In Nicaragua, Selva Negra ecolodge is famous for its exemplary sustainability practices. International guides such as Lonely Planet and Frommers refer to Selva Negra not only as unique, eco-friendly accommodation, but a singular destination worth visiting when touring the country.
In this interview, Karen Kuhl shares here experience and advice on how to implement sustainability. Selva Negra (which means “Black Forest”, in reference to the German roots of the owners), started in the 1890’s as a coffee plantation. In 1975, the Kuhl family bought the property and began the tourism activity in parallel to the organic farm and fair trade coffee production.
Karen, what made your family decide to pursue sustainability as integral part of your lodging business?
It’s very simple, we love our community and we love our children. We want them to grow up in as beautiful a place as we had a chance to. We recognize that without sustainability that isn’t possible. We work hard to take care of the land, the people that work with us and their families, and to run a business that will stay in our family for generations to come.
Which sustainable practices at Selva Negra ecolodge are you particularly proud of?
So many things we do are intertwined, which makes it hard to separate one from the other. It is difficult to name a particular project. Rather, it’s the processes, the how we do things which I’m most proud of. Some of our initiatives: