Friend of the Farmstay, Osberto Jerez giving Ukelele instruction

This is Osberto Jerez, a wonderful Friend of the Farmstay, whom you may meet if you go on a tour of the Masaya Artisan’s Market with me! Here he is giving an impromptu lesson in how to play the ukelele from his and his wife’s little store at the mercado Artisanal.

Osberto is, like most Nicaraguan’s, an incredibly hard-working man. He has two stores in Masaya, a little hotel “Hotel Costeño” in Masaya, is a music instructor with a Master’s degree in Music, records his own music in his studio, and performs live with his band the Gregories. A really sweet man who I am pleased to say is a great FotF (frend of the Farmstay!) You can follow Osberto’s YouTube channel.

Tyra and I went to see him play live here in Managua a year or so ago (not sure when, but pre-Micky that’s for sure!) and he tore the house down with his stage prescence, mastery of the form of reggae, and he and his group were tight. He and his band play a mix of really good original songs, talking about what has happened on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua what with the hurricanes, the poverty, the beauty and the charm, with some of the reggae classics, mostly by Bob Marley, that you have heard before, but not quite like how he does it!

Osberto Jerez practicing his ukelele in his store

Osberto Jerez practicing his ukelele in his store

Especially when you hear his songs about Bluefields, Corn Islands, Puerto Cabezas, Pearl Lagoon, etc., you can tell he really misses being over there. Like so many others, there are generally speaking better economic opportunities here on the Pacific side of the country then there are on the Caribbean side, so years ago he decided to make his way over here. As he says in one of his songs, “In Bluefields we have rondon, in Masaya it’s vigoron…”

If you too would like to be a Friend of the Farmstay, go ahead and Contact Us and make plans for a visit! We’ll pick you up at the airport and give you our awesome “soft landing service.



Delta Airlines


Jan 23, 2015

ATLANTA, Jan 22, 2015 – Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) will begin Saturday seasonal service between Los Angeles and Managua on June 5, 2015. The additional service will complement the current daily nonstop service from the Nicaraguan capital city to Atlanta, and will operate using a 160-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

“Delta is the only airline offering the convenience of weekly nonstop service between Managua and Los Angeles,” said Jose Antonio Torres, Delta´s general manager for Central America. “The new Los Angeles-Managua weekly flight is timed for a late departure to provide business travelers a full work day prior to traveling. In addition, customers from Nicaragua will now have increased access to Delta’s global network and will be able to enjoy the benefits of Delta’s investments in the Central American region.”

With flights to 13 cities including San José, Costa Rica; Liberia, Costa Rica; San Salvador; Guatemala City; Belize City; Cancún; Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo; Manzanillo; Guadalajara; Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Monterrey; and now Managua, Delta serves more destinations in Latin America from Los Angeles than any carrier.

“Delta has been growing its footprint between Los Angeles and Central America,” said Ranjan Goswami, Delta’s vice president for Los Angeles. “With direct access to all of the key U.S. entertainment and tech markets, as well as additional Latin service through our gateway at LAX, we strive to provide business and leisure customers the best service options to meet their travel needs.”

Once in Los Angeles customers flying from Nicaragua have many options for connecting with destinations in other Western states and Northern California as Jackson Hole, Las Vegas, Oakland, Portland, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle, San Francisco, San Jose, Salt Lake City and Sacramento.

From Los Angeles, Delta currently operates 154 peak-day departures to 48 destinations and has continued expanding both international and domestic service over the past few months, including London-Heathrow in October; Dallas* and Austin, Texas* in November; and Vancouver, Canada* in December.

Onboard, Delta supports and markets the music of emerging artists and short-form content creators through exclusive partnerships that provide in-flight content for customers, who can now enjoy free entertainment from every seat out of Los Angeles through the new Delta Studio product. Every Delta flight from Los Angeles offers BusinessElite/First Class and Economy Comfort seating, and nearly every domestic flight features Wi-Fi service. Delta also introduced international Wi-Fi in 2014 and will complete installation of Wi-Fi service on its long-haul international fleet in 2016.

