Arriving at Los Encuentros after several hours of driving from Esteli, followed by a 6km journey that took over 50 minutes over rough terrain and rivers that had mostly gone dry, I was struck by the blazing heat. Immediately we were greeted by the family dog, and 20 or so chickens who waited patiently for their food. Don Pastor and his wife Rayna, along with their children and grandchildren all came over to introduce themselves, hug each of us and help with our backpacks.
The family had a range of pets and work animals, the chickens for food and eggs, the horses to carry and bring water and the parakeets and dog as pets. The first night we stayed the hen and her chick slept under one of our beds and the sound of various animals could be heard throughout the night.