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El Zopilote Organic Farm welcomes you to the mini yoga fest in Ometepe Island, Nicaragua. You will have the chance to practice yoga every day with different teachers, take part in some workshops, and join a ceremony during the holiday while staying overnight at a charming accommodation with wonderful surroundings. Come and make this short trip become one of your precious memories! Come to renew yourself and your yoga practice at El Zopilote!
During this retreat, you will stay in the huts at El Zopilote Organic Farm which are bio-constructions immersed in a lush green environment where you can relax surrounded by birds and monkeys. All huts have beds with mosquito nets and lockers.
The El Zopilote farm is immersed in a complex eco-system guided by Mother Nature. Every space has been designed as a synergy between living organisms according to the practices of permaculture. This means that the finca is a place rich with diverse species, both animal and vegetable, who live in total harmony with the inhabitants and visitors.
The construction of buildings has a very low environmental impact. El Zopilote Organic Farm has always used natural materials. On various areas of the farm, they grow bamboo, palm trees, and different species of trees specifically for construction purposes. They chose to cover the roofs of their first huts with palm leaves which are not only water repellent but also provide welcome shade while at the same time letting the air circulate freely.
In the meanwhile, El Zopilote Organic Farm started cultivating bamboo which they now use for constructions. Bamboo is an amazingly versatile material for many reasons. It grows incredibly fast, its strength and durability, the ease with which one can work due to the light weight of it and last but not least the beauty and attractiveness of this plant.
El Zopilote Organic Farm uses a material called “cob” to plaster the walls. This latter is made from a mixture of earth, clay, sand, horse manure, and vegetable fibers such as coconut palm fiber and hay. They enjoy using cob for all of its positive aspects. It is a wonderful insulator, very resistant, cheap, completely organic, and easy to make, use, and apply. They also use a small amount of cement and rocks in the construction of the foundations.
For the roofing, El Zopilote Organic Farm now uses fiberglass which they then cover with organic material on which are planted plants that grow rapidly horizontally so that in time the whole roof became a living roof covered with plants which are beautiful to behold and at the same time provide shade and insulation. In this manner, the inside of the house or hut remains fresh and cool.
Other than the restaurant, pizzeria, and farm products, El Zopilote Organic Farm would like to emphasize the attention that they have put into making the whole area as natural and eco-friendly as possible using renewable energy and with a particular regard for a “no waste” policy. The surrounding natural environment with its large variety of plants and animals which you can freely explore and enjoy adds to the riches of their project.
In 2008, El Zopilote Organic Farm created a system called “constructed wetlands” to deal with the waste water from the showers and kitchens. These waters pass through a system of canals filled with sand, plants, and rocks of various dimensions, they then pass on to a series of tanks also filled with sand, rocks, and plants which absorb and purify any remnants of soap, oil, or fats. This purified water may then be used for irrigation and re-enter the circle of life.
In rural zones such as theirs, ecological dry toilets are the best answer for reasons of hygiene, conservation of the environment, production of organic fertilizer and, in this way, their precious water may be used for other purposes. The way these toilets work is extremely simple. Once a person has used the toilet bowl they must throw in the toilet paper and then cover all remains with two or three scoops of rice kernels or sawdust which are provided in each toilet in large sacks.
When the tanks of the toilets are full, they are emptied and the organic remains are then mixed with dry leaves, hay, earth, green leaves, ash, and water and are then left to steep for about two or three months. Every fifteen days or so water is added and the mixture is stirred. At the end of the process, they have an extremely efficient organic compost which can be used for all of the plants including the vegetable gardens. All of their refrigerators run on solar energy which is used for all of the huts.
You will be enjoying different styles and teachers in extra classes and workshops, getting to open your body and mind and work yoga asanas with the view of different styles. Classes are adapted for beginners and practitioners and will include Hatha, Kundalini, Iyengar, Vinyasa, and AcroYoga styles.
The workshops will make you experience details about the asanas, pranayamas, and meditation techniques, and the cacao ceremony will connect you with your fellow yogis and with the strong energy of Ometepe Island.
The retreat will take place on Ometepe Island, Nicaragua. El Zopilote Organic Farm is one of the first hostels on the Maderas Vulcano side of Ometepe Island, a completely recovered land that used to be a rice plantation. Today, the farm is immersed in a lush green forest full of fruits and flowers. It is a peaceful and relaxed placed to dedicate your time to detoxify your body and mind, energize with wellness and health activities and environment, and get involved with open-minded people.
Your daily meals are not included in the prices. You will have one free pizza in a pizza night. The farm has a restaurant where you can taste delicious meals with local organic products, experience farm to table nutrition on each day of your intensive retreat.
From Moyogalpa or San Jose del Sur, you can get a bus to Merida about 1 USD per person or to Balgue (1 USD). If you take the bus to Merida, you must get off at Santa Cruz. The journey takes about two hours and you must ask the bus driver to let you off at Santa Cruz. From there, you need to walk in direction of Balguefor about 300 meters until you find the entrance to El Zopilote.
If you get the bus to Balgue, you can get off directly in front of the entrance to the farm. You will spot an old yellow school bus which is the Bushop. Please ask the Bushop girls if there are free places on the farm and if the answer is yes, just walk along the signposted route to the reception about a 10-minute walk. There is no bus on Sundays.
From the port of San Jorge, there are various ferry boats (2 USD per person) or boats (1.50 USD per person) which will take you across the lake to the town of Moyogalpa (one hour from land) or to the town of San Jose del Sur (one and a half hours from land).
From Managua, Granada, San Juan del Sur, or Penas Blancas (the border), you should go to the town of Rivas. From there, you may take a shared taxi (1 USD per person) or a private taxi (from 3 to 5 USD) to the port of San Jorge. This takes about 20 minutes. The taxi ranks are situated near the bus station in Rivas. From Moyogalpa, you can get a taxi directly to the farm. The taxi drivers offer their services at the port.
It is a good idea to contract the price before getting the taxi. The price depends on the number of passengers and is usually about 20 to 25 USD.