Renovations: Roof patching, shower re-modeling, and bathroom building

With fewer volunteers and interns on site, we’ve been able to get started on infrastructural updates around the farm. This has included re-thatching roofs, expanding the floor on the dorm currently known as La Cabaña (previously referred to as Mo’s platform), constructing a new compost toilet, and completely remodeling of the shower in front of the kitchen.

For the kitchen shower, volunteers assisted Farm Manager Héctor in removing the broken tiled floor and re-constructing a higher (and hopefully more durable) base for the shower. Héctor built a beautiful new bamboo door, and volunteers helped in harvesting, cutting, and thatching together the new bamboo walls you see pictured below. Just a few more details to take care of the shower will be up and running!


Kitchen shower re-modeling

We are also almost finished with the final touches of a new compost toilet. Designed and started by Volunteer Coordinator Vince Mousseau, featured in this May’s natural building course, and finished by Volunteer Coordinator Isaac Fairbank, the new bathroom will be a wonderful addition to the expanding area near the Love Shack.


Natural Building Course, May 2015

Project Update: Farm-to-Clinic Plants its First Seeds

On September 1st, we published our first update for our new Farm-to-Clinic medicinal herb garden project.

Below is a copy of the report originally posted on our GlobalGiving project page (

Steps Forward for Farm-to-Clinic Ometepe

By Sabrina Kerin – Program Coordinator


Isolina working on the medicinal herb garden plot

Isolina, pictured here, is the newly designated Project Manager for the Farm-to-Clinic medicinal herb plot. Isolina has worked with Project Bona Fide for over seven years and is now taking on a new leadership role that creates a new and exciting economic opportunity for her and her two sons, Nevis and Luis. Her involvement in the project as the Project Manager not only creates an economic opportunity for her and her family, but it also empowers her to be a leader. Isolina is the first woman to take on a managerial position at the farm and we are very excited to foster and encourage her growth in this endeavor. When Isolina isn’t working on the farm or the medicinal herb land, she is busy taking care of her family and helping her sons take care of their land on the island.

Shortly after the Global Giving June Challenge, Project Bona Fide staff members got together to talk about the next steps for turning the previously barren land into a medicinal herb-producing powerhouse. After thorough discussion amongst team members, the consensus was reached that Isolina would be the best fit to take over the project. Her connectivity with the land and traditional farming patterns make her a huge asset to the project. In just a few weeks, Isolina will be accompanied by a Medicinal Herb Intern from Bona Fide who will research the medicinal plants being grown and the different techniques used to process them.

The project funding we’ve received on GlobalGiving has allowed us to move forward in purchasing a water pump, which will contribute to the construction of the first irrigation system on Project Bona Fide’s land. Funding has also contributed to the planting of our first two medicinal plants, turmeric and andrographis. Turmeric, curcuma longa, is a powerful anti-inflammatory that can be used to treat a variety of illnesses like cystic fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease. Andrographis, andrographis paniculata, has been used as medicine since ancient times to treat infection, ulcerative colitis, and rheumatic symptoms.

We are looking forward to a strong planting season, a good harvest, and processing our first batch of herbal medicine on site! Thank you again to all who have supported this project – we couldn’t do this without you!


Turmeric is planted!

Seasonal Changes

Hello friends of Bona Fide!

The regular turnover of volunteers and interns continues, bringing in new faces and the occasional returning face back to the finca.

It has been three and a half years since my first visit, and I am extremely happy to have returned.

The first thing that struck me upon reentering Balgue is what a dramatic difference the wet season makes.  My previous visit had been in May, during the middle of the dry season.  While Bona Fide’s agroforest and permaculture techniques had allowed lush greenery all year long, much of the rest of the island’s plant life had been parched.

Ometepe in May 2011

Ometepe in May 2011










Now, in rainy September, the surrounding island is also flourishing with vast expanses of greenery in every direction.  Compare the two landscape shots (taken from our very own tree platform) to see the differences between the wet and dry seasons.

Ometepe in September 2014

Ometepe in September 2014










Quite the seasonal change!

Copyright © Project Bona Fide 2015