The Labyrinth of the Capital | La Prensa

The labyrinth of the capital

By: Amalia Morales

Map of Managua showing the amount of roadwork required

Map of Managua showing the amount of roadwork required

  • The circulatory system of the capital is a labyrinthine. As does a heart, it pumps vehicles in and out of the capital through five arteries that have undergone changes in the past three decades. Passing through the capital little more than three hundred thousand vehicles, half of the total flowing through the country.

One lane is extended every two years and they’ve built an overpass after eight years. In the last three decades the system of streets and avenues of the capital has undergone some changes, however, traffic is growing at a rate of about twenty thousand vehicles per year. Experts consulted say it is not only building roads and creating more roundabouts, intelligent traffic lights or overpasses that will resolve the chaotic traffic that alters the lives of Managuans.
They also have to improve roads connecting neighborhoods and encourage the use of alternate streets that lack signaling, but mostly they have to think about the ordinary citizen and to transform the mass transit system, which indeed, cities like Panama, New York, Medellin, Mexico, Bogotá, Curitiba, Santiago de Chile, among others have done.
A report on the national road network of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure (MTI) 2001 argued that “the road network in Managua-very soon become congested due to increased vehicles as a result of economic and population growth. However, the development of new roads, as well as the improvement of existing, becomes vital for the future of Managua.”
The same report states, “however, that the problem of traffic congestion has never been solved anywhere in the world by simply building one road and then another. This does not solve the problem, this is just a waste of resources and deterioration of the environment of the city. ”
The former mayor of Managua, Dionisio Marenco, agrees with these proposals and is certain that other cities have invested improving mass transit system.
“For me the solution lies not in creating additional lanes, is by means of developing mass transportation,” says Marenco, who explains that when a city has over a million inhabitants, it is no longer enough to only have the bus system as the capital has now. You need to create an articulated transport system as has been done in Latin American cities, where the authorities led to develop a bus system which have an exclusive lane or a meter, which is almost unthinkable in Managua by the number of seismic faults that cross the city and soil quality.
“The most efficient investment that could be made here is to develop more streets like Cardinal Obando y Bravo who will joining pieces of east-west streets, if that could be extended up to the Old Road to León, it would be fantastic.”
Dionisio Marenco, former mayor of Managua.

 

PROPOSAL FROM 1974

In this regard, there is an old proposal to build a system of “environmentally friendly” mass transit and population.
Engineer Arnulfo Martinez says there was a proposal in 1974 to improve the transport system in the capital. The proposed mass transit spoken of Martinez proposes three main areas: the first covers the northern highway to Ciudad Sandino, the second road from Masaya to the Malecon and the third from the South -Take Incae to the Malecon, encompassing neighborhoods in the west of the capital. These three areas, which would benefit from multimodal terminals in which coincide without causing accidents; buses, taxis, motorcycles, bicycles and private vehicles, they would be articulated with other transport networks organized within the city.
Martinez, who worked on the proposal and updated it, has criticized a lack of political will to implement changes in the transport system of the capital. The engineer questions why the existing system of routes has not been restructured in the capital since the eighties.
Martinez developed this proposal, with advice from Rodrigo Salazar-the guru of changes in the transport system of cities like Medellin, which have been awarded for their human-friendly system and is part of a transportation system even use the lake Xolotlán well as waterway transport. “It’s a natural way that you can use,” said the expert.
“Half of the right of way belongs to the pedestrian, not everything is for the vehicle. Creating more traffic lanes on the road does not solve the problem, on the contrary, it is a trap for pedestrians.” Arnulfo Martinez, an engineer specializing in mass transit.

