El Rosario, the highest waterfall in Nicaragua
One kilometer before reaching the town of El Rosario, the municipality of Murra, one deviates to the left and begins to skirt the mountain through a road where a vehicle can barely reach. After a little less than 1 kilometer there is a small house and a corral. One must continue 2 kilometers more. Upon completion, the road widens, the mountain stands tall as a skyscraper and through its walls a huge waterfall rushes majestic. It is the El Rosario waterfall, the highest in Nicaragua.The waterfall is staggered, but in winter is so strong that it literally has been eating the mountain, removing huge rocks that form small pools feet. Needless to say, the clearness of the current, the exuberance of the trees, the cheerful birdsong is amazing. If you didn’t know it was real, you’d think it is a canvas of Eden.
An elderly gentleman, white-skinned with a thick and quixotic mustache, looks up and fixes his eyes to where you can see as the summit from where the waterfall starts to rush. He is a simple man, like every farmer in northern Nicaragua, however, he has that look of pride. Why? Because the waterfall is entirely within his property.
His name is Juan Antonio Moreno. He is 63 years old, of which 40 he has lived among these mountains. The property is called Selva Morena, and if you take a good look around, you’ll see there is no more appropriate name, since contrary to the pine forests that characterize Las Segovias, in El Rosario vegetation is dense and varied.
Don Juan hosted a group of climbers that reached the waterfall and measured it. The end result was 120 meters high. To put it in perspective, the Estanzuela waterfall in Esteli, is 35 meters, so it is three three times higher.
Tucked between the mountains this man is no stranger to climate changes experienced by the world and the impact it is having on nature. He states that to prevent the waterfall from drying out, he has not ceased to reforest the area.
“It is worth taking care of the forest. I was born with that gift of caring for the forest , “he says.
“That’s why it has remained (the cascade)”, he stresses.
The property is more than 100 blocks of virgin forest that also serve as a refuge for hundreds of wild animals.
Contrary to other places in Nicaragua, where tourism development is booming, in this hidden paradise itself there is absolutely nothing. There are no benches, no farms, no restaurant, only friendly welcome Don Juan, who opened a small path to climb up the waterfall and stole a forest space so that visitors could park their vehicles.
Don Juan does not even have an access fee. “He who brings how to reward the leaves and not always comes , “ he says.
However, he says that soon and start charging.
Even though lacks any tourist infrastructure, visitors have been amazed not only by the impressive waterfall but by the love with which Don Juan protects nature.
“I have been congratulated for the care of the forest because if there is no forest there is no water , “he says.
An adventure trip
Getting to the waterfall is not easy. To give an idea of how far it is, just say it takes 2 hours travel by car from Ocotal, Nueva Segovia, to the valley where the small town of El Rosario rises. From Managua it is 332 kilometers, 52 of which are dirt roads.
These 52 kilometers are an adventure themselves. They run between the crests of the mountains, with deep pits to either side or long descending slopes whose lower part are cut by streams, to once again be crossed when you have to climb the steep peaks.
It is a postcard-perfect Nicaragua: adobe huts, the farmers mule, ox carts, jungle covered mountains, pine forests, coffee plantations, cattle grazing.
On the way it is not common to find vehicles and public transport with the municipality lending trucks with big tires and strong high bodies.
It is a Nicaragua that is slowly disappearing. Simple, beautiful, clean air and working people. If this place is not paradise, it lacks little to be.
Defying the intense smell of sulfur, the tourists come to look out at the seething lava pit near the surface of the crater of the Masaya volcano , whose fury the Indians tried to placate in the past by sacrificing maidens and children.
Photos: Masaya Volcano, impressive
“It is something extraordinary, unique in the world,” Noheli Pravia, a French tourist told AFP while watching the turbulent magma seen from the crater rim less than 100 meters deep.
Masaya, Kilauea in Hawaii and Nyiragongo in Africa are the only volcanoes in the world that have periodic outpourings of magma in its crater, says the Nicaraguan geographer and environmentalist Jaime Incer .
Lava of Masaya Vocano, located 20 km from the Nicaraguan capital, has been rising to the surface every 25 or 30 years since 1902 and after a while it disappears, but it always keeps emitting sulfur fumes that spread around the area, rusting roofs on houses and ravaging vegetation.
