Aram Terry, a Boston University finance graduate and native of Nashville, Tennessee, arrived in Nicaragua in 2002 to work on business development with the U.S. Peace Corps.Â After successfully finishing his two-year obligation, Aram focused on real estate development on the southern coast of Nicaragua.Â The coastal development was surrounded by a tree farm and most of the houses were made of handcrafted wood.Â Aram became intrigued with the idea of a business that profitably reforests degraded cattle pastures and processes this renewable resource into value-added products. Sustainability was an emerging notion and caught his attention.
In September 2007, Hurricane Felix destroyed almost 1.2 million acres of tropical forest on Nicaraguaâ€™s northeastern Atlantic coast.Â The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) estimated that 6 million cubic metersÂ of wood was blown down in two days.Â The damage to homes and infrastructure left the regional economy in dire straits.
In late 2007, Aram and his father, Michael Terry, an attorney in Nashville, formed Maderas Sostenibles S.A. to extract logs from the fallen forests of the Atlantic coast, replant cattle pastures with trees, and establish a sawmill in the isolated coastal region to process wood for export and local sale.Â In 2012 MSSA moved its processing operations to Managua, Nicaraguaâ€™s capital city, and in 2014 founded an American sister company, Masaya Trading Co, to distribute furniture and wood products in Nicaragua and the USA. Maderas Sostenibles SA has managed the Limonapa Project since inception.