 

ADMINISTRATIVE MEASURES AND INVESTMENT

Architect Gerald Pentzke, former director of Urbanism of the Municipality of Managua, believes that administrative measures should be implemented, other technical and infrastructure investments.
The lights and the work of the police during rush hour “is a very effective test” of the work of the intelligent lights that began operating this week. And it is relatively “cheap” considered Pentzke, adding that alongside the two administrative measures should be implemented more technical and investment measures such as the Rubenia overpass. In designs which exist in the Municipality they are also provided overpasses in the area of ​​Metrocentro, where eight years ago there was a pressure of about ninety thousand vehicles per day, but has now increased. The former mayor recalled that the sector of Metrocentro “is the heart” of the capital after the earthquake of 1972 began to grow to the south.
Pentzke also believes that working in the process of interconnection within neighborhoods to decongest the main roads of vehicles with slower circulation as trucks and motorcycle taxis. It is what has been done within some neighborhoods of the Carretera Norte as Hugo Chavez, Pedro Joaquin Chamorro and Las Torres, where they have created bridges and streets.
But he also believes that should fix the streets that are unfinished, finish the lanes that lead nowhere that have been made only in pieces. It is estimated that there are about nine hundred dead ends in Managua.
“Another important factor in this regard is that the road development is always followed by urbanization and a rapid population increase, thus a vicious circle tends to be created between urban expansion and road development. The road development in Managua should be strictly controlled, planned with strong implementation of the administrative capacity of the city, “the MTI report, with which experts agree that along with improving over three hundred intersections that the capital has, you should go for a more humane transport system, requiring many who now are in a private vehicle, to leave it and use the buses.

Source (in Spanish): El laberinto de la capital | La Prensa

According to this article, there remains lots of unfinished business as regards the transportation in, out and around the capital city of Managua. In addition to hundreds of dead ends, unfinished roads, lack of investment in better mass transport systems, the city faces a seemingly never-ending increase in the amount of vehicles added to the streets of Managua every year (over 20,000!).

Adding new lanes to existing roads does not solve anything, and the resultant lack of space for pedestrians also causes problems with the people. You can’t do a subway system here due to the active seismic fault lines, and right-of-ways to build light rail or dedicated bus lanes simply does not exist in Managua.

An interesting point made is that when a city grows to over 1 million in population, a standard bus system just doesn’t cut it anymore as far as serving the needs of the people. I can’t see too many solutions to this problem other than instituting a massive taking of properties along the existing roads to be able to widen them and install dedicated light rail and/or electric bus technologies.

There’s that area from Huembes Market to Carretera a Masaya for example. This area gets choked with traffic every workday, and there are few if any alternate routes to be taken to avoid the area. What might work at least a bit is to construct a sort of ring road, say from just east of the airport extending south towards Masaya and west to the Carretera Sur, but this area, especially on the west side, already is populated with lots of homes and businesses so implementing such a plan would be difficult at best.

What are your ideas to help improve traffic in Managua?

Pleasant Holidays Expands Presence in Nicaragua | TravelPulse

Pleasant Holidays Expands Presence in Nicaragua Vacation Packages | David Cogswell | August 18, 2015

PHOTO: Managua, home of the Barceló Managua, is one of the Nicaraguan destinations in Pleasant Holidays' newest expansion . (Photo by David Cogswell)

PHOTO: Managua, home of the Barceló Managua, is one of the Nicaraguan destinations in Pleasant Holidays’ newest expansion . (Photo by David Cogswell)

Pleasant Holidays continues to expand its Central American presence with the addition of five resorts in Nicaragua. Nicaragua is still relatively new on the tourism market, but Pleasant is signaling that it will be expanding there as part of its push southward in Central America. “The largest country in Central America yet a relatively unknown and exotic vacation haven, Nicaragua offers charming colonial cities, tranquil beaches, majestic volcanoes, expansive lakes, tropical jungles, exotic wildlife and fascinating eco-tourism adventures,” said Jack E. Richards, president and CEO of Pleasant Holidays. The additions include Barceló Managua in Managua; Hotel Dario in the colonial city of Granada; Jicaro Island Ecolodge in Granada Isletas on Lake Nicaragua; and three resorts on the Emerald Coast, including Aqua Wellness Resort, Morgan’s Rock Hacienda and Ecolodge and Mukul Beach, Golf and Spa Resort. The offering covers a range of styles of hotel, from luxury resorts to boutique properties for honeymoons to eco-lodges. The company is launching the new series of resorts in Nicaragua with a $100 savings per booking for all Nicaragua resorts. The discount is valid on new bookings of air-inclusive packages of three nights or more booked by Sept. 13 for travel through July 16, 2016. Travel agents can book on Pleasant Holidays exclusive travel agent site.