According to Incer, if the incandescent material rises its level up each occurrence, it is possible that within 150 years the volcano will make a similar eruption to 1772, when the flow reached the area where the international airport exists today.
A few kilometers from the volcano, the village of Piedra Quemada that keeps the vestiges of that eruption is based.
“Before there was no land here but stones , ” says Sandra Perez, one of the 6,000 people who have learned to live with the volcano and do not believe it is a threat.
The small cone, 400 meters high, came 5,000 years ago. It consists of five craters of which only one -called Santiago- remains active, crowned by a dense plume.
Six months ago, the hole increased activity with magma flows accompanied by sporadic micro-earthquakes.
“It ‘s the first time I have seen something like this, it is very impressive , ” says Mijaela Cuba, an Austrian nurse.
She is one of the 4,000 tourists who have climbed to the burning throat of the volcano in the last two weeks since the government authorized the entry of people, although limited to a visit of a few minutes due to gases.
Only green parrots and bats nest permanently and survive in the toxic environment of the crater.
It s “very special” adds excited young Taiwanese Sami Yen who takes photos to the crater rim where the magmatic waves are heard.
The volcano is located in the most populated area of the Nicaraguan Pacific and is part of a protected area of 54 km2, which include vast fields of petrified lava populated by white trees, the Sacuanjoche, the national flower of Nicaragua.
Snakes abound, white-faced monkeys and animals that can withstand high temperatures, says the guide Luis Solano.
The flames of Masaya, who made two strong eruptions in 1670 and 1772, frightened the Spanish conquistadors.
“It ‘s a mouth of fire that never stops burning , ” the first governor Pedrarias wrote to the king of Spain in 1525.
The friar Francisco de Bobadilla was believed that the door to hell, so he installed a huge cross at the edge of the crater.
While the greedy Friar Blas del Castillo thought the gold was melted and washed down hanging from a basket to remove material according to the legend.
Chorotega Indians who inhabited the area tried to calm the angry volcano offering a sacrifice of children and maidens They claimed that the witch “Chalchihuehe” lived in the burning pit.
In the 70s, the Somoza dictatorship launched into the mouth of the volcano an ex-colaborador of the Sandinista guerrilla, David Tejada, the Sandinista excolaboradora Vilma Nunez told AFP.
Rochelle Brodin/Getty Images for De Re Gallery
It seems as if Wilmer Valderrama could not handle losing to Gina Rodriguez in the recent episode of “Lip Sync Battle” that he had to leave the country to cope with the heartbreaking news! Alright, maybe we are exaggerating a tad, but Valderrama did leave the country on a secret getaway.
“I’m on a secret adventure,” expressed the Venezuelan actor to his over 568K followers on Facebook. “Stay tune.. I’m gonna post hints.. Here on #Facebook,” he added.
Valderrama shared the news on Saturday afternoon and 24 hours later he continued to tease fans of his whereabouts. “This weekend I did something I can’t wait to share with you all,” noted the actor on Sunday night. “And you will be able to actually feel like you came with me.. Stay tune! I will be posting it HERE on Facebook!.”
His fans on Facebook quickly became curious, making comments such as: “Waiting for you [to] give us a hint since yesterday. But I’ll be patient.” Other fans took the opportunity to express how sad they were that his character on “Grey’s Anatomy” was short-lived. “I am so mad you weren’t kept on Grey’s for a longer stint. Bums me out. Loved your character. You did a great job!,” said one fan. Meanwhile, other fans believe his big secret has to do with a marriage proposal for Demi Lovato. “Did you ask Demi to marry you? Please say yes y’all are too perfect!,” asked another fan.
Although Valderrama is keeping his aventure a “secret,” we already know where he’s been hanging out… in Nicaragua! Yes, the last post from Wilmer on Instagram is his attempt to take a selfie with a Velociraptor at Jurassic World in Universal Orlando, and yes, there’s no proof of Nicaragua in sight on his social media accounts.
However, the friend he’s with “Tadao310” on Instagram, spilled the beans on the social media platform. “About to get on this boat with my brother @WilmerValderrama. #galaxylife we got these new phones and new toys from @samsungmobileusa. Thank you bery much. Yes I spelled it with a B,” he expressed on a photo with the “That 70’s Show” and “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series” actor, with location check-in at Nicaragua.
