Maya Nut Institute – Finding Balance Between People, Food and Forests

Brosimum-alicastrum 4.jpg

interesting tropical nut tree “ojoche” and the non-profit helping to replant the tree and have native peoples see benefits to the community and families…I want some seedlings or seeds!

Maya Nut Institute – Finding Balance Between People, Food and Forests.

The Maya Nut Institute provides a new paradigm of community based conservation which focuses on women as the caretakers of the family and the environment. By providing women with the skills they need to earn income and feed their children, we improve women’s lives and the lives of their families.

Our program is unique because it addresses key factors for sustainable livelihoods in one program: Sociocultural, Environmental and Economic

Our methodology is based on the principles of active learning and suitable technology. Through one-day workshops in rural communities, we train women about the recipes, nutrition, processing, and marketing of the Maya Nut. In these workshops, women gather to cook together, exchange stories and experiences with the Maya Nut, and listen to short presentations on the health content of the Maya Nut, including how it compares to common food sources such as beans and corn. Some of the delicious foods they learn to prepare with the Maya Nut in these workshops include tamales, tortillas, salad, cakes, cookies, tortas, ice cream, and beverages. This knowledge of the Maya Nut as a free and nutritious food source motivates them to conserve rainforests, plant Maya Nut trees, and get organized to produce and market Maya Nut products so that they can earn income.

The Maya Nut program has demonstrated positive and lasting impacts on:

  • Rainforest conservation
  • Reforestation
  • Health and nutrition
  • Food security
  • Women’s incomes, self-esteem and status
  • Maternal health and infant birth weights

Nicaragua, Managua – cost of living

I have not seen this elsewhere…a real cost of living comparison article.
For example:

Restaurants, Meals Out and Hotel costs are very low compared to other places for items such as a business dinner, dinner at a restaurant (non fast food), hotel rates, take away drinks and snacks (fast food). There are 903 places that are more expensive, and 46 places that are less expensive for restaurants, meals out and hotels.

Nicaragua, Managua – cost of living.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Nicaragua Travel and Retirement Websites

Hey there reader(s) 🙂

Let’s get started by doing a quick review of some of the Google results when one searches for “Nicaragua Travel” and “Nicaragua Retirement.” Some of these could definitely be considered “best of” and some are just not ready for prime time.  These are just my opinions folks, I’m certain there are lots of sites I’m missing but these are my takes…please comment to add your good, bad, and ugly Nicaragua travel and retirement-related websites!

I’ll give you the high-level results here and in later posts I will delve into details.  Some of these websites and blogs are absolutely “don’t miss” sites and others have shown some promise, but either are not updated regularly or are mostly scams that actually don’t help you at all in your search for information on retiring or traveling to Nicaragua.

Nicaragua Living
The big daddy of Nicaragua-related websites, NicaLiving is where registered users can post new topics, maintain a personal blog, and comment on existing posts. This blog is focused on (as the name implies) living in Nicaragua. Headed up by Phil Hughes who lives in the hills outside of Esteli in Northern Nicaragua, this is a great website to search for obscure Nicaragua-travel related topics.
The Real Nicaragua
This website is an online forum with some news feeds on the splash page. It was started as sort of a reactionary response to the perceived liberalness of and a majority of active members live in-country, with a few who live on the Atlantic coast, which as they rightly say, is “a whole different world.”
Nicaragua Dispatch
This is a new online English language offering by Tim Rogers, the former lead for the Tico Times weekly Nica Times update who has now started his own web site and a very welcome presence it is! This is a really nicely done journalistic approach to the news of Nicaragua.
Nicaragua Magazine
This site calls itself “The Best of Nicaragua Online Guide and Reviews” and it is a very solid website indeed. Nice variety of articles, covers lots of topics, readers can comment on most, but not all of the articles too.  Not super in-depth, but hey I should kvetch about such things? 🙂
NicaNet: The Nicaragua Network
This is a well-established site (the network was founded in 1979 to support the Sandinista revolution) that has weekly news updates, with a focus on volunteer opportunities.
Travel Blogs from Nicaragua, Central America Caribbean
This is a cool, interactive website where visitors post their own blogs. There are tons of individual blogs and these people go everywhere! Always new posters/blogs to read, these cover all sorts of details like how to ditch sketchy people when stuck somewhere in the campo…so this is as real as it gets folks!

THE BAD (okay, not really so bad, just not as good as they could be…)
Casa Ben Linder community on Yahoo groups
Community group of people who volunteer in Nicaragua. Sort of limited due to its being on Yahoo groups, but if someone has a very specific in-country question related to volunteering, you might try to post it here.
The Nicaragua Report
This is a travel, real estate, and news from Nicaragua website aimed at those seeking to invest and/or travel in Nicaragua. Frequently updated, which is good, but closed to comments, which IMO is bad (although I don’t blame the person in charge as dealing with the spam can be a pain in the butt.)
Retiring in Nicaragua: Planning Your Retirement in Nicaragua
This site promotes a tour (whose actual provider is The Nica Tour Group — who takes the prospective Nicaraguan retiree around to the main spots that folks go to.

ola! nicaragua!
This website is about Nicaragua as a travel destination. It has mostly hotel information, with a few restaurants, “things to do” and what I would call human interest stories. Looks like it has not been updated for a year or so…too bad!
The Nicaragua Gringo
Well, this is a so-so website, sorry ’bout that whomever runs it…not updated that often, standard WordPress text on the About page, etc. Basically this is an site to push people to a Deals/Discounts page that has absolutely nothing to do with Nicaragua. Thumbs down!