Source: Pleasant Holidays Expands Presence in Nicaragua | TravelPulse

Another data point for those following developments in the Nicaraguan tourism sector. This short press release discusses some additional tour options offered by well-known tour operator Pleasant Holidays. I take this as an indicator of Nicaragua becoming a more mainstream travel option for those looking for packaged deals instead of independent travel.

This offering means that any travel agent can book a nice (albeit more expensive) guided tour of Nicaragua without having any specialized knowledge or experience traveling here, thereby bringing a whole new type of traveler to this country. Your thoughts and comments appreciated!

Adventure in El Chocoyero

 Are we in physical condition to walk 3.200 meters? That was the first thing I asked the guide before starting our journey in the Wildlife Refuge Chocoyero-El Brujo, a nature reserve which is situated in the municipality of Ticuantepe, about 30 kilometers from Managua.

Jose Santos Valle, ranger of the reserve and who accompanied us on this adventure, reports that this place was declared a protected area on June 23, 1993 and was later elevated to the status of a wildlife refuge in 2004.

According to Valle, this retreat is considered the largest reservoir of fresh water in Managua.Its two waterfalls: La Bruja and The Chocoyero, supply drinking water to several communities in Ticuantepe. At more than 20 meters of height, these waterfalls are among the main attractions of the area.

Bird sanctuary

As we move forward, the guide told us that in the reserve have been identified 186 species of birds, 44 are migratory and come from the United States and Canada, the others are local. The most predominant species is the Pacific Parakeet, known as chocoyo, hence the place be called “Chocoyero”.

During the tour it is common to hear the sound of the howler monkeys, which easily can be seen in a trail dedicated to the sighting of this species. Here we have identified 56 types of mammals, most breed are white-faced monkeys, raccoons, squirrels, anteaters, guatusos, peccaries, deer, armadillos, among other species.

Interested: Gallery Chocoyero

The lizards, iguanas, lizards and snakes are among the 33 species of reptiles have been discovered at the shelter. There are also 11 types of amphibians, including the green frog red eye, known as Agalychnis callidryas.

This sanctuary is also home to 163 species of trees and shrubs. The most prevalent are: guayabón, medlar, fig tree, ficus elastic or rubber tree, black and royal cedar chilamate. The guide emphasizes that they are protecting and playing for your kind does not go away and for wildlife to feed on their fruits and roots infiltrate water into the aquifer.

Water wealth

After walking 1.800 meters, in an area with irregular surface: flat and outstanding parts, we have come to the El Brujo waterfall. The ranger says it has that name because a hundred years ago, when it was first discovered, the locals did not know exactly where it came from the source, it was an underground river, the water came to the surface by a ravine 70 meters and then he infiltrated to disappear completely.

The view offered this spring is beautiful. Leaping, a powerful jet with a capacity of 120 gallons per minute, supply drinking water communities of San Jose, Los Rios and France.

1,200 meters is another waterfall, Chocoyero, supplying the vital liquid to the El Eden community. In summer, its flow is 50 gallons per minute in winter the amount is doubled.

Along the side, a huge cliff about 80 meters high and volcanic is the refuge of hundreds of parakeets. The holes in the large rock walls leave every morning these birds in flocks in search of food and return at about 4:00 or 5:00 pm to sleep.

Trails

For the more daring and adventurous, the refuge offers trails on the upper surface of the reserve, they take five to eight hours. Two guides, trained in the use of implements such as ropes and first aid kits will accompany you during the tour.

