Booker Travels – Nicaragua: JFK to MGA


This video, Booker Travels – Nicaragua: JFK to MGA, isn’t what I thought it would be, to tell you my impression. It was actually good! It’s a story of a kid whose name is Booker and it follows his trip step-by-step. He goes from his house somewhere in New York, takes the metro to the airport, flies to the Managua airport (MGA), stays overnight at what looks to be one of the hotels near the airport, then goes to Popoyo beach the next day to go surfing.

While I did enjoy the look at buffet of the airport-area hotel he stayed at and appreciate that with a free stay you get some nice footage for your hotel in the video, the video as a whole would have been much better if he had started with our soft landing service instead of a major chain hotel. But the food at the breakfast buffet does look pretty good!

The segment at the hotel could have been much more of a “wow” moment; picture waking up on a tropical farm with views of two volcanoes, one of which is active and smoking. In front of you is a crystal-clear swimming pool with a picturesque, fruit-tree filled valley with a big hill in front of you that goes to “the Clouds” (las nubes). It is quiet and cool and a great place to recharge your energies in preparation for the rest of your Nicaraguan vacation. Great way to end your visit too!

Nice footage of Popoyo there Booker! Nice job on the video and congratulations on being a master of social media. Seriously, I am impressed by this young man.

I think it was Booker's first time to see a cow up close?

I think it was Booker’s first time to see a cow up close?


Wouldn´t a day or two of relaxing (w/local tour options) be better?

5br – Wouldn´t a day or two of relaxing (w/local tour options) be better? (km 10 1/2 C. a Masaya, Managua)

New advertisement for the Farmstay to be published in the upcoming issue of Right Side Guide! Thanks Casey!

New advertisement for the Farmstay to be published in the upcoming issue of Right Side Guide! Thanks Casey!

You won’t believe you are actually in Managua! No va a creer que estás en Managua!

Ranked #1 in the Specialty lodging category in Managua on TripAdvisor!
Ocupa el puesto # 1 en la categoría de otros alojamientos en Managua en TripAdvisor!

About the Farmstay

Located 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!

Mission

To 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.

Description

Farmstay 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 Information

We 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.

via Wouldn´t a day or two of relaxing (w/local tour options) be better?.

We have had the fortunate experience of having a string of European visitors to the Farmstay, and it got me to thinking that this may be a great market segment for us. First we had three different single female travelers stay with us for two nights each, from Germany, Holland, and then Germany again. Then we had two couples stay two nights with us who were from England and Holland.

So it got me to thinking that the European visitor to Nicaragua has traveled about 24 hours to get here, and they are very happy to have our famous “soft landing service” where we pick the visitors up at the airport, bring them to the Farmstay, they stay a couple of nights, getting some much-needed rest, and sometimes they feel like an afternoon or night tour of Masaya or the Masaya Volcano is something they would like to do too. All easily accomplished at our excellent location where it is so tranquil, calm, and peaceful that one can really rest here, but we are only fifteen minutes to the Masaya Volcano National Park, so a quick tour to the most-frequented tourist destination is super-easy to accomplish.

If anyone has any tips to share about how to attract more of these wonderful visitors, please comment here or send me a message.


ATBC Resolution: Halt the Interoceanic Canal in Nicaragua |

ATBC Resolution: Halt the Interoceanic Canal in Nicaragua

Posted on October 24, 2014 by tropicalbiologyCanal-1

In June 2013, the Nicaraguan government granted a concession to the Hong Kong Nicaragua Development Corporation (HKND) to build an interoceanic canal connecting the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, through Nicaragua, traversing Lake Cocibolca (also known as lake Nicaragua), along with multiple infrastructure development projects of considerable size. Planned developments include a 400 km2 artificial lake, multiple tourist complexes, factories to produce construction materials, and hundreds of kilometres of paved roads through otherwise inaccessible rainforest.

via ATBC Resolution: Halt the Interoceanic Canal in Nicaragua |.

The Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation has come out firmly against the Nicaraguan Interoceanic Canal, citing the need for independent environmental studies and urging a review of the impacts to the environment and the people who currently live in the canal zone.

