The world has come a long way since the days when ecolodges were oddities and when “sustainable” used with the word “hotel” was lipstick on a very rustic pig. These days, of course, some of our favorite luxury stays are ecolodges, and “eco-chic” is no longer a buzzword—it’s an expectation. But for one hotel group in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, making environmental awareness cool again isn’t enough. The Cayuga Collection is pairing a commitment to economic sustainability with an artist-in-residence program and upping the ante on both.
The concept of the hotel group’s first-ever “Storyteller in Residence” program is familiar—creatives from a wide range of digital disciplines can apply to live and work from one of five sustainable luxury hotels—but there’s one catch: the artists’ projects need to be directed toward supporting the sustainability movement. Created in partnership with husband-and-wife digital arts team Mike Dell and Kim Bagayawa, known as Coffee Abroad, the program offers storytellers a unique opportunity to connect their work with communities at the forefront of the sustainability movement. In order to help capture those important stories, residents will be given a dedicated host, behind-the-scenes access to operations, staff, wildlife, and local community projects, and an opportunity to connect with the sustainable hospitality community through talks and presentations. Each of the Cayuga Collection’s five participating ecolodges is located either in a remote rain forest or small coastal community, where a commitment to sustainable environmental development is crucial.
If you’re a digital artist of any kind interested in joining the program, you’ll need to submit your application by September 23rd. The number of residencies is limited in order to keep the program’s carbon footprint small. And if you’re not a storyteller, but you are an art buff or nature-lover, you may rub elbows with one of the residents if you’re visiting one of the five participating properties (Lapa Rios Ecolodge, Kura Design Villas, Arenas del Mar, Latitude 10 Resort, Jicaro Island Ecolodge) in October or November of this year. Or support the project from a distance by keeping an eye out for the finished works on Cayuga’s website.