Although the reserve is small, there are obstacles that could hinder their access to the trails, so the guide warns that carry water to stay hydrated, and if have problems with blood pressure is better to opt for the lower walks, which are less risky.

In the place you could also camp or stay in the cabins, this would allow you to do some guided tours at night.

How to get?

By car: From Managua you’re on the road to Masaya, arriving at kilometer 14 turn right in the direction of Ticuantepe, then you will you direct to the road to La Concepcion and at kilometer 21 and a half turn right, there you will see the signs that will indicate the route, the shelter is about eight kilometers. It is advisable to make the trip in a 4×4 vehicle because it is a dirt road with uneven surface.

By bus: Roberto Huembes market in Managua you will take the bus going to Ticuantepe, get off at the urban area and there hire a motorcycle taxi service that will take you to the refuge’s visitor center.

Costs

Domestic tourists: C $ 40
Foreign tourists: C $ 90
Children: C $ 10
Elementary students: C $ 15
College: C $ 25
Path watching: $ 4
Adventure Path: US $ 40
Family cabin: $ 30
Double cabin: $ 20

If you like to be in contact with nature and adventure tourism is attractive to you, this place is for you!

Source: Aventura en El Chocoyero

Top Five Tips for Renting a Car in Nicaragua http://wp.me/p1VgwB-1ac

Top Five Tips for Renting a Car in Nicaragua http://wp.me/p1VgwB-1ac

Posted by Bed and Breakfast Farmstay El Portón Verde, Managua on Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A Google image search reveals quite a few rental car companies here in Nicaragua

A Google image search reveals quite a few rental car companies here in Nicaragua

You won’t believe you are actually in Managua! MGA transport, B&B Farm

You won’t believe you are actually in Managua! MGA transport, B&B Farm (km. 10 1/2 Carretera a Masaya)image 1image 1image 2image 3image 4image 5image 6image 7image 8image 9image 10image 11image 12image 13image 140BR available nowdogs are OK – woooffurnishedwheelchair accessiblehouselaundry on siteoff-street parkingYou won’t believe you are actually in Managua! No va a creer que estás en Managua!About the FarmstayLocated in Managua, but being here feels like a world away. . .visit us at: http://www.elportonverde.com/Ubicados en Managua, pero se siente en otro mundo…visitenos, estamos a sus ordenes!MissionTo bring a comfortable stay for guests who desire to be near the best of the Nicaraguan capital city of Managua but want to be in a pleasant environment with excellent views, amenities, and hospitality.Para traer una estancia cómoda para los huéspedes que desean estar cerca de los mejores de la capital nicaragüense de Managua, pero quieren estar en un ambiente agradable, con excelentes vistas, comodidades y hospitalidad.DescriptionFarmstay El Porton Verde is a small guesthouse, your “first night and last night alternative” to chain hotels near the Managua Airport (Aeropuerto Internacional Augusto C. Sandino) or in downtown Managua. If you like a cool & breezy location in a peaceful tropical farm environment, check us out!Estamos su alternativo a los hoteles de cadena, y su posada del “primer y ultima noche” en Nicaragua. Si te gusta un lugar fresco y ventoso en un ambiente pacífico en finca tropical, visítenos!General InformationWe are a family-friendly farmstay guesthouse B&B offering accommodations for a maximum of 14 guests. We offer a fully-furnished one bedroom apartment, two rooms with bunk beds for backpackers that sleep up to four, and two en-suite rooms with queen-sized beds.Somos una posada estilo B & B que ofrece alojamiento para un máximo de 14 invitados. Ofrecemos un apartamento totalmente amueblado, dos habitaciones con literas para los mochileros que pueden alojar hasta cuatro, y dos habitaciones con baño privado, camas de tamaño queen.