Nica Insiders are saying that with the wide swath of land awarded to the Chinese company, it is quite likely that they will just sell off the land and its resources to the highest bidder and then maybe see if they want to build an actual canal, leaving the country with all of the negative effects but none of the positive economic boom that President Daniel Ortega is promising the Nicaraguan people.


The monstrosity of the Canal| La Prensa

The monstrosity of the Canal

By: Ernesto Cardenal

Author and poet Ernesto Cardenal

Author and poet Ernesto Cardenal

We need to expose to the world what is happening in Nicaragua.

President Daniel Ortega, with the all-embracing power that he and his wife have in this country, had the National Congress create and approve (in one day) a law for the construction of the Interoceanic Canal. The people were not consulted at all about this law. The day after the law was passed, a concession was granted  with dizzying speed, although it will affect Nicaragua for over one hundred years. The award was made to a previously unknown Chinese named Wang Jing. The award only grants rights to Wang Jing but does not impose any obligations.

The grant was made without any previous study, as President Ortega himself has said.

The grant requires that all information about the construction of the Canal will remain confidential.

The grant, which was made without any bidding, includes an airport, two ports, a railway and two free trade zones.

National territory has been given so that these works can be carried out where Wang Jing wants and he will have all the permissions to make whatever decisions that may be required. He will have complete license, permit or authorization that he will ever need.

The State of Nicaragua will not receive a single penny in taxes or charges for any of the works.

Under the agreement the Chinese company signed, they are beyond national law, free of responsibility for any administrative, civil or criminal liability or penalty, even if they default on their obligations.

The law is contradictory to many aspects of our Constitution.

It also contradicts other projects that might be more profitable in the long term than cutting apart in two the tourist corridor of the Pacific.

The famed Humboldt Center has stated that the construction of this canal and its Project Partners are the biggest threat to environmental conditions in the country’s history. They also claimed that this concession exempts all Project Partners from compliance with environmental legislation which may be exposing the country to irreversible ecological destruction.

The State of Nicaragua would receive one percent of the shares each year, and in one hundred years would have one hundred percent of the shares.

With every passing ship, a huge amount of fresh water would go to the sea.

The Great Lake of Nicaragua will only have one utility: navigation. We cannot produce food through irrigation, we can only see boats passing by.

Nor can we drink water from the lake. We must also take into account that many people live by fishing in the lake and now they will not have that as an option.

All our water, surface and underground will be given to a Chinese man.

To the owners of the land that will be expropriated by this Chinese man will pay a price for the land at the land registry (i.e. tax declaration) value and not market value.

36 cities would be affected by the loss of the lake, as well as many smaller towns.

The Isletas of Granada will disappear because he locks will raise the lake level by two meters.

This nightmare scenario is what President Daniel Ortega calls the “Promised Land.”

Many experts say that Nicaragua would earn more by selling potable drinking water than from the income of a canal that won’t be ours for a hundred years.

With this Canal, the country will be divided into two, the Nicaragua North and South, as there were two Germanys and as there are two Koreas. There will be two distinct populations of animals (except those that can fly) that will be different over time. which will hurt our biodiversity.

Solentiname has been declared a national monument, but without the lake there will be no more Solentiname. Someone from over there said: “I’ll be eating a lot of fish, afterwards there will be no more because all the fish will be canned by the Chinese.”

With this Canal, Lake Nicaragua, which for us is a great blessing of God, will become a curse.

Doing away with Lake Nicaragua would be the greatest crime in the history of our country, and Ortega would become a more abominable figure than William Walker$.

via The monstrosity Channel | The Press News.

Very clear and direct words from a great Nicaraguan poet and writer, Ernesto Cardenal. I hadn’t thought about the idea that the isletas will basically disappear with a rise in the lake levels of 6 feet, but it makes sense.

Nicaraguan Insiders tell me that this is just a land grab. As I’ve posted elsewhere on this site, lets hope the worst case scenario does not come to pass. Please share far and wide!


Nicaragua, taking different response to drug trade, reduces violence | Take Two | 89.3 KPCC

Nicaragua, taking different response to drug trade, reduces violence

Take Two | October 30th, 2014, 8:45am

Honduras CocaineORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/Getty Images

Forensic personnel prepare about 400kg of cocaine to be burnt in Tegucigalpa on May 11, 2012.

