her native German and she loves to show off our little corner of Nicaragua.
Luke & Katie
Hailing from the UK, Katie and Luke have been working together as an award-winning wildlife & environmental photography and media team for two years. Their stories of working and living around the world – from India, Indonesia, Australia, Zambia, to Singapore, to name a few – is a joyous feature at our nightly ranch table. Cowgirl Katie grew up with horses, having evented until she was 16, and continued the passion through point to point yard during University. Cowboy Luke has been seen to cajole our pigs, Tom the Turkey, Kinkajous, and even his new favorite horse Tequila into contented agreement.
When here, you much join them on their now infamous Night Walks!
Baylee’s curiosity and charisma are infectious. First time outside the US for this cowgirl brings a whole new perspective to life in Nicaragua. After a tenure at the Oregon Equestrian Center, Baylee dreamed of year round good weather and horses. Additionally her experiences in hospitality as a barista and bartender and even as a masseuse provided the perfect CV for Rancho Chilamate. We call this a win-win-win.
Don’t let size fool you. This is little fireball can get things done. Home is Montreal but Shanti has been on the road for a while now and after working with the Gauchos in Argentina she wasn’t prepared to head home without some more saddle time. She says she’s in love with horses, country living and adventures and so Rancho Chilamate is perfect. And a special thanks to Shanti for being our in house translator.
Danny travels daily by moto from San Juan del Sur and brings plenty of experience in small business and hotel operations. Danny is here to keep Rancho Chilamate on track. Not only does he take care of the accounting, all the crazy filing with the local government, running the office ~ he’s helping with business development for both Rancho Chilamate and Big Sky Ranch. What did we ever do before he got here?
Adalijsa joined the Ranch crew a short six months ago, but it feels like she’s been here from the beginning. As the oldest of four kids, with two of her own, Ada knows the ins and outs of taking care of her peeps, of which we are blessed to be a part. Until joining the ranch Ada was a stay at home mom, and she’s excited to use those skills at work, and be an independent woman. Ada has an appetite for learning new things, loves to interact with guests, and represents what Nicaraguan woman are all about. Her motto? ‘Siempre una sonrisa’ (Always show up smiling).
Wrangler, in house Farrier and Horse Lover
Always willing to learn and always smiling ~ Toño is a special part of our team. In addition to teaching himself how to be our farrier, he is working hard to learn English at our weekly ranch classes and we don’t doubt he’ll be your trail guide soon. We are proud of Toño’s continued growth and interested in being the best man he can be.
Wrangler, Guard & Details Man
Our man Franklin has worked here for almost 6 years. In addition to horse care, cowboyin’ and security ~ Frank is our go-to for all those projects requiring special care and an eye for detail. He’s as big as his heart and the ranch just wouldn’t be the same without his giggle and soul.
Cowboy & Security
Giovanni is a cowboy born and bred. He’s only been with Chilamate since last November, but he’s been ranching his whole life. Raised by generations of vaqueros, Giovanni is the real deal. While his duties include security, maintenance and other random acts of getting shit done, Giovanni’s favorite part of being part of the crew is the time he gets to spend with the caballos (horses). His favorite moments are when he accompanies the sunset ride to the beach. ‘Es increible y hermosa'(it’s incredible and beautiful), he says with a long gaze and a deep sigh…And we couldn’t describe what we do better. But take it from Giovanni, ranch life is in his blood.
Jose Andres (aka ITO)
Guard and Wrangler
Jose Andres has been at the ranch since 2014. When ito is added to the end of a name, it doesn’t always mean that a person is particularly small. It’s more often a way of showing affection towards that person. So we think it’s perfect that everyone just calls him ‘Ito’ for short.
Our Little Big Man
Okay ~ so we all know that saying ‘good things come in small packages’ ~ well this incredible small package has a punch and can do things with a machete that would impress anybody. Our Chico has been here at the ranch since conception (2008) and is our ‘dude’ for gardening and stable control. He puts any young man to shame – working every minute of his shift with enthusiasm and conviction ~ and he’s over 70 years old! He’s deaf, he loves coffee, he jokes and works hard. Thank you Chico!
Our Mother Teresa
Teresa, or ‘Tere’, as we call her, has been with the Ranch for over a year now, and she says that as long as there’s work for her, she’ll be here. Tere commits fully to any task at hand, whether it’s preparing an amazing meal with love or beautifying our
beloved premises with her gentle touch and attention to detail. Tere shines every week at our staff English lessons, rocking her new words and phrases with joy. As a mother of three boys, Tere is quick on her feet, and it’s no surprise that her favorite part of Chilamate is that ‘everyday is a new adventure’. She is our Mother Teresa.
Wrangler and Fix It Guy
It is amazing how the Nicaraguans can repurpose, recycle and reclaim just about anything. And not only is Domingo a great cowboy and gatekeeper, he can fix about anything and find creative ways to make things we need to keep the ranch going. His big smile and willing attitude makes him a special part of our team here at the Ranch now for almost 8 years.
With 2 and a half years at the Ranch under her belt, Noelia is an old timer and knows the ropes. With a background in retail, Noe has an aesthetic eye that’s reflected in her work. Noelia has a passion for the kitchen, and as they say in Nicaragua, ‘ella
hace juevo’ (basically she’s a badass). Don’t let Noelia’s patient, soft spoken nature fool you – this chica is a fighter who’s teamwork makes the dream work. Her home cooked ranch dinners will satisfy hungry riders and winded travelers alike, and if you can get a laugh out of her it will make your heart melt.