Chris Currey Interview

 
 
 

EXPERT Q&A: Chris Currey

 

General manager of Rancho Santana, Chris Currey, talks about creating positive change in their Nicaraguan community, farm to table dining, and having world class surf right out the front door

By: WHITNEY JAMES

 

PHOTOS BY: Bryan Rowe

 
 

Q:

 

Tell us a bit about Rancho Santana. What makes this a unique travel destination?

 
 

A:

For me, what makes Rancho Santana special are the unique aesthetics of so many natural elements (hills, lava shelf, playas, tropical dry forest, and the ocean) blending together in a single convergence. This combined with both the tranquil vibe and the genuinely kind people of this country make it all an experience that will never be forgotten. Rancho Santana is unique in that it offers first world amenities while preserving and promoting the local culture and natural aspects of the area.

 
 
 

Q:

Explain the local community center you have created across the street from Rancho Santana—FunLimón. Who sponsored it, what is the goal, and how is it being received? 

 
 

A:

FunLimón is a collaborative effort between the Ford Family Foundation and Rancho Santana. It is made up of a vibrant staff of teachers, parents, students, athletes, academics, artists, and agriculturists, all working together to create opportunities in over 16 communities in the region. Their hard work this year has provided educational and financial opportunities for youth and adults in a culturally considerate and economically sustainable way. Their motto is, “Do less harm than good.”

 

"Their aim is to give individuals a little “hand up”, rather than a handout, so that they can become agents of positive development in their local communities."

 
 
 

Some of the most popular aspects of FunLimón revolve around athletics, such as community baseball and soccer games and a state of the art gym that is open to local residents and Rancho Santana guests alike. Annual baseball clinics are sponsored by Rancho Santana and FunLimón in conjunction with the Major League Baseball Alumni Association, and are attended by over 300 children annually.

 
 
 
 

Q:

What are a few local problems or dilemmas FunLimón has helped solve?

 
 

A:

FunLimón brought dentistry to the local community for the first time, hosting volunteer groups from Spain. They also host free spay and neuter clinics to help improve the booming animal population and are working to improve literacy for both adults and children through educational programs. FunLimón also provides protein, from their own farm, for the local school lunch programs as well as assistance with purchasing uniforms for school children (a requirement for attendance). Up next is a vocational training program geared towards jobs skills training for both men and women.

 
 
 

Q:

What is your role at Rancho Santana?

 
 

A:

I am the General Manager at Rancho Santana, a role that allows me to wear several different hats; some that you would expect and others that might surprise you. Along with focusing on the normal day-to-day operations that come with running both a resort and a residential community, I also have the added responsibilities of being the school administrator as well as the liaison between property owners and the developer. For fun, I have taken on the role of general manager of the Rancho Santana men’s baseball team!

 
 

Q:

You live in Nicaragua with your wife and daughter. What’s your inspiration to raise a family in Central America?

 
 

A:

 When my wife and I became engaged and started thinking of having a family, we both knew and agreed that we wanted to choose a path that was different from options available to us in the U.S. We wanted our daughter to experience a culture that was less about materialism and status, and one more about experiential learning and establishing genuine relationships based on kindness. From our own travel experiences in life we felt that a Latin-based culture was the way to go. My wife, Isabel, and myself had both independently traveled to several Latin countries and from those experiences we developed a short-list of possible host countries to call home. Long story short, after finding our way to Nicaragua, we almost instantly knew our search was over. From that moment, we set a goal to work towards which would ultimately land us here in Rancho Santana living full time.

 

"With a lot of grace and support from our friends and family, we are now living our dream."

 
 
 
 

Q:

Favorite Rancho break to surf?

 
 

A:

I prefer to golf and enjoy playing weekly at two of our local courses, but my wife, an avid surfer, would tell you that Santana is her favorite for it’s multiple peaks that work all the time regardless of swell size. It also doesn’t hurt that it is right outside our front door.

 
 
 

Q:

Favorite thing on the menu at La Finca y el Mar?

 
 

A:

My favorite dish at La Finca y el Mar is the Chuletón de Res—rib eye. The grass fed beef raised in Nicaragua is delicious, and even I (a pescetarian of over 20 years) have come to enjoy meat that is raised locally and served fresh here. Our onsite multi-acre organic vegetable garden rounds out many meals to create a truly farm to table experience.

 
 
 

Q:

Describe your perfect day at Rancho

 
 

A:

Days start early here, as most people rise with the sun. I love enjoying those first couple of hours of the morning when it is quiet and I can sit on our porch and enjoy a fresh cup of Nicaraguan coffee. From there things typically develop organically most weekends with activities like beach walks with our dog, boogie boarding and surfing as a family, the occasional family golf outing, the essential family siesta mid-day, all ending with a sunset session on the beach with friends where the kids build sand castles and play games while the parents enjoy the sunset, accompanied by a cold Toña. Days often wrap up once the sun sets, and I typically enjoy dinner with my family at home. The days naturally have a rhythm here that one can easily fall into and enjoy.

Learn more about Rancho Santana, or give us a call at 1.888.870.0903 to start planning the surf trip of your dreams.

 
 
 
 

 

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Chris Currey Interview

 
 

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