 

The drug was seized this week in a joint operation, between the Police and the Army in La Mosquita, on the border with Nicaragua.

Nicaragua is Central America’s largest country. It has a long coastline that runs along both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.

That makes it a prime location for the drug trade going from South America north to the U.S.

But unlike many of its neighbors, Nicaragua has taken a different approach to drug violence. And though poverty is still a major issue, it’s managed to avoid the high levels of violence in places like Mexico or nearby Honduras.

Read the rest here, via Nicaragua, taking different response to drug trade, reduces violence | Take Two | 89.3 KPCC.

NPR has been doing some very good reporting on Nicaragua in the last few months, several of which I have posted and commented on this website. This report discusses the different approach that Nicaragua has tried to take which is based on reducing violence and homicides rather then using the “mano duro” (hard fist) against drug traffickers and their minions.

On the positive side, I do believe that this approach has helped a great deal to keep the level of violence down in this country. On the, well maybe not negative side per-se but I can’t say it is a positive, I’ve heard some stories recently from people who know about these things first hand. While it isn’t a real surprise to hear that this sort of thing goes on, it is a bit of shock to have confirmation from reliable sources as to the nefarious dealings that goes on.

Nicaragua Insiders tell me that the whole approach is basically one that says the police (and probably the army too) are directly involved in at least some of the drug running, especially on the Caribbean coast. For example, there have been times when a plane full of drugs is going to land and the Army has been tipped off about the landing so they lie in wait in the bushes waiting for the landing to arrest the pilot and anyone who comes around to collect the merchandise. Lo and behold, a convoy of brand-new Toyota Hilux trucks rolls in, full of police. Are they there to arrest the bad guys? No, they are there to pick up the drugs and take it to Managua for further transport up to North America. The Hilux trucks come to to the landing site in plainclothes so-to-speak and after loading the merchandise, they put lights and signage on the vehicles.

Sometimes the Army decides to take on the Police and there are casualties. Other times, they decide they are outgunned and no one wants to die that day so they let them go on their merry way.

After all, who is going to stop police cars as they go back to Managua loaded down with the goods from South America? That’s right, nobody! Big picture, the local PTB’s (you know who they are!) don’t like rivals. There is one organized crime syndicate here and they will tolerate no competition!

 


Good Horn Work at the Moravia Church in Managua

Enjoying the services at the local Moravian Church in Managua

We’ve been going to the local Moravian church here in Managua, and really enjoy it. They have a great choir and sometimes the music is good too. This gentleman who plays the horn isn’t there all of the time, but when he is I really enjoy his horn playing and his singing. He has one of those basso profundo singing voices. I’ll try to record him singing sometime soon.

If you are interested to know more about the Moravian Church, Wikipedia has an interesting article on them. Their claim to fame is that they are the oldest Protestant denomination and were the first to do large scale Protestant Missionary work.

In addition to the music and singing, I like that at least half of the service is in Miskito, which I don’t understand at all. So it is a nice way to truly meditate on God and enjoy that experience with the brethren in the church and the community that we share.

Screen capture from video of some good horn work done by a parishioner of the Emmanuel Moravian Church in Managua.

Screen capture from video of some good horn work done by a parishioner of the Emmanuel Moravian Church in Managua.

The other part I like a lot is that they emphasize your own experience and relationship with God and Jesus, not big doctrinaires. They also employ a very communal type of service where community members, visiting pastors, and others get up and say a prayer, sing a song, or read some passages of the Bible. The pastor sort of starts off the proceedings, does a bit of the singing and such, and covers the calendar items. Besides that, he generally gives up the reins during the service and it is a good indicator for me that it is not a dogmatic type of belief that they push. Which I like. A lot!


Nicaraguans rise up against Chinese canal (Fusion.net)

Nicaraguans rise up against Chinese canal

A main protest

Carlos Herrera

Riseup-banner

NUEVA GUINEA, Nicaragua — Nicaragua’s muddy countryside rumbled under the staccato of horse hooves and rubber boots on Tuesday as more than 1,000 campesinos marched through Nueva Guinea to protest the construction of a $50-billion, privately owned Chinese canal that would rival Panama’s interoceanic waterway.

