Lorena Castillo Castellano is an eco-pioneer with a passion for conservation, cooking, fitness, poetry, photography and travel.
In 1992 Lorena left Guatemala City for a weekend break in the Petén region and knew instantly she had found the place she would call home. The lush green forests, teeming with life, next to the calm, clear waters of Lake Petén Itza captured Lorena’s heart and she determined to dedicate her life to their conservation. Lorena and partner, Bernie Mittelstaedt, purchased 35 hectares of the forest and set about building Nitun Private Reserve and Ecolodge. After years of hard work, Nitun was granted official private reserve status in 2013.
Most of the Lore’s time is spent in forest management and production of xate palm, as well as taking care of guests and preparing individually tailored meals for the Nitun Ecolodge restaurant. Preparing fresh, authentic Guatemalan cuisine for guests at Nitun is one of Lorena’s greatest passions. Her food has gained great reviews from visitors and has featured in the European and North American press.
In addition to managing Nitun Private Reserve and Punta Verde Private Reserve, Lorena Castillo sits on the board of APROBOSQUE, Petén’s association of private reserves, and ARNPG, a Guatemalan association that ensures sustainability and environmental protection is strengthened on private lands. Lorena does logistic scouting expeditions for donors to environmental projects and the national parks, archaeologists and scientists, in the jungles of Petén and Chiapas to remote sites such as Mirador, Río Azul, Naachtun, Dos Lagunas, Lacanjá, Yaxchilán, Piedras Negras, amongst others.
Prior to moving to Petén, Lorena worked for UNICEF and Childhope (a not-for-profit organisation helping street children in Guatemala City.)
In her free time, Lorena enjoys open water swimming in Lake Petén Itza and hanging out with her tribe of rescued dogs, cats and geese.
Contact Lore to find out more about Nitun or to make a booking.