Source: You won’t believe you are actually in Managua! MGA transport, B&B Farm

45 Cruise Ships Arriving in Nicaragua

45 Cruise Ships Arriving in Nicaragua

International tourism revenues left Nicaragua about 445.4 million dollars in 2014, 6.8% more than the $ 417 million raised during 2013, according to official data.
Last year Nicaragua entered a total of 1.32 million foreign tourists, 7.3% more than the 1.23 million who came to the Central American country in 2013.
Nicaragua expects to bill this year about 450 million dollars in foreign exchange from tourism and receive 1.35 million tourists.

Source: 45 cruceros arribarán a Nicaragua

Number of cruise ships went from 37 to 45, which is something around an 18% increase and foreign tourists 7% so that’s all good. It’s almost expected now that these numbers go up about 4% a year, so if that’s accurate, that is a really good number!

I also really like this article because it tells how making Managua part of the tour is the real deal.

 

Nicaraguan Tourism in check | La Prensa

Tourism in check

By: Lucia Navas

Bay of San Juan del Sur. LA PRENSA/ARCHIVO

Bay of San Juan del Sur. LA PRENSA/FILE

Cooperation and investment is at risk because the Intur is headless

The absence of a minister and the dismissal of the principal directors have paralyzed the Nicaraguan Tourism Institute (Intur), a situation that risks 3.8 million euros (4.1 million dollars) from the government of Luxembourg because it is not certain if resources will be used correctly.
Leonardo Torres, president of the Nicaraguan Chamber of Small and Medium Enterprises Tourism (Cantur), who also warned that failing to name a chairperson to the Board of Tourism Incentives has stopped approval of six new investment projects, among these hotels.
Although the official version is that entrepreneur Mayra Salinas is on vacation, it is known that she has been dismissed from her role as the Executive Chairman of Intur on 28 July. They also fired five CEOs.
“We would expect that if there is no minister, there would be a deputy minister, a director, someone who has been named, but for two months in the private sector we do not have communication with Intur and that worries us,” said Torres.
So he asked the President of the Republic to name “as soon as possible” replacements of the Intur authorities “or to tell us if we should coordinate with Gustavo Porras (doctor, union leader and member of the FSLN), but you need to put someone forward, because we can no longer be paralyzed. ”
Porras is in charge of the restructuring of the Institute of Tourism and other entities such as the Ministry of Home Economics.
Private investment in tourism fell in the first half of 2015 by 63 percent over the same period of 2014. Their have been approved only $ 22 million this year. As of June last year investments exceeded sixty million dollars.
Cantur fears that private investment in tourism continues to be inoperative due to the failing Tourism Incentives Board, which chairs Intur together with the Ministry of Finance and Business Chambers. Most urgently, Torres said, it is to define the use of cooperation funds in Luxembourg.
For the August 14th meeting that is scheduled between private chambers, Intur and the representative of Luxembourg to define the projects of International Cooperation Plan for 2016-2017 in that country of around 3.8 million euros.
“That is in standby, do not know whether to give this meeting because we have defined time and place and is donated to Nicaragua,” said Torres. He explained that the meeting was rescheduled after discontinuing the meeting scheduled for June, precisely because Mayra Salinas began to limit meetings with entrepreneurs.
“Until you sit down and work out what we are doing, this is discouraging cooperation and if we are asking for money everywhere and can’t show how to use it, this is harming small businesses in Nicaragua,” lamented Torres.

LAW OF THE COASTS IS USELESS

Cantur met last Friday with the Monitoring Committee headed by presidential adviser for economic affairs, Bayardo Arce, who requested that the President of the Republic fix the Intur situation.
The Committee on Development of Coastal Areas has stopped working again as mayors continue providing coastal concessions and renting land in tourist areas over the laws in the Coastal Act. This commission has not met since 2009. Cantur reported problems with tourism investments in San Rafael del Sur, San Jorge, in Corinto, San Juan del Sur and Tola.

Source: Turismo en jaque | La Prensa

This doesn’t sound good. Not at all! As useless as Intur is, they of course are even more useless without anyone leading efforts to increase investment. I’d like to say this is a typical Nicaragua situation, but really when it comes to investment in tourism the government should be paying a bit more attention.

