Kokoro Center for Art and Ecology

The Kokoro Center for Art and Ecology is situated on 4,5 acres of land a short distance inland from the Playa Maderas beach in the municipality of San Juan del Sur, Rivas, Nicaragua. The Kokoro Center’s property has four creeks running through or alongside its borders, with a wide variety of indigenous flora which is characteristic of tropical Pacific lowland forest. It is within walking distance of a number of beautiful beaches and coves which offer leisure activities including surfing, kayaking and snorkeling.

The aim of the Kokoro Center for Art and Ecology is to provide fine arts and crafts, and to promote regenerative living, natural medicine and ecology through workshops as well as individual research projects. The center welcomes people of all backgrounds and cultures, while at the same time inspiring creativity and discovery. The activities of the center focus on three areas: Retreat Program, Residency Program and Workshop Program.

The Kokoro Centre looks for ways to enrich various environments through art in its many and varied forms. With the focus on ceramics, sculpture, painting and woodwork, the centre encourages expression of artistic energy through fifteen principles of design.

Regenerative living is a lifestyle that actively recycles and replenishes resources by natural and man-made systems to promote an ecologically sound and economically viable ecosystem, while avoiding the exploitation and pollution of the environment. Rich compost is produced for the gardens with the aid of two types of earthworms. Rice hulls which are discarded by the local rice packers are collected and, because they readily decay, these are used for mulch or compost. Local restaurants are also being encouraged to give their organic food waste to the center to be converted into compost. The Kokoro Center has thousands of plants as well as local and exotic vegetables which are economically watered via drip irrigation and fed with the home-made compost. These plants are sold to raise funds and are also donated to the community for various projects.

In the past, most people had some knowledge of herbs which were used not only for treating disease, but also as a source of promoting health through support of the immune system. Knowledge of natural remedies can be of great value to rural communities and the Kokoro Centre has undertaken to educate the local people on common herbal remedies as well as growing medicinal plants in their nursery for distribution locally.

There are a number of projects in the pipeline for the Kokoro Center for Art and Ecology, including a small clinic promoting herbal remedies, a ceramic kiln for the art center, as well as extensions to the nursery and composting worm-beds. Tourists who visit the beautiful country of Nicaragua are sure to benefit from a visit to this fascinating center which has the interests of the local community at heart.