Save the rain forest of the Rio San Juan river

Save the rain forest of the Rio San Juan river

Organization type: 
for profit
< $1,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

To protect the rain forest of the San Juan River, using sustainable development and by stopping the government of Nicaragua and the Brazilian company Andrade Gutierrez on their plant to make a hydroelectric project using the San Juan River. They pretend stop and revert the flow of water of the San Juan River, they want to divert the water from flowing to the Atlantic Ocean into the Pacific Ocean. Changing the ecosystem of the rain forest, the river, the lake and coast on both oceans, will be an apocalyptic natural disaster.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The problems we are facing are deforestation, by the local illegal extraction of timber, the expansion of the agricultural frontier and the heavy cattle ranching that follow. New immigrants from other part of the country trying to get free land from the Indio-Maiz national reserve. The lack of potable water and waste disposal in the local communities along the river is another mayor problem we have address promptly.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

To protect the rain forest of the San Juan River, using sustainable development and by stopping the government of Nicaragua and the Brazilian company Andrade Gutierrez on their plant to make a hydroelectric project using the San Juan River, they pretend to dam the river and flood Lake Nicaragua. My idea is unique and innovative because if we don’t stop the hydroelectric project that the government want to do, the river will stop been what it is, affecting the flora, fauna and lives of indigenous people as well as those campesinos new comers along the San Juan river, Lake Nicaragua, and all the affluent river that are inter connected. The natural flow of the river is going to the Atlantic Ocean trough 200 kilometer of rain forest, they pretend to divert the flow of water to the Pacific Ocean, They will built a wall to stop the river, raise the level of water, thus diverting the flow back to lake Nicaragua, using the lake as the reservoir and the water will drain via the Brito River on the pacific ocean, were they will have the generator’s turbine. We must stop this project right now, before it too late. Then we could focus our attention to develop a sustainable tourist industry as an alternative source of income, employment and economic grow. We will be protecting the rain forest from the need of local people for new agricultural land or the damage of intensive cattle ranching. Montecristo River Lodge and Montecristo Private Natural Reserve is an example of sustainability in the region and with the help of other professional organization could help the legal battles to come, needed to protect our Rio San Juan, rain forest, the largest in Central America
About You
Montecristo River Lodge & Private Natural Reserve
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Section 1: About You
First Name

Alfonso Agustin

Last Name



Montecristo River Lodge & Private Natural Reserve


, SJ

Section 2: About Your Organization
Organization Name

Montecristo River Lodge & Private Natural Reserve

Organization Phone


Organization Address

Frente Isla Sombrero de Cuero, el Castillo, Rio San Juan

Organization Country

, SJ

Your idea
Country your work focuses on
Would you like to participate in the MIF Opportunity 2010?


Do you have a patent for this idea?

What impact have you had on your clients and the tourism sector?

The impact our client and the tourism sector in our part of the wood have been small but positive so far.
Since tourism is actually a new concept and a new way for economic development in the rain forest of the Rio San Juan River, we may influence positively in the developing and planning a sustainable policy four our economic grow.
So far the small quantity of tourist that have visited our part of the rain forest has leave a positive influence on the local population, by way of showing the local how to value our natural resources, as well as our fauna and flora, that by protecting it, it will attract more visitor, who will in turn provide employment and economic benefit in ways of related services or sale of food items and souvenir.


We must implement good practices and apply the concept of sustainable development in full force with the entire player in our community. Showing by example, by making Montecristo River Lodge and & Reserve Silvestre Private Montecristo a model in sustainability so other lodges and tourist related businesses will follow. On our 120 manzanas of private reserve we are growing Cacao, vanilla, raicilla (ipecacuana: medicinal plant) as well as reforestation with local trees, and some bamboo for construction purposes, lots of flowers and fruit to attract birds and wild life. We are helping our part of the rain forest.


By involving the communities and implementing good practices for a sustainable development in the Rio San Juan, we want to have as result, and organized development were all the players will benefit, by reducing poverty, and improving the quality of life for all.
Thus we would use and protect the rain forest from depredation in all form, (or at least try to minimize the problem)
By using alternative system of agro forest development, by planting high profit yield crops such as cacao, vanilla, ipecacuana, and other exotic plants, minimizing the cattle ranching or combining it with a more sustainable way we will be protecting the jungle, the environment for future use.

What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Please address each year separately, if possible.

