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Bienvenido al blog de FINCA EL ZOPILOTE.

Me gustaria escribir este blog en más de un idioma, sino por conveniencia tengo que elegir uno, que es el Inglés siendo el mas ''interncional''.Sin embargo, para aquellos que no lo saben recomiendo utilizar un traductor como GOOGLE TRASLATE: pueden traducir todo el blog solo escribiendo la URL  y elijiendo el idioma.Gracias.

Welcome to the blog of FINCA EL ZOPILOTE.

I 'd love to write this blog in more than one language, but for convenience I have to choose one that will be English being the most''international''.However for those who do not know I recommend using a translator as GOOGLE TRASLATE: you can traslate the entire blog by typing the URL and choosing the language.Thank you.

Benvenuti al blog di FINCA EL ZOPILOTE.

Mi piacerebbe scrivere questo blog in più di una lingua ma per praticità devo sceglierla una sola che sarà l'inglese essendo la più ''internazionale''.Comunque per chi non lo conosce consiglio di usare un traduttore come GOOGLE TRASLATE: si può l'intero blog scrivendo la URL e scegliendo la lingua.Grazie.


I decided to write this blog to show and explain to all projects built and our ideas for the future.Is not a blog as a diary organized and the arguments have a label with a name so that everyone will choose what most interests them.I will try to use simple language and straightforward, easy to understand words.I am interested that ordinary people can study, copy (if desired) and improve our plans to live in future in a greener world.Happy reading!



ENGLISH (Espanol sigue mas abajo)

The Farm/Hostel El Zopilote is 300 metres uphill from the main road, but there is a Parking/Caravan area just near the main entrance in front  of the house of Carlos. He usually ask 1 dollar a day to take care of your car or motocycle and is trustable and safe. If you dont want to pay the dollar, you can leave on the main road, but maybe something get stolen.
More info write to :


La Finca/Hostal El Zopilote es 300 metros de la principal carretera pero hay una area de parqueo/camping muy cerca de la entrada principal en fruente de la casa de Carlos. El normalmente pide un dollar para cuidar el carro dia y noche y es una persona de confianza. Si no quieres pagar el dollar , puede dejar el carro o la moto al lado de la carretera principal pero es posible que algo desaparesca. Mas info, contactar



Hi, i am Cristiano from El Zopilote....

I'd like to advise that here we usually give the opportunity to volunteer to 12 even 15 people, so there are plenty of possibilities.....More....we really need volunteers because is difficult to run the place without them....we are always looking for people wants to stay a couple of months with us....
At the same time is difficult to know when we need people and when there are too many, sorry, i hope you understand that organizing 10 people travelers from 10 different countries , is difficult.

On more thing: we prefer a lot to meet people in person speaking looking in the eyes , because we need trustable people to work here, and honestly by email is very difficult to understand who you are. At the same time to come here and check personally the place is a good opportunity to understand how we work, who we are, if you like the lace, if you like the food........

So, my suggestion is to come here personally with 2 months time to spend here (2 months is the minimum to stay here volunteering) and ask to the volunteer organizer which is Lorenzo for the next year.

Thanks to write, sorry for my english, is not my language, i hope you understand , and maybe see you around
bye bye, Cristiano.


BuShop: our little farm-shop inside a school bus

To see all the photos of this project , please click here

PLASTIC BOTTLES to build a house

See all the photo of this of this project Photos

For this project i would like to thank a unknown visitor who left in the farm some copies of a similar project done in Guatemala.
Using bottles to build a house? It is a strange idea but for us it was very useful, mainly because it allows the recycling of many bottles. The idea has been maturing over time: first of all in Ometepe there is an organization that teaches to the locals to put in ordinary concrete blocks, plastic bottles to recycle and to use less cement. Then came this informative book written in St. Marco in Guatemala that ex
plains how to put plastic bottles in the walls and cover them with cement. Then we knew the technique of ferro-cement to make the tank water. Then I wanted to build my house for my family and having very high walls had to find a lightweight material because Nicaragua is a place subject to earthquakes. And finally came my friend Michele who wanted a lot of plastic bottles to build a
chicken coop and we have prepared. An incredible number, several cubic meters of plastic, even more incredible when we think that none of the bottles was sold at our farm. Michele has changed his mind and remained there all the bottles. So we started the construction of the walls.

