Category Archives: Daily Life

An Interview with Nicaraguan Architect, Herman Gallegos


After a quick visit to our property and with nothing more than copies of the topographical drawings and our wish list Nicaraguan Architect Herman Gallegos has designed a beautiful modern 2 bedroom, 2 1/2 bathroom home for us.

A home that is even better than we could have imagined!

Once finalized and complete we’ll publish our floor plan and interior renderings for you to check out, but for now we are super excited to share some exterior views of our home with you.

For a larger view just click on any one of the 3 images below.

 

We couldn’t be more happy with our decision to hire Herman as our architect and are thrilled to introduce him to you today. In this interview he provides insight to his work and our project. He also shares some helpful tips for hiring an architect in Nicaragua.

Can you tell us a bit about your design process and how you bring a project to life?

To bring a project to life for me depends on the typology of it, whether it’s a private residence, office space, commercial, religious, etc. It’s imperative for me to analyze how the users would interact with the structure and the feelings or sensations that the building transmits. You always want your spaces to be comfortable and fit for their special use. Natural lighting and cross ventilation are very important, especially in countries like Nicaragua where we sometimes have very hot temperatures.

I always like to sketch out a basic floor plan or even start it on the computer. Depending on the lot and the style of the project I always have something already pictured in my mind and I just start drafting. Once I have the floor plan ready and approved by the owner I immediately start working on the elevations (3D). Sometimes I make changes to the floor plan in this stage too, depending on the proportion and the scale I want the building to have – mostly location and sizes of windows, openings, etc.

What about Elisha & Gordon’s project interested you the most? What were the biggest challenges with their project?

What I really like about Elisha and Gordon’s project is their enthusiasm. I like that we’re not designing a house, but actually a home where the walls will be filled with good memories and good vibes.

The only challenge might have been the best use of space to make it functional yet comfortable. It’s a small lot with some difference in levels from the road to the back (part of the mountain). I decided to create a lower level for parking and steps up to higher ground and with this have the house look even bigger from below.

What is it about your job that gives you the most satisfaction?

There are two things that satisfy me the most about a project. First, I like it when the finished product is exactly the same as I had envisioned it. I like it when the spaces flow correctly and when I see the light coming in with play of shadows and textures. Secondly, what gives me even more satisfaction is to see that the clients are happy and proud of their project. That is the best advertising anyone can have.

Is there a particular project you’ve worked on that you’re most proud of?

Of the projects I’m most proud of so far would be the Spanish Cultural Center of Nicaragua (CCEN) in Managua and the Santa Cruz lofts in San Juan del Sur.

What advice would you give to someone who is looking to hire an architect in Nicaragua?

When looking for an architect in Nicaragua I would suggest to see their work first. Make sure they know what they’re doing because sometimes architects like to design projects without any construction background. This can end up being very costly to the owners. It’s imperative not only to have good design ideas, but also to know how these ideas can be built logically.


You can see more of Herman’s work on his website
http://www.hermangallegos.com. You can also find him on Instagram.

Thanks so much to Herman for making the first phase of building a house in Nicaragua stress free, easy AND fun!

More Creepy Crawly Critters Common To Nicaragua

Mosquitoes Nicaragua

After writing Creepy Crawly Critters Common To Nicaragua guest blogger Kevin Keegan was reminded of two other very annoying critters that commonly share their unwanted presence with those who live or visit Nicaragua.

One would be the seemingly innocuous ant and the other a great deal scarier than many other pests; the mosquito.

ANTS

Ants are not unique to Nicaragua. Like any other place on earth, small ants, big ants, red ants and black ants can be seen marching one by one or two by two along a path they’ve made familiar through our houses.

If not deterred, ants will waltz in foot loose and fancy free just like they own the place.

Ants just being ants don’t make them any less disgusting. We can clean our homes until our hearts content and hope the geckos take care of them, but if not stopped they will keep coming.

The traditional method of extermination is always an option to rid your home of these pesky critters, but many people prefer more environmentally friendly methods of pest control.

These few of many natural methods found online have provided numerous people with alternatives to effectively deter or rid ants from their home.

  • Wash floors and counters with white vinegar and water
  • Spray or spread peppermint oil around doors and windows
  • Strategically place mixed paste of borax, sugar and water at entry points
  • Spray cinnamon oil around windows, doors and baseboards.

Like most aspects of living abroad, finding the ant deterrent that works for you can be a fun and interesting adventure in itself.

MOSQUITOES

Although there are several diseases spread via the bites of mosquitoes, there seems to be three of particular concern to those who live or visit Nicaragua – ChikungunyaDengue and Zika.

It’s the female of the species that feeds on the blood of a host in order to develop and nourish her eggs which she will lay every three days. As the Mom-to-be requires a belly full of blood before resting and laying her eggs, she will continue to sting, moving from host to host until full. This indiscriminate biting makes it easy to understand how diseases can be spread.

With slight variations, the symptoms of these three diseases may appear very similar; fever, headaches, joint/muscle pain and skin rash. While recipients of Dengue and Zika may experience nausea and vomiting, those with the Zika virus may also experience conjunctivitis or red eyes.

As there is no vaccine available to prevent these debilitating diseases, personal prevention measures are highly stressed.

Precautions may include applying mosquito repellent containing; Deet, pacaridin, IR 3535, oil of lemon, eucalyptus and paramenthane – diol products are said to provide long lasting protection.

If your accommodations have doors and windows without screens it best to keep them closed at dusk, especially during rainy season. Sleeping with a floor fan at the foot of the bed is another way to prevent mosquito bites. For added protection hang a mosquito net over the bed.

Although many of those contracting the Zika virus will not display any symptoms, it may not prevent the spread of the virus. It has also been suggested that the Zika virus can be transmitted from person to person and cause complications in pregnant women.

The spread of mosquito borne diseases is not a matter to be taken lightly by anyone.  Please take precautions and enjoy your vacation!


Kevin Keegan: Guest BloggerAbout the Author

After enjoying many years of cold Canadian winters in a small community in Southern Alberta working cattle then owning and operating two small businesses, Kevin along with his wife Loretta, now call San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua home for several months of the year.

Figuring they would need to fund their life in a new country, Kevin took several writing courses and obtained certification to teach English as a foreign language, specifically business English. Finding the enjoyment in researching and writing on a variety of topics, Kevin now writes blogs and articles for various clients. Check out Kevin’s full bio here.

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