We spent 3 weeks at La Mariposa. I took my kids (aged 14, 11, 8) and we stayed with a family near the school. They were incredibly welcoming, accommodating and caring. The living conditions were very simple and clean; the food was delicious. We had one room for the 4 of us (5 when my husband joined us after 2 1/2 weeks) and yet we had all we needed! We would walk to school each morning (10 minutes) and take amazing Spanish classes. The kids worked part of the time on the grounds (I needed more lesson time than they did!) and I worked on the farm a couple of days. We participated in the schools' excursions and we learned so much about the culture, history, politics and local area. The local people were so friendly and welcoming - we always felt safe and did not have any issues what so ever (we traveled for 12 days after the Mariposa too). If you want to see a fabulous area that will really give you insight on Nica life, go to La Mariposa and just settle in. You will be amazed at what you learn about Nicaragua and honestly, yourself. My son shocked me one day when we were hand washing our clothes in the front yard, "Mom, I like this simple life!" Priceless. We had a very tearful goodbye when we left our host family. We have never done a long trip like this and certainly we have not been some place with such limited amenities. We loved it and would do it again in a heart beat! Spanish, volcanoes, beaches, local artisans, salsa dancing, city tours -- all fantastic excursions! La Mariposa is smart! They have figured out quality service, fair pricing, and unique experiences in a beautiful setting. The mixture of ages and nationality made it even more interesting. We will keep in touch and hope to return soon! If you ant more info on this trip, feel free to email me!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- La Mariposa is a small, friendly non-profit Spanish school and eco-hotel, just outside the small town of La Concepcion, Nicaragua. Only an hour from Nicaragua's major attractions - Granada, the Pacific Coast, the Laguna de Apoyo, Masaya volcano - and 45 minutes from Managua airport, La Mariposa is surrounded by organic coffee, banana trees and flower gardens. Our cool, green climate (we are 500 meters above sea level - makes a real difference to the temperature) is ideal for studying Spanish! Our conservation efforts - though small scale - have vastly increased our bird population, butterflies and even frogs! We offer intensive Spanish classes in our purpose built classrooms or in outdoor classrooms in our delightful grounds, full of tropical plants and rescued animals. Classes are mostly one on one (max 2 or 3 in a class) and we cater for all levels form beginner to advanced, including specially designed classes for children. We have an extensive library with Spanish study materials and a selection of books in English on Nicaraguan history, development issues etc. We organize a full week (that includes weekends) of activities, including cooking and salsa classes, classes on the history of Nicaragua and a weekly update of what is happening in the Nicaraguan news. These are delivered in Spanish to help with progress in Spanish and with English translation if necessary. On 3 afternoons and Saturdays we offer trips out to local places of interest as well as the Masaya volcano by night, the Masaya markets and artesanias, Granada, Leon, the Laguna de Apoyo, the Pacific beach, Managua, Catarina, the Pueblos Blancos and more! The trips are rotated on a monthly schedule. Students can stay in the eco-hotel or our cabin. We use solar power - for heated water in your shower as well as electricity, conserve rainwater,have a number of recycling schemes and have started our own successful organic farm which provides some of the eggs, veggies, coffee consumed at the Mariposa. And much more. We use our income to maximise the employment of local people (currently employing 45 teachers, maintenance and kitchen staff) and undertake a number of projects in the local community. You can opt to volunteer at one of our community or environmental projects, living in a homestay with a local family. Amongst other projects, we are currently offering volunteer placements on our small organic farm, on a community garden scheme, in local schools, with a day care project. You are also welcome to help out the Mariposa workers - whether feeding our rescued animals or cooking up our healthy meals. All of which is a great way to improve that Spanish! We have also recently opened, on another but close by site, a study centre specifically designed to cater for groups of students. We offer an individualized curriculum which can include Spanish classes, activities and classes on the history, culture and environment of Nicaragua. We can also arrange community service work for groups. Accommodation is in two eco built dormitories, each of which has 8 beds (bunk style). The eating/meeting hall is a lovely structure built of straw bales and thatched roofing. Classrooms face a terrace with great views of the Masaya volcano. Meals are always freshly cooked, often using organic veggies from our farm. And of course there are solar heated showers and solar powered electricity. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- La Mariposa Spanish School And Eco Hotel Nicaragua/Masaya