And like that, Valderrama’s big secret was revealed! Check out the photos of the actor and his friends hanging out at San Juan del Sur and Playa Maderas.
Looks like actor Wilmer Valerrama has been hitting Sunday Funday in SJdS…seems like the perfect spot and activity for him! We haven’t had any celebrity sightings lately (put a comment in below if you know of some celebs down here recently…) so a big welcome to Wilmer. It looks like he has been having a very good time!
Nicaragua in the “Papers of Panama”
Entrepreneurs and business groups dominate the creation of offshore companies and foundations
The screening review of 11.4 million documents from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, known worldwide as “The Panama Papers” has enabled access to thousands of related Nicaragua files, which have been reviewed by a Confidencial team for four months.
In coordination with more than 80 media outlets from around the world, under the leadership of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ, for its acronym in English), Confidencial’s part of this research is still in process, and in the case of Nicaragua, here are some preliminary findings:
- Nicaragua is mentioned directly in at least 8,717 signature files Mossack Fonseca, including 6,524 post offices, 1,518 and 245 PDF scanned documents, and other files in different formats.
- The number of mentions of Nicaragua is one of the lowest in the world and the penultimate data review compared to other Central American countries.
- Panama, home of the scandal, is mentioned in 4.4 million files; followed by Guatemala with 370.293 mentions; El Salvador, with 96.607; Costa Rica, with 75.888, and finally: Nicaragua and then Honduras, with 8,503 mentions.
- These 8,717 mentions apply only to customers, companies or shareholders who facilitated the transaction as the contact person with a specific address in Nicaragua, while the analysis of the database which Confidencial has worked with have identified other Nicaraguans with addresses outside of Nicaragua and through foundations registered offshore, corporations and companies registered in other countries recognized as tax havens.
The first findings of “The Panama Papers” Nicaraguans specifically led to 10 customers and 12 companies, including mainly business people and business groups that have developed business or investments outside the country. In this first preliminary list.also appears the name of at least one person linked to political activity in the country.
The list is now available to the public is not yet exhaustive. It is part of an ongoing investigation which still needs further corroboration and journalistic work.
The creation of offshore companies is a legal activity, and being registered in Panama and other countries through the firm Mossack Fonseca does not necessarily imply that the aforementioned have done some illegal activity such as tax evasion or money laundering, only that at some point they have registered a corporation, company or foundation with Panamanian law.
Confidencial has a professional responsibility to determine the nature of the links of these people and companies with Mossack Fonseca and activities, providing the context in which these were developed and their current situation, for which we are applying in each case the version of those responsible which they managed the creation of these offshore companies, including cases that Confidencial has identified beyond reviewing the list only connects directly to Nicaragua.
Mossack Fonseca has over 40 years of history in Panama and globally has built a reputation as one of the five largest global provider of offshore companies briefcase or -more than 320,000-, keeping an offshore secrecy that covers more than 40 offices worldwide. The revelation of “The Panama Papers” has shown many examples in various countries, where offshore companies have been used to hide illicit capital sources and also to evade tax obligations.
The Aleman case
In Nicaragua, the name of this firm is not unknown in business and political circles. Mossack Fonseca was linked to the “Huaca” scandal of former President Arnoldo Alemán, accused of corruption by the government of Enrique Bolaños in 2002, and was identified as the firm from which the companies that served to transfer millions of dollars were recorded, causing Panama to accuse him of the crime of money laundering in 2009, but was later acquitted.
The relation of Aleman in companies and foundations registered in Panama was covered up by employees of Mossack Fonseca listed as directors and officers of their societies. Such is the case, for example of Panamanian society Nicstate Development SA, incorporated in Panama in July 1999 with a board of directors chaired by Leticia Montoya, an office worker of the Panamanian law firm that according to the documents of Mossack Fonseca signed the directives of a total of 10,967 companies created by the firm, ranking her as the second most frequenlty used “name lender” by the firm.
