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  • Writer's pictureEl Espino

Our 4 year anniversary

This week, four years ago, we welcomed our first guests to Isleta El Espino! We wrapped construction and staffed up a few weeks before but word had not gotten out and we had zero online reputation. Worse, we were at the tail end of the high season with construction taking way longer than we had anticipated. There were moments of panic when no reservations came and again after the first guests checked out when there were none to follow. Had we made a monumental mistake building a hotel on a small island in the lake? I think you know where this is going by now. Things turned out fine.

We were making major headway as we approached the end of Year 3 at the start of 2018. We launched El Espino Travel, started building our 6th room and 2nd pool, expanded guest amenities and infrastructure, and we had started pursuing additional hospitality opportunities in the region. Then, BLAM! All came to a halt in April of last year and we were back to panic, uncertainty, and doubt. More importantly, the people who had made El Espino what it had become were, and continue to be, hit hard emotionally, financially, and in every possible way. We’re certain that the people of Nicaragua will weather this latest crisis just as they have every preceding one. We hope that the country and its people do not suffer a moment longer and emerge with a brighter future. But we simply don’t know yet.

We are so grateful for Martin, Doña Jaunita, Willian, Xiomara, Ana Paula, Franklin, Henry, Telma, Rafael, Pablo, Osnar, and Don Jose.

It’s been a helluva ride over the past 4 years and we look forward to Year 5 with anticipation, some trepidation, but mostly hope.


Andrew and Kristin Werner


Many, many thanks to our good friends at El Respiro Ecolodge for encouraging Ellen and Harold to check us out, to all our repeat guests, and to our investors who took a chance on the VivaEspino project!

Pictures of Kristin and Andrew on Isleta El Espino
Kristin and Andrew anxiously waiting for the first reservation.

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