The first year:
Our goal will be to identify and unite all ONG and private individual who share the same goal of protecting the Rio San Juan rain forest, in the communities along the river such as San Carlos, Boca de Sabalos, El Castillo, San Juan de Nicaragua, on the Nicaraguan side of the river, also the communities on the Costa Rican side such as Boca de San Carlos, Sarapiqui, El Delta, y Barra del Colorado y Tortuguero.
As of now the government of Nicaragua has started cleaning or dragging the river basin, cleaning some old channels to divert some of water flow. This, we must watch closely, because the project could turn to be another disaster if left alone.
At the same time, watch closely the development of the hydroelectric project. Thanks God, the government had the good sense to stop the project until they made a new environmental impact study. For this we also feel proud to have been one of the first to denounce the fatality of the hydroelectric project, is just a one battle victory, not the end of the war against the hydroelectric project.
The second Year:
While keeping an eye on the new environmental impact study that the people from the Hydrobrito will be doing, we must advance on the implementing of sustainable good practices in all our community, using as a motor force, the tourist industry. With the help of all ONG’s and private individuals that we organized the first year of our proposal, we will be advancing toward our goal of protecting the rain forest of the San Juan River.
The third year:
We will be working toward a unified front against poverty and a sustainable development of a new tourist industry. Probably by our third year we will have united most of the ONG and people involved in sustainable development as well as the green party to keep the wheel in motion, either by channeling more funds and by keeping the work of the ONG going as long as possible.

What would prevent your project from being a success?

Lack of interest and funding for the defense against Hydrobrito company and Nicaraguan government confiscating the land for the benefit of the hydroelectric project will be the two major factor causing the failure of our defense in protecting the rain forest of the Rio San Juan.

How many people will your project serve annually?


What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

$50 - 100

Does your project seek to have an impact on public policy or introduce models and tools that benefit the tourism sector in general?


What stage is your project in?

Operating for 1‐5 years

In what country?

, SJ

Is your initiative connected to an established organization?

If yes, provide organization name.
How long has this organization been operating?

More than 5 years

Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with NGOs?


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with businesses?


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with government?


Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.

We work with Rain Forest Alliance, PRODES (programa de Desarrollo Sostenible) and Intur Ruta del Agua (Nicaragua government) Our partnership with them is critical, because they provide us with training, supervision and they actually do a lot of field work in the areas where we are interested in protecting.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization?

1. Good advice and partnership with like interested ONG.
2. Accountability of funds if any is available.
3. Communication and motivation of all community involved in saving the Rio San Juan, this done via Radio AM or FM to reach everybody, in house supervision of project progress, to advise and motivate.

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

I have invested 10 year of my life, protecting my peace of rain forest and would like the idea of big companies in conjunction with the Nicaraguan government to destroy this beautiful river.
When I hear that they were planning on stopping the flow of the river in order to overflow lake Nicaragua, and to drain the over flowing water in the Pacific ocean, instead that in it natural curse leading to the Atlantic ocean

Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.

The social innovation behind my idea, is been socially responsible in our bussines, working with all ONG, private individual and local govermnet involved in the development of a sustainable tourist industry in the rain forest of the San Juan River

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Newsletter from Changemakers

If through another, please provide the name of the organization or company

50 words or fewer

MIF Opportunity 2010
Has your organization been legally constituted or registered in your country or one of your target countries for at least three years?


Does the applicant organization have sufficient financial resources to guarantee the co-financing required by MIF during the execution period of the project? (This amounts to at least 50% of the project’s total budget with 25% in cash and 25% in-kind.)


Does the applicant organization have experience managing projects co-financed by international organizations? Please describe below

No we have never manage any project co-finance with any kind of organization.

Please classify the applicant organization according to the options below

Enterprise/Profit corporation

What problem-area does your project address?

Access to knowledge and training, Access to financing.

How will your project address this problem?

The access of Knowledge and training we solve with the help of Rain Forest Alliance and other ONG’s as well as the local government.
Access to market we are trying with the Internet by advertising on Goggles, Yahoo, and Facebook, and also depend on the help of ONG’s
The access to finance we have been addressing the problem with our own funds, that are getting smaller and smaller. That why we are motivated to compete in the Challenge offered by Changemakers. We are open to suggestion on the funding problem. We need to finance more solar power for our lodge.

Who is benefited by the initiative? (Please highlight the type and number of beneficiaries, and their role in the tourism value-chain.)

By our initiative, the immediate beneficiaries will be about 50 tourist related micro and small business, but the indirect effect will be greater if we add all food and supply aspect of the local economies.
The education and training will go to school children at local school, and via radio FM to all possible 10,000 plus habitant of the San Juan River basin.
We include water transportation, hotels, lodges, restaurant, places to eat, food and general supplies store, fuel and oil seller, small plantation grower of cacao, vanilla, ipecacuana and other crops. Souvenir industry will be our main focus.
By using our lodge as example and a place of teaching not just tourist related fields, but also sustainable agriculture and husbandry.

How will the project's results assist the region’s tourism sector and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises?

By teaching everybody the benefit of purchasing locally and to promote each other in the chain of supply and demand, diversifying our offer and developing new products to offer, either as destination or as souvenirs, food items etc.

A. Total Budget (100%)


B. MIF Contribution (up to 50% of total budget and US$. 500.000 max)


C. Cash co-financing (at least 25% of total budget)

US$ 5.000.00

D. In kind co-financing (at least 25% of total budget)