The name of Leticia Montoya was widely reported after the unveiling of “Huaca” Aleman and its mention in other scandals has led to testify before different courts on more than one occasion. This same person appears on most of the boards of companies and offshore companies registered at the request of Nicaragua, Confidential currently have analyzed, and even is in incorporated in documents after the dates of the ex-president’s scandal.
In June 2000, Mossack Fonseca resigned as registered agent of Nicstate Developmet SA and its employees signed their resignation as directors and officers of the company. However, several years later still he had a customer who asked the firm with suspicion and concern about the case.
In late July 2009, a Uruguayan client had trouble opening an account at a bank because of the relationship that the law was made in the case of “huaca” of former president Aleman. The Panamanian company had to attach a copy of the signed and notarized waivers nine years ago to give “peace of mind” to the customer. “It was published online and is old news… is there something to show that this research was dismissed?” Was the question that was titled this post exchange. “The publication that you sent us is very old and we disclaim any corporations that were the subject of that scandal,” added one of the lawyers in messages to Confidencial.
But the mention of law in the scandal did not prevent other Nicaraguans maintain and develop relations with it, including some law firms that received visits from representatives of Mossack Fonseca and in most cases according to files recorded in the revisados- expressed interest in working with this. Specifically, at least one of them, GVC Partners, is Mossack Fonseca client broker in Nicaragua, whose status until the date of the leak of documents, last year, was active.
Some of the companies are offshore
The following is a partial list of companies related to offshore Nicaragua in “The Panama Papers” of the firm Mossack Fonseca. The companies are cited according to the chronological order in which they were registered.
According to the files that lead directly to customers Mossack Fonseca in Nicaragua, the first two companies with Nicaraguan link were registered with the Panamanian law were Welmorelle Investments and Finance Corp SA,registered in Panama on November 23, 1978, and While Sands Holdings Corp, also registered in Panama on 13 June 1983. Both companies were managed by the same intermediary, the Italian Alberto Caprotti – a cattleman now deceased resident in Nicaragua. In the system of Panamanian law both companies are inactive since March 1990.
The third company on the list is King Caribbean Enterprise Corp., registered in May 1988 in the British Virgin Islands. Although society is also inactive since early November 2007, it was used for almost nine years, with a $ 50,000 initial authorized capital, the minimum amount for registration of a company in that jurisdiction. The link of this society in Nicaragua is Maria Auxiliadora Reyes Mejia. The database was released yesterday by the ICIJ-which is also available from Confidencial – shows that connection.
The next company on the list is Montforte Finance SA, incorporated in the Register of Panama in May 1990 and inactive since May 2002. The broker it was William Huper Arguello, Nicaraguan economist and businessman, ex finance vice minister in the eighties , now deceased.
In May 1992, this time with jurisdiction in the British Virgin Islands, was registered society Jadehouse Consultants Ltd, by intermediaries Alvaro Baltodano (now presidential commissioner for investment) and Carlos Aguilar. The company was disabled in November 1993.
In June 1998, through another Nicaraguan intermediary registered with contact information society in the country Creative Engineering SA. agent Mossack Fonseca had it registered until the end of December 2003 , when they applied for his change agent to another law firm also domiciled in Panama. The representative of the company is the entrepreneur and investor Manuel Ignacio Lacayo Gil. According to the documents analyzed, the corporation was used for activities related to real estate business and Lacayo also was its guardian and administrator of activities.
In December 1998 the offshore company is registered Laurel Properties Inc. The company gives a general power to Lashtar Mohamed, a citizen of Libyan origin naturalized Nicaraguan, who has served as department official FSLN ‘s international relations, and MP for this match against Parlacen. Lasthar was mentioned in diplomatic cables leaked by Wikileaks as the liaison between the commander Daniel Ortega and former leader of Libya, Colonel Moammar Gaddafi died. The partnership was dissolved in March 2001.
The most recent list companies were registered in the last sixteen. It is Mellancamp Equities SA, registered in Panama in March 2000. The broker it is Alfredo Velez, entrepreneur of the national poultry industry. Later in the record Mossack Fonseca a “change agent” is recorded, indicating that the company is handled by another firm.
Another Nicaraguan society in the archives of Mossack Fonseca is Onfair Holding Corp, also with jurisdiction in Panama and registration February 2006, requested by the Executive Alvaro Torres Cerna.