Only one wall is all plastic ( 1 ), while others begin with stone and after the first meters continue with bottles ( 2 ). Before you make a structure of iron with the irons in the direction of the width of the wall positioned in pairs at a distance of several centimeters, just for it to take a bottle ( 3 ). Along the length of the wall iron bars are put at about 50 cm away. After reinforce with smaller iron bars orizontally. After that binds the net of steel (the same that we used for the tank) on one side of the wall and also on the other so that the two networks create a room to put several plans bottles that are inserted between the two , empty and with cap( 4 5 ). Then binds metal wire in several places and put pressure plastic bags because the structure has less movement ( 6 7 8 ).

Once finished the preparation work is complete except for the cement that is then''pulled''on the net and smoothed with a spatula ( 9
). Finally is a mixture of cement, sand and plenty of lime to give the finishing and the color white ( 11 12 ).
The result seems good, the walls are strong, yet light, are very insulated because they contain air. We calculate that we have used about 3,000 bottles in a place where no one goes to pick up the garbage recycling is a great environmentally friendly.
Check all the photos of this project to understand better.PHOTO.

CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS ( fitodepurazione )

For this project I would like to thank Art Ludwig of Oasis Design and his book The New Create an Oasis with Grey Water

The constructed wetland is a process that allows you to clean the gray water (from the shower drain, from the laundry and kitchen) and the black water (from the bathroom ) through the plants.Since the first year (2002) to Zopilote we tried to recycle the gray water and fortunately,
we have compost toilets so we don't produce blackwater.Initially, the gray water was recycled with a system called BRANCHED DRAINS WITH FREE FLOW OUTLET (this system from a source of gray water separates the flow into several tubes, up to 16 even, but in our case from a source we had only one exit) .To understand the whole gray water showers and 2 kitchens (3 sources) was channeled by gravity in 3 different depressions covered with mulch with lots of plants gray water resistant near the channel and close the depressions. For resistant plants i mean resistant to gray water ( as you know is full of soap ): we used the banana trees, herbs, bamboo, and various local plants that grew alone, while it was impossible to grow tomatoes, herbs and delicate plants . This system allowed the complete recycling of gray water, creating green spaces even in the dry season, but we wanted more. In fact over the years significantly decreased the amount of water available to the community, then the liquid is more precious than before and every years we need watering different plants, not all graywater resistant and finally we also wanted a place to freshen up a little, a natural pool in short.

After 7 years of observation and after reading the book by Art Ludwig CREATE AN OASIS WITH GRAY WATER, we have started the new adventure of constructed wetlands which is very committed in time and money. The system devised is a series
of concrete drains roughly 50 cm high and wide from 20 to 70 cm that from the kitchens and showers bring the water by gravity to 3 pools of ferro-cement placed below. All channels and all the pools except the last are full of stones of various sizes with plant planted on it.
The pool below will be our reserves of clean water now ready to be used to watering plants and make a bath and will be located in a densely planted place to facilitate the manual irrigation of plants. For showers and laundry we have 'nt filtered the water while for the kitchens, since el zopilote is a farm / hostel with tourists often careless or neglectful of some attention, we put 2 filters, which separated the bulk of the remains of food and are cleaned daily. Across the system there are many traps for the fats where water is caught from below and then separated from fats that float because lighter. However, it is in the pools of ferro-cement that is the actual cleaning of the water because they are big enough (6 / 7 thousand liters), with the banks to increase the distance traveled by water and filled with stones of various sizes . In the end it creates a huge filter made from stones and roots that completely cleans the water. The project is not finished yet but already working well.