Crisanto Lopez - from aeronautical engineer to ecolodge manager

Casa Maderas, Nicaragua

Crisanto is from Nicaragua and is one of these rare people that come back to their home country because he believes wants to develop it in a responsible manner. Communication technician, he meets a swiss woman who will take him to Europe where he will continue his studies while cumulating small jobs. Then he goes to Canada and with a scholarship, starts upnhis studies all the way from the secondary up to his engineering diploma in the field of aeronautics. He works then in the aeronautic industry during years but after he has been around the shop, he gets bored. Everything is so standard. “You need to be extremely normal not to get bored” he tells us. 

To his companion, a lawyer, he offers a new challenge “I want to go beyond the ordinary. I invite you to come with me to Nicaragua.”. Together they set up there in 2002. At the time, there is nothing much in San Juan Del Sur but already backpackers are flowing in. They start Casa Oro and agree with the close-by park to organize tours to see the turtles. He hires locals to drive the tourists but these aren’t trained at all to take care of the tourists and the experience becomes a nightmare. They need to be trained but sometimes Crisanto had the feeling that “the locals don’t even want to help themselves”. He regrets the lack of education in the country, only two international universities in Nicaragua, it is too little. The Casa de Oro still knows a great success and with some efforts develops a good customer service. It is also the first house to accept all types of payments, a significant added comfort in a region where there used to be very little ATMs. 

Crisanto has now three children, he sold the Casa de Ororo and started up the adventure of Casa Maderas when the owner of the field wanting to sell it to him so he could something good with it. He built this place from scratch and wants it to have as small a carbon print as possible while providing a comfortable place for tourists in a beautiful area. Crisanto is known for his efforts since the start of the touristic development of the region as even the Tourism Minister of Nicaragua contacts him to take part to interviews or discussions. He promotes a local and responsible touristic development while reassuring the foreign investors. Casa Maderas was born because Crisanto managed to convince his investors, notably Canadian, about the viability of his project which enabled a very significant funding in order to start the construction of the place. Crisanto concludes that he is happy with his choices as he prefers this kind of work and life as oppose to the “big cash you anonymously make in a mega company”.



Casa Maderas

Travel Blog:

Week 6: Nicaragua - De Playa Gigante à Playa Maderas et San Juan Del Sur à San Jose

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