The Story About Site Development

The Story Of Our Construction


To-date, we have completed more than 65% of the 6-acre camp facility including construction of the formal entrance gates, the self-contained reception/guard’s station, the large storage building, the solar power/recycling center building, a bio digestor waste treatment plant, the heavy-duty cement/river-rock camp roads, we’ve developed the water well (lined, capped and installed pump) and installed a 3,000 gallon water tank.


We’ve also planted 11 avocado trees, installed 450 lineal feet of rain- water erosion prevention work, installed 2,000 lineal feet security fencing with cement base, constructed six duplex children’s cabin foundations, completed three duplex children’s cabins (for 54), and more than 50% of stone pathways, stairs, landings and safety railings throughout the facility for general circulation.


Building the Nest – El Nido


Since 2004, after our 6-acre forest site was acquired, site development was slow since we could only go as quickly as our donors and volunteers could provide. Now, nearly eight years later, as more and more people have joined us our momentum has rapidly increased and in January 2012, we began construction of the El Nido building that is at the heart of the camp and which will, for generations to come, be a place of permanence, refuge, nurturance and enlightenment for the thousands of children we will receive at Niños del Lago over the coming years.


“The Nest” is an appropriate name for a building that will house a large-yet-cozy kitchen staffed by well-trained cooks from the nearby Mayan village of San Andreas Semetebaj. At full capacity, more than 350 nutritious and tasty meals wll be provided for the children and counselors every day.


El Nido will also contain a spacious dining hall (for 75) and an adjoining outdoor multi-use area (for 100) that will also be used for meetings and general recreation. Below the dining hall, at the lower level, will be two large bathhouses, a two-bed medical station, the camp counselor’s break room, camp laundry and a large storage equipment/materials storage area. The El Nido dining hall roof top can be used in the future for additional play and meeting space.


One of the most delightful features of the El Nido building is the large, suspended cement deck/terraza at ground level that adjoins the bathhouses and will allow for rapid access to all other facilities at the lower level including the playing fields, the cabins, etc. This deck will also serve as a staging area for entrance to the dining hall and will provide quick and easy access Creative Mind Center.


All buildings on our site are unique, one from the other yet they blend together due to the custom-tinted colors and the thematic balance between industrial and organic elements including adobe and cob walls, bamboo, local river rock and palm fronds.


El Nido and all of the buildings on the site have been designed and built to last for more than 200 years or more. Our construction has married integrity and charm and the result is fascinating and charming for children and adults alike.


Why Beauty and Charm Are So Important...


Site Work in Process

Throughout Summer 2012, during the season of tropical rain, we will install water and electric service to the six children’s cabins and 750 gallons additional water storage, the interior camp entrance and pathway to the formal heart of the camp, and we will expand the interior river-rock roads to better accommodate deliveries of heavy materials to the El Nido site.


Fall/Winter 2012 Work - Phase II El Nido

In November, we plan to move on to Phase II of the El Nido construction -- the largest work on our site -- that includes all cement and iron work to finish all columns, beams, etc., of the skeletal/framework and above-ground foundation, the exterior walls, floors/ceilings and El Nido’s poured cement/steel roof. Estimated time of completion: March 2013


Spring 2013 Construction and Site Work

Construction of Phases III & IV of the El Nido building (install all plumbing, drains and electrical wire and plaster all walls and ceilings, flooring, install equipment and other installations including the large cement and iron terraza and entrance bridge/staircase that spans between the Creative Mind Center and El Nido, two small playing fields and all ground lighting with natural pathway fencing.


Our Volunteer Architects