Customers flying the Los Angeles-Managua service will enjoy the benefits of the $229 million expansion and enhancement of Terminal 5 at LAX currently taking place. The project will double the size of the ticketing lobby and screening checkpoints, and will include an exclusive Sky Priority lobby with dedicated access to screening checkpoints. It also will include renovations to the Delta Sky Club and new baggage carousels. The project is scheduled to take place in several phases, with full completion in 2015.

Saturday seasonal service between Los Angeles and Managua:

Flight Number





DL 677

Los Angeles (LAX) at 10:45 p.m.

Managua (MGA) at 05:15 a.m.


June 5, 2015

DL 702

Managua (MGA) at 06:15 a.m.

Los Angeles (LAX) at 10:45 a.m.


June 6, 2015

The flight is now available for booking through Customers also have 24/7 access to real-time support before, during and after travel via Delta’s Twitter channel in English, @DeltaAssist, and in Spanish, @DeltaAssist_ES, from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. EST.

via Delta Air Lines Newsroom – News Archive.

This is good news for folks coming from the West Coast, a new non-stop flight on Delta from LAX to MGA! Leaves late and comes in early, so especially for short vacations, you don’t waste a day flying since it is a red-eye! In the last few months new routes and airlines are coming into Managua’s airport, including:

  • Mexicana: Mexico City to Managua
  • Spirit Air: Houston to Managua

In Nicaragua, can Chinese move the canal, avoid Rio San Juan, and still play golf? | Nicaragua Dispatch

“Hey, better make that a Par 3, Wang” #HKND

The Sandinista's canal spokesman says the route is being moved south, but how far south will it go?

via In Nicaragua, can Chinese move the canal, avoid Rio San Juan, and still play golf? | Nicaragua Dispatch.

Nicaragua Insiders say…

Seems to me as an outside observer that it is quite possible that the canal’s planning and project management process is already broken, even at this early stage of the project. A canal cannot successfully be built properly given what appears to be the arbitrary nature of the outcomes of the planning process. Furthermore, an overall lack of transparency occludes any ability to see if this announced change really makes any sense or not.

On the surface (and maybe this is too harsh) this decision tells all the activist groups that they had better escalate and perhaps incite some violence, which cannot end well. They’d better get on the receiving end of some serious beatings delivered by the national police force, put out some publicity, and then watch as HKND makes concession after concession.

In this example, HKND is changing the route, but we don’t know why they chose the original route, and the decision to move the route seems to be based on mostly political and social reasons rather then environmental or feasibility reasons.

If, as Tim Rogers so correctly surmises, this might lead to a possible partial use of the Rio San Juan as the main canal route entering Lake Nicaragua, that is a game changer as far as both the environmental impacts and the political impacts as then Costa Rica would feel the need to get involved. Even though at the western end of the Rio San Juan the river doesn’t touch Costa Rican territory, Nicaragua’s southern neighbor would still raise a huge fuss and have some serious pull in terms of Western media propaganda.

Just imagine the following press release “eco-friendly, military-free Costa Rica fighting its aggressive northern neighbor, socialist President for Life Daniel Ortega from ruining the pristine ecosystem, Chinese Chinese, blah blah blah…”)

At least they could work towards managing their publicity and news releases a bit better to not come off looking so half-cocked! And yes, HKND if you are reading this, I am available for consulting!

Cautionary Tales of Nicaragua: Basic Don’t Do’s When Moving Here

Cautionary Tales

Basic Don’t Do’s When Moving to Nicaragua

So this happened…

I’m not completely certain how to best convey to you lovely reader(s) the type of feelings one gets when you see a really bad thing happen to someone, but part of you says, “yeah, I can see how they got themselves into so much T-R-O-U-B-L-E in such a short amount of time.”

What I can promise you is that I’ll try to tell this as one of many cautionary tales of Nicaragua, especially as regards moving and relocating. In fact, I’m creating my master opus on this very topic; I’ll be asking the tough questions that will give you an idea as to what is real here so you can try to avoid those (costly) rookie mistakes. As it happens, a whole series of these could be written, many from my own book of newby errors.

Is a swimming pool with a tropical view in your future?

Is a swimming pool with a tropical view in your future?

