article from Coffee & Conservation discusses a wonderful preserve I visited with students on my first two study tours in Nicaragua. Finca Esperanza Verde (Green Hope Farm) is an idyllic, mountaintop retreat that provides good, healthy food, incredible mountain views, and exquisite coffee.
On arrival, students have wondered how they could possibly survive for two whole days in a place with such limited access to electricity, clubs, and other essentials. In each case, however, the students have enjoyed their time. I did not return on the 2009 tour and will not make it back in 2010, but I do hope to take students to FEV again some day.
The only problem with Nicaragua is that each time I go, I learn of one or two additional places that I want to take my students, so choosing the itinerary becomes more challenging each time. It is a good problem to have, though.
Finca Esperanza Verde, by the way, is the location of a certain incident involving a very large insect, a much larger spider, and quite a few shrieks from my 2006 student group.