In 2008 my dad and I bought a piece of property in Playa del Sur, on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua. It was surfing, and mutual friend from Big Sur, that brought us to central America. Our friend Tyler had bought a substantial piece of jungle overlooking the ocean, and was slowly developing it into a small community. We traipsed through the underbrush and chose a prime parcel for a bargain price.
We've gone back down several times over the past 6 years and have seen Nicaragua slowly transforming. Playa del Sur was already something of a destination for the more hardcore backpackers, but it was still well off the beaten path in 2008. Then they paved the main road from Managua, not to mention hosted the Survivor TV series.
There was talk of building a house, but we hadn't managed to get any plans off the ground. Building at a distance would be difficult even in the US, so imagine the challenges in the 3rd world... we couldn't take a season off to live in Nicaragua. However, we do have the community to fall back on - Tyler now has substantial experience acting as designer, contractor, and manager of several large projects (a hotel on the property is opening this Spring). So at last, thanks to some fantastic architectural work by Solishi Design Lab, we're planning on launching the project when we visit in early December.
Once the budget and timeline are laid out, construction should take 2 - 3 months, so we may have a fully functional space by April 2015. It will be the first in a community of smaller structures, to be rented out as surf-shack / vacation rentals when we are out of the country.
Even more than an investment or vacation home, this has been a great way to work together with my father on a project with lots of moving pieces... not to mention an excellent excuse for yearly travel to the tropics.