Here’s a quick rundown on some of mine:

  • I bought property based on an architect’s plan, not what was on the ground.
  • Paid an amount based on that plan becoming a reality.
  • Proceeded to change course entirely and ended up not doing anything with said property for over ten years now.

I’ll save an indepth discussion of my personal relocation errors and mistakes that I made for a different day. This cautionary tale will focus on basic do’s and “don’t do’s” (sic) when moving to this country based on a recent experience I had with someone I don’t know that well. The family moved here, purchased property, brought their five school-age children and five little dogs and ended up having a way too challenging situation that unfortunately could not be overcome.

Do you want to know more? Subscribe to Nicaragua Insiders

The Nicaragua Canal: A Step towards development – English

The Nicaragua Canal: A Step towards development

The Nicaragua Canal: A Step towards development. 54295.jpeg

Manágua, the capital, and the whole country celebrate the fulfillment of a century-old yearning: the building of a work that promises to become a valuable trade and communication route, in addition to giving a major boost to the development of this nation. In December the construction works for the Grand Canal began.

Managua (Prensa Latina) For Nicaragua, December is the month of great events and this 2014, for many, will be remembered in the history of the country and the world: the expected Christmas festivities accompanied the start of construction of the “Grand Canal”.

42 years ago, in the last days of 1972 Managua was devastated by an earthquake of 6.2 magnitude on the Richter scale that caused the death of over 10,000 people and enormous material damage.

read the rest at: The Nicaragua Canal: A Step towards development – English

As you may have seen on this blog before. Here, here, and here for example, we’ve posted several stories on the Great Interoceanic Canal of Nicaragua (!!) that take their lead from what I observe as a U.S focus on the hemisphere, i.e. concern for where the funding is coming from, the impact on the environment, the impact on people living on the land the canal will be built in/on, whether this is purely a Chinese- and others-land grab, etc.

This article comes from a website known by most for their propaganda, the used-to-be Soviet, now Russian Federation mouthpiece for newspeak, Pravda. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t distinguish this source of information as either better or worse from any particular promulgator of agitprop and indoctrination, I just note these for your benefit, oh reader(s)…while trying to help make sense of the whole Canal project.

I’ll admit that I initially came into this from an anti-Canal point of view. Based on some new developments in this story, I am starting to come around to view the project in a more positive light with several big IFs, WHAT IFs, and WTFs? still hanging around that serve to put a restraint on a real gung-ho old-fashioned Chamber of Commerce push for the project at any cost.

Far from it actually, as trust in all the parties involved to do the right thing (by whose measure?) must be earned by actions and good works rather than solely vague statements based more on aspirations than on real results.

This piece is a pure fluff piece, as if readers won’t remember Pravda from the good old days of mutually assured destruction and all that cool James Bond spy stuff! Or, if you’re too young for that (enjoy your youth hehehe) take a look at a map and understand that both China and Russia are very interested in having about 9% of worldwide shipping pass through a little country like Nicaragua that isn’t necessarily in the back pocket of the USA. Enjoy!

Mukul, Nicaragua – In Photos: How To Vacation Like A Billionaire – Forbes

How To Vacation Like A Billionaire

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How to Vacation Like a Millionaire-Carlos Pellas' Mukul Resort

How to Vacation Like a Millionaire-Carlos Pellas’ Mukul Resort

Avid angler Carlos Pellas, a Nicaraguan industrialist, philanthropist and the nation’s second richest man, saw stunning Guacalito de la Isla from his fishing boat, and just had to have it. He built Mukul, a luxury boutique resort with individual plush casitas, an off-the-charts spa, an instantly famous and photogenic golf course by David Kidd, and world-class surf breaks right off the beach. The unrivalled combination of great golf, surfing and lodging has drawn surf-loving pro golfers like world number two Adam Scott and US Open Champ Geoff Ogilvy.

via Mukul, Nicaragua – In Photos: How To Vacation Like A Billionaire – Forbes.

