Laguna de Apoyo, Nicaragua: 2017

Every day brings something new to us at Biological Station Support Lagoon. Observations of flora and fauna, studies being conducted, scuba diving, cultural activities. People teaching, and others learning, Spanish, culture, biodiversity, the environment, volunteering.

New friends are made easily, because we are small and we share with people who visit. People come and go, from Nicaragua and beyond. Some to learn, others to give. Everyone ends up doing a little of both.

Bella, our faithful canine, hangs with the gang in front of Lagoon Support Station. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.

Biological Station is not at all pretentious or upscale. We have a simple place, and we are doing simple things: planting trees, studying the environment, birdwatching, sharing our knowledge of the language and culture, and collaborating with the neighbors and the government of Nicaragua to make Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve a great place for nature, for decades to come. Our visitors are welcome to pitch in. Our prices are very low, but we are comfortable, and we eat very well! Special food options can be arranged: gluten- or dairy-free, vegetarian, or vegan.

This is how Spanish homework ends some evenings. Photo Andras Dorgai.

We are perhaps best known in some circles for the Spanish courses we offer, at Apoyo Spanish School. Each year, we impart at least one hundred fifty units of each week, custom-designed to fit the abilities and needs of each person. Our students are often travels who want to engage with locals better. Many, however, are learning Spanish for professional reasons, using their language skills in Nicaragua or other nearby countries in their jobs.

All ages get involved when monkeys are to be seen. Everyone becomes a kid again! Photo Jeffrey McCrary.

Our property at Estacion Biologica is humble, but blessed with great trees and often with lovely wild animals. Golden-mantled howler monkeys, known locally as monkey congo , are over our heads these days, perhaps two hundred days each year. We thank for effective conservation policies as part of the management plan that our director, Jeffrey McCrary, coordinated for the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources. Several years ago, there were fewer monkeys and they were found in more limited locations than currently.

Support Spanish School students gather for some extra tutoring from Bela. Photo Andras Dorgai.

Volunteers come to Biological Station to participate in specific projects, or whatever else is needed. One example is the Murrieta family, who recently spent a couple of weeks engaged in all kinds of environmental conservation activities, including the planting of 56 new trees in a reforestation plot in the hillside behind Estacion Biologica. The evenings were filled with discussions ranging from poetry and literature, to politics and saving the environment, to our favorite places in the many cities each of us had lived or visited.

Visits to Biological Station are often a family affair. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.

Each day at Estacion Biologica brings a new, unexpected blessing. The people in these photos are just a sampling of the blessings that have come our way in the most recent months. We are grateful for every hand lent and each voice raised. Please come by or

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