Under the banners “Our land is not for sale!” and “Chinaman, go home!” Nicaraguan farmers and cowboys vowed to defend their properties from government expropriation and Chinese encroachment.

protest women

“I would rather die than hand over my property,” march organizer Francisca Ramirez, 39, told Fusion in a phone interview from Nueva Guinea, 175 miles east of the capital. “The people living in this region are already living in extreme poverty. Where are we supposed to go if the government kicks us off our land?”

Suspicions of Nicaragua’s left-wing Sandinista government have turned to alarm as the country’s perpetual president, Daniel Ortega, hatched a perplexing partnership with enigmatic Chinese businessman Wang Jing in 2013. Now, the two are preparing to expropriate land from 7,000 mostly poor Nicaraguan families to make way for an ill-conceived 172-mile canal megaproject that many doubt will ever get funded, much less built.

NICARAGUA-CHINA-CANAL

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and Wang Jing  (photo/ AFP)

More than a year after the president’s Sandinista Front rushed a sovereignty-compromising concession law through his rubber-stamp congress, Nicaraguans still don’t know how much the Chinese canal will cost, who will pay for it, whose land will be confiscated, or what the environmental impacts will be on the country’s expansive Lake Cocibolca, considered by many to be the future source of drinking water for all of Central America.

 

Read the rest here.

I’ve been following this developing story and am trying to read the tea leaves here since the whole process is so non-transparent that the waters are muddier then the Mississippi river. (Mix your metaphors much?) I’ve been leaning towards the worst case scenario being that which actually comes into being, but this article by Tim Rogers pretty much is an additional strong data point indicating that will be the case here with the Interoceanic Canal of Nicaragua. It’s a Chinese land grab. The canal won’t be built, at least completely. They’ll just get a hold of a bunch of land, screw up the environment as much as possible without actually completing the canal, leaving Nicaragua with all of the problems and none of the potential benefits.

All I can say to the prospective visitor to Nicaragua who actually wants to see the natural environment that is as deep and dark (and biodiverse) as anything the Amazon can dish up best get their butts down here ASAP. Do it in 2015 would be my advice!


And now, another five-star review, this time in German!

Britta

Britta

Mike ist ein toller Gastgeber und kümmert sich sehr um seine Gäste.
Das Frühstück und auch das Abendessen waren super.
Seine Farm ist wunderschön gelegen und ruhig. Ein idealer Platz zum Entspannen mit einen schönen Pool. Wir würden jederzeit gerne wieder kommen.

So this is great, right? We had a run of great reviews in French and now a fantastic review in German! Its so fun to meet people from all parts of the world, make friends, and then help them have some great adventures here in Nicaragua. I love it!

Oh, and by the way, its a really nice sweet review so thanks so much Britta from Munich! I’ll let y’all go and translate it. Here’s the link to the text in Google Translate if you are curious…


New march against construction of interoceanic canal announced

Announce new march against construction of interoceanic canal

By: Jerome Pérez Duarte, correspondent in New Guinea

Landowners who are supposed to be affected by the construction of the mega canal project will protest on Tuesday 21 October in the Colonia La Fonseca, a community that is located about 30 kilometers south of the town of New Guinea.

Julio Garcia, a member of the Commission for the Defense of the Land, said he will meet at least about 40 communities which disagree with the construction of the mega project, because “this canal does not benefit anyone, on the contrary, is stripping us our lands.”

Paula Moran, a resident of the district La Esperanza which belongs to the same region of the Southern Caribbean said “They passed by my farm. I asked if they had already stipulated the price and they did not want to say anything. This indicates that they want to pay whatever they want and how is that going to serve me if I cannot read what I can see that will serve these Chinese.”

In a radio broadcast, organizers said that the marches will not stop and the November 14 march will be in the county seat, “to show the government that we do not want the canal, we do not want to be imposed upon,” the farmers said.

Meanwhile the head of the National Police in New Guinea, Arnulfo Rocha commissioner, said the permits are granted up to 72 hours in advance, but the citizens of Colonia La Fonseca that intend to protest have not sent any request.