They say the rich are different from everyone else, but that’s not completely true. They have hobbies, enjoy vacations, and are passionate about many different things, from conservation to golf to food, just like other people. The difference is that they do it at a much different level, pulling out all the stops to make these experiences the best possible. The good news is that in many cases, some of the richest individuals in the world are eager to share the way they enjoy their travel, hobbies and passions with others, people they don’t even know. More often than not, this means turning their personal dreams into personalized dream resorts, destinations where they can showcase the things they love to vacation travelers. Since the rich have diverse interests, this offers many different attractive travel options, all around the world.

In this case, the richest man in Nicaragua and one-and-only billionaire, Carlos Pellas (don’t worry Presidente Daniel Ortega, you’ll get there soon!) has created the wonderful Mukul resort in Guacalito de la Isla, an exclusive enclave located in the Tola, Rivas area of southwestern Nicaragua. Located approximately 2 1/2 hours from the Farmstay, Mukul offers the only true five-star resort and spa setup in the, country. You get your own oceanfront casita, have people there to attend to your every whim, and have the whole spa package available.

This short write-up from Forbes magazine also focuses in on the golf course and surfing opportunities on-site. I don’t know about the golfing, but the surfing can be very good on the southern point of the cove on which the resort is located. I have a friend in the States whose lady loves the luxury resorts and we have a sort of a teasing name for her, “Five-Star” and I think that Mukul would suit Five-Star very well indeed.

Breaking Ground on the Nicaragua Canal – The New Yorker


A few days before Christmas, in Brito, Nicaragua, on the Pacific coast, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the world’s latest megaproject. The Nicaragua Canal is expected to take five years to complete and cost fifty billion dollars; when finished (if it is ever finished), the hundred-and-seventy-two-mile canal will bisect Nicaragua from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean.

via Breaking Ground on the Nicaragua Canal – The New Yorker.

Now the New Yorker magazine is in on the reporting on the Nicaraguan Interoceanic Canal. Mostly brings up the same points and questions that anyone following this developing story is already familiar with. As usual, it takes the naysayer’s point of view and doesn’t represent too well the positive possibilities of the developed canal and how it can help Nicaragua. I think the New Yorker can do better reporting!

Where to go in 2015 – Travel – The Boston Globe




Forget Costa Rica — old news. Industry experts are calling Nicaragua the hottest destination in Central America, and one of its best bargains. The WTTC is predicting an 8.8 percent growth in international tourist spending over the next decade, making it one of the world’s top 10 emerging destinations. The political climate has long settled down and the country is throwing out the welcome mat to foreign visitors, investing in infrastructure and facilities.

It’s a land of rich biodiversity, with volcanic peaks, rain forests, beaches, and nature reserves. In fact, the country boasts nearly 5 million acres of protected parks and preserves, filled with wildlife, including exotic birds, howler monkeys, turtles, and giant iguanas. Start with a visit to the Spanish colonial town of Granada, with its grand cathedrals and well-preserved historical buildings. Hiking in lush rain forest jungles and smoldering volcanic mountains is nearby. It’s also the jumping off spot for visits to Lake Nicaragua, Central America’s largest freshwater lake, and Ometepe Island, a UNESCO biosphere preserve. The university town of Leon is known for its cafes, shops, and eclectic museums. Surfers and sun lovers will want to check out San Juan del Sur, a funky beach town and fishing village along the Pacific Coast.

via Where to go in 2015 – Travel – The Boston Globe.

Nice to see another positive article suggesting Nicaragua as “the hottest destination in Central America”! Hey sounds great, right? Congratulations on the Boston Globe for continuing to follow their big brothers such as the New York Times Just kidding Boston!

Also interesting is the expected 8.8 percent growth in tourism and that they list only six places to visit.

Before you book tickets to the same old, familiar resort, consider these up-and-coming travel destinations. Easier access, more stable political climates, better infrastructure, and sometimes the sheer sparkle of new hotels and restaurants are throwing these destinations in the spotlight. Here are six emerging hot spots that experts predict will boom in the coming years. Get there soon before word gets out.

Nicaragua has been “the hot place to go” for at least a couple of years now, so hopefully this becomes more and more of a reality. The Farmstay believes it is becoming so at least! We welcome you to make your plans, including arranging for the Farmstay’s “soft landing service” with airport pickup and concierge-type of attention to detail and meeting your needs as a first-time or frequent visitor to this lovely country.