If it is true that some large investments are on hold or those funds being diverted to other regions and countries, that is a real shame. We need more luxury and spa properties, more ecotourism, and more mid-range tourism offerings and this development with the government tourism board is not helping in that endeavor at all!

Also, this report that the Coastal Act is no longer being enforced (that’s my read on it at least) is really troubling as again, investors want to know what the rules are before they invest big bucks (or euros) in the Nicaraguan economy.

Just when Nicaragua is getting a better name amongst tourists, and the economy has been doing better, and numbers of tourists visiting has been going up, we see this and all I can say is that this is quite disappointing. I’d love your opinion or read on this, especially someone with more contact with Intur. Feel free to add your comments below.

USA ‘Is coming for’ Daniel Ortega for the construction of the Grand Canal of Nicaragua

AFP / MANDEL NGAN

AFP / MANDEL NGAN

Latin American leaders who choose to follow an independent US policy must be prepared for any reaction that might come from Washington. Currently, the greatest discontent for the White House is generated by the president of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, which the US State Department says, is acting in an “extremely hostile” US policy front, some experts believe.

Source (in Spanish): EE.UU. ‘se venga’ de Daniel Ortega por la construcción del Gran Canal de Nicaragua – RT

Short article, but IMO it’s a fairly accurate description of actual US policy towards Nicaragua and specifically the Grand Canal. Seems obvious that China owning a canal that’s actually closer and makes more economic sense to shippers to use than the Panama Canal won’t be welcomed in Washington.

The article makes a good point, that the environmental impact report directly contradicts the Obama administration’s argument. The EIR says that the canal will be viable in terms of nature conservation and water resources whereas the Whitehouse says that it will cause devastating effects of the channel on the ecology of the region.

Since the normal playbook used is to cause instability in countries and regions that don’t play along with the preferred scheme, we can expect more money to be put into the political opposition and there will be more protests.

There’s a journalist and political scientist named Igor Ignatiev who has been writing about this issue on some Russian journals such as Politikus.ru and based on Google translations, has some very interesting observations, including the following:

It is common, in general, the US strategy: Write in your region instability, shake the political situation, and thereby block the flow of investments from other countries. No one wants to invest money where it is not clear what will happen tomorrow. This, in my view, a clear signal to China not to rush to the financing and construction of the Nicaragua Canal.

I’ll let you, dear reader, come to your own conclusions. I just present this as an alternative to the mainstream media and think it’s important to get some perspective from other sources.

 

Leaving Nicaragua, Have a Vehicle to Store? Park & Fly Special

Leaving Nicaragua, Have a Vehicle to Store? Park & Fly Special

(km. 10 1/2 Carretera a Masaya)

 

PARK AND FLY SPECIAL

If you need to come to Managua to fly out of the country but don’t know where to park your car, and if your flight is early in the morning, why not take advantage of our Park and Fly Special?We offer lodging for two persons with transport to the airport and up to 14 days parking for $70 total. If you are out of the country for longer, the parking charge for each day after 14 days is only $1 per day.We have secured parking on our tranquil farmstay property that is only ten minutes from Galerias but feels like it is a hundred miles away from the noise and pollution of Managua.If interested in the Park and Drive Special, please contact Mike @ Farmstay El Porton Verde, Managua

 

APARCAR Y VOLAR ESPECIAL

Si usted necesita llegar a Managua para volar fuera del país, pero no sabe dónde aparcar su coche, y si su vuelo es temprano en la mañana, ¿por qué no tomar ventaja de nuestro Aparcar y Volar especial? Ofrecemos alojamiento para dos personas con el transporte al aeropuerto y hasta 14 días de aparcamiento por $ 70 USD total. Si usted se encuentra fuera del país por más tiempo, el cargo de aparcamiento por cada día después de 14 días es de sólo $ 1 por día. Nos hemos asegurado de aparcamiento en nuestra propiedad farmstay tranquilo que está a sólo diez minutos de Galerias, pero se siente como que está a cientos de millas lejos del ruido y la contaminación de Managua. Si está interesado en el Aparcar y Volar especial,  por favor póngase en contacto con Mike @ Farmstay El Porton Verde, Managua

