WednesdayClear93°C | °FPrecipitation: 0%Humidity: 45%Wind: 7 mph
It is probably a little cooler here, about 89 degrees with the breeze.
The difference between aspiring to move to Nicaragua and the actuality of moving to Nicaragua.
In this post, I will attempt to differentiate between the hope and wish to move to Nicaragua and the reality of moving here and trying to make a living.
First off, if you are planning to move to Nicaragua and have either substantial assets, a regular monthly income from investments such as dividends, rental property, etc. Or perhaps you have some sort of pension or Social Security coming in. If so, then this post, while it may be of interest and have some valid points that resonate with you, ultimately may not be on point as your situation will be a bit different.
That is not to say that moving here with income and/or assets makes your future life in Nicaragua stress- and worry-free! Far from it actually. The point is that you should at least have the opportunity to enjoy a life here based on those assets and incomes. Sure, you might lose it all in a bad investment, buy a property without doing your due diligence that turns out to have a bad title, start a business that will fail, etc. But at least you have the green light to go for it, whatever your dream might be.
But what about if you aspire to move here, but don’t have much in the way of assets and income and want to shoestring your way to a brighter future in Nicaragua? Ah, that is the much more difficult path, a critical path one might say, fraught with a high potential for failure.
That’s not to say that it hasn’t been done. There are examples where someone comes down to Nicaragua, makes the right connections, gets their foot in the door, and works their butt off to make a successful livelihood here in Nicaragua. But those few examples are by far the exception. The rule is, whatever meager assets you have you will probably lose as you attempt to fill that niche, outsmart the local competition, and use your superior skills to gain market share, build customer awareness and loyalty, and ultimately to be a success in your endeavor.
What I’m saying is that even filling that need, addressing that customer base, providing a unique service or product, etc. may not be enough to make it here. Its just really tough. You are going up against local competition, or introducing something that has never been tried here before, or you may have an incorrect assumption that the local Nicaraguans are not as bright as you are. Let me tell you, that is not so.
What is so is that there are market niches, there are untapped markets, there are underserved demographics, and ultimately there are opportunities in this country. But once you identify those things and begin to implement your ideas, technology and work ethic to be a success, then the real work starts.
I have not stayed at this property, but have heard great things about this community.
Directory of volunteer opportunities in Nicaragua.
Wonderful Water: Carole Harper is the founder of El Porvenir, which has been working with rural communities and foreign volunteers since 1989 to bring clean-water projects to Nicaragua (photo/ Tim Rogers)
October 27, 2012
Let’s dig in a little deeper with our “Best Cities to Live in Nicaragua” series. Specifically, the suggestion here is that you define your process of deciding which Nicaraguan city, town or village will you call home.
Decisions to make: Weighing if, for example, a beachfront location beats out every or nearly every other data point whose relative importance is well-marked on your scale where you decide what the scores are and what they mean to you.
One might be tempted, with the above example, to think, “well, if beachfront location is the most important thing…” then forget access to good hospitals, some cultural life, and a variety of dining options.
But that isn’t so. Go along with the whole process here, don’t shortcut yourself. This stuff is important!
If the other stuff mentioned above is important to you too, but not THE most important, then that tells us something else too.
I don’t want to just give the conclusion of the above example: “We love beachfront but want to have available not too far away some culture, art and restaurants.” If you also knew that they liked colonial architecture and come from a college town and like that energy, whereabouts should they look for their perfect place in Nicaragua?
Put guesses in the comments below!
There are many fine towns and a few real cities to choose from when deciding where to live in Nicaragua. Some of the factors influencing whether one town or city works best for your personal situation are:
There are many more factors in addition to those named above. We’ll tackle this topic on a broad level now and in further posts will break it down into some detail. If you have enjoyed this post, please comment below and encourage me to continue with this series!
Let’s get started with some broad strokes as to what whould be the best Nicaraguan city for you to live in.
Do you want to live in a city, town, village, or? Would you enjoy being in the center of the pueblo just a couple of streets off of the plaza? Or, do you prefer living a few minutes drive or bus away from the downtown? As with all things, there are pluses and minuses to each of these options and you need to find out for yourself what is best for you.
What about your Spanish-language skills? If you already have a fairly good handle on Spanish, then you are likely much more open to living wherever you want to in Nicaragua. Folks with limited Spanish and little-to-no ability to learn the language will probably be best suited to live in an area with a large existing expat community where you can speak English most everywhere you go.
Are finances a major consideration? If living on a fixed budget, even though your money goes much further in Nicaragua, you will still need to watch your spending habits and keep a reserve handy in case. Obviously, if you have a much more comfortable financial situation, then you can forego thinking about strategizing on money-saving schemes and live you life as you desire.
What about your health? Your age? Anything requiring regular checkups, medical specialists, tests and exams? That will affect your decisions too. Excellent health care is available in Nicaragua, but is not evenly distributed throughout the country. For the most part, Managua is where the best doctors and hospitals are located.
Do you prefer to live in a real Nicaraguan community or one with a sizeable expat population? Some people, usually those with limited Spanish skills, find themselves drawn to expat communities, of which there are not a lot to choose from in Nicaragua. Do you want to join the Kiwanas club or the American Legion? If that is the sort of social life you envision then your options are limited as regards Nicaragua. Or, do you want to live as completely as possible with Nicaraguans in a Spanish-speaking community? This question also speaks to your needs for a social life. Some folks are just fine by themselves or the occasional meetup with friends, and some are real “joiners” that want to be part of every bridge club, charity event, volunteering at the schools, hospitals, orphanages, etc. Which are you?
Weather is another important consideration. Luckily, in Nicaragua one can choose what kind of weather they like. Warm and hot is the norm here, but there are mountainous areas that are great for that “perpetual spring” climate. As you get to live here awhile, a slight change in temperature can make the difference between sweating and being miserable or quite comfortable.
Transportation is important too. It is not too difficult to live without a car in Nicaragua and in some places it offers a distinct advantage to not drive! Buses and taxis are usually very available and mostly inexpensive. Driving here has its challenges, but of course offers freedom of movement that relying on public transportation just does not offer.
Finally, what amenities are important to you? For example, are you a shopaholic? There aren’t too many shopping malls in Nicaragua and most of them are in Managua. Are first-run movies in brand-new theaters your thing? Again, the capital has those but are not very well distributed outside of Managua. What about nightlife? Culture? Art? Poetry? Live music? A variety of different types of restaurants? I always recommend you be clear with yourself that if you feel you need these amenities, don’t go moving out to the coast where it takes an hour or two to find some of these things. Be real with yourself and admit you like eating sushi and seeing a musical play live once in a while!
Okay, that is the end of this edition. I plan on writing more of these and going into further detail on each and every consideration to help make your move to Nicaragua a good one! Please share, Like, or comment!