Source: Leaving Nicaragua, Have a Vehicle to Store? Park & Fly Special

This is our latest advertisement in Craigslist, aimed at expats and Nicaraguans who are leaving the country via air, have a vehicle, and would prefer to drive themselves close to the airport, stay overnight in a place so quiet and tranquil that it is way better than spending more money to stay somewhere else, get taken to the airport to catch their flight, leaving their vehicle to rest in a nice shady spot where it will be well looked after and safe.

We’ve had three guests come in this way, so my ever so astute marketing sense tells me this must be some kind of a need folks have that the Farmstay can and does provide. If you would like to take advantage of this deal too, just get in contact with me by filling out the form below:

Nicaragua: It Just Feels Like Home

Living in Nicaragua is different than the USA

Street in Granada, Nicaragua Author Adalberto.H.Vega

Street in Granada, Nicaragua Author Adalberto.H.Vega

By Suzanne Maxey — My son advised me that Granada, Nicaragua was nothing like the United States. And I thought that I completely understood – that is, until I had lived here for a few months.

It’s a lot like living in the good old days

If you are old enough, think back to the USA in the 50’s and early 60’s.  Then slow the pace down.  Horse drawn carts compete for space on the streets with all the taxis. A small herd of cows and the bull pass by my casa every morning and evening on their way to graze. Ladies older than I am walk the barrio with huge baskets of fruit, vegetables, bread, you name it, balanced on their heads, selling their wares, the bread still hot from the oven. Men walk by all day selling anything you can think of from their carts. Ceiling fans, sewing machines, pots and pans, window glass, you name it.

Living with minor inconveniences

At least once a week either the water or the power or both go out. Usually it is back on by 5 p.m., but now and then it is a 24 hour marathon of no water or no electricity. Not so much fun when it is 95 degrees outside and there is no breeze. Hardly anyone in Nicaragua has air conditioning but a fan usually keeps us cool enough…until the power goes out. Then we spend a fair amount of time standing under the shower.
Hardly anyone here has hot water, either.  But honestly, we don’t need it. The showers are lukewarm to slightly cool, and they sure do feel good.  If you insist on hot water for the dishes, just fill up a bowl with tap water and put it in the microwave. Works fine.

No deprivation required

Most anything you can get in the U.S., you can get here. Can’t say regarding Canadian foods or goods. The grocery stores here carry the more expensive U.S. brands of food as well as Latin American brands. The LA brands of food are just as good, and a lot cheaper. Once in a while I splurge and buy a can of Spam or jar of Jif, but stick with local brands for the most part. In the mercado, any and everything can be found. Be careful in the mercado though; pickpockets love the gringos.

A comfortable life

It’s a slower pace but it is a comfortable pace. I don’t miss the congested interstates or the crowded, overpriced convenience store on every corner. Here, there are pulperias on every block, small convenience stores being operated out of someone’s living room. You can get eggs, chips, milk, soft drinks and homemade frescos, even detergent just a few doors down from your casa. In the evening, ladies set up tables outside their homes with home cooked meals, ready to buy for your supper. Delicious!
Granada, Nicaragua feels like a soft, well worn old shirt and pair of jeans. If I want to go to the mall or a movie then Managua is close by, but the slow, easygoing pace of Granada fits me like a glove. It can be frustrating when the power goes out and then the water cuts off for a few hours, but in the evening when everyone comes outside to walk and visit and gossip, Nicaragua feels like home.
Suzanne Maxey lives not too far from her son (and grandkids) in Granada. Her son, Casey, wrote the NCX Guide to Residency in Nicaragua, a must-have for anyone considering moving down to this beautiful country.