Also recently they are the two societies and registered between October and November 2006 by the Canadian citizen Eric Winter, who identified with the firm as an investor and offered different addresses in Nicaragua foundation. Corporations are Investment Council, Inc. and Offshore Mutual Investments Inc. shareholders SL Foundation, another company to its name, all with active status in the documents of Panamanian law.
The most recent of listed companies is Coastview Development Inc., registered in Panama in June 2012, but inactive since July 2015. This is the company registered by the firm GVC Partners, which is listed as a shareholder Gaston Alexander McKnight, linked casino operations in the country.
The analysis of the documents by Confidential Mossack Fonseca also leads society Cadewell Investments Group Corp, registered in Panama in June 2009, with three carriers of actions that facilitated a unique address in Nicaragua. Some of these carriers are also linked to other companies: Milan Equites SA, registered in February 2003 in Panama, and Quassar Comercial SA, registered in the same jurisdiction in April 2007. All members of one family: Alvarez Villacorta.
Another Nicaraguan Mario Jose Arguello Guzman, next to the Portuguese citizen Daniel Tavares is listed as a shareholder and beneficiary of three different companies registered in the British Virgin Islands, through a firm located in Panama, which contacted Mossack Fonseca. Petfords is Global SA, registered on 30 April 2014;Golden Group Panama, SA and KMA Panama SA, registered in July of the same year, active since.
In documents Mossack Fonseca also records the creation of offshore companies and foundations promoted by residents Nicaraguan businessmen in other countries in the region.
In June 2002, Mossack Fonseca part of the British Virgin Islands, Fogel Group Corporation at the request of Fogel Guatemala, home to the other beneficiaries of the company, family all of Edmundo Tefel (based in Nicaragua) and are: Reinaldo, Gustavo and Edbert Tefel Steps, Edmundo Tefel Farrer and Enrique Tefel Robelo.
The business group associated with Ceguel Laboratorios SA, represented by Eugenio Guerrero Lugo, listed as client Mossack Fonseca, recording four companies offshore in Panama, which remain active.
The four companies are: American Trading Associates SA (Amtrasa, 1999), Ariona Company Group Inc. (Ariona, 2005), Edward Resources Inc. (2007) and Orwell Global Corp (2002).
In 2000, from Costa Rica, it is managed through Mossack Fonseca, registration of offshore company Mesoamerica Media Ltd and other companies associated with the same investor group Mesoamerica, which initially listed as partner and manager, the Nicaraguan businessman Jaime Montealegre Lacayo.
Montealagre also appeared as a representative of the offshore Lochfield Broackboard Trading and Business,dedicated to real estate in the Dominican Republic, and is associated with the creation of several private foundations, as Atwood Foundation, managed by Mossack Fonseca.
Based on the information gathered in the registration of Mossack Fonseca, Confidencial has asked the owners and managers of these companies offshore relevant information relating to its objectives, registration, operations and tax obligations, and taking into account legitimate public interest of each case and transparency standards that are required to maintain. The information will be published in the coming days.
Dalyce L Toronto, Canada 1 post May Weather!
May 06, 2016, 10:55 PM
Hello! We are coming to Nicaragua for the first time May 17 and so far the forecast says clouds and rain every single day for the entire time we are there! Just wondering if this is accurate, and what is the best weather forecast site/app to use. Thanks so much!
likeeveryoneelse Managua, Nicaragua Level Contributor 639 posts 16 reviews
1. Re: May Weather!
May 07, 2016, 5:45 PM
normally may is the end of the dry season, and for the last couple of years has been pretty dry and very hot. But the rains have come early this year, and we have had some subsstantial rain so far. I dont know if its here to stay or not, its hard to accurately predict. But this last week has been pretty rainy and its supposed to continue into this next week.
2. May Weather!
elportonverde Managua, Nicaragua Level Contributor 794 posts 22 reviews 2. Re: May Weather! May 08, 2016, 11:08 AM
Greetings Dalyce L: To add to l.e.e.’s post, while the forecast can look like it is raining every day (and that’s assuming that the rains are here to stay, which isn’t at all certain) it doesn’t rain every day and when it does it is afternoon thunderstorms or at nighttime. So plan your outdoor activities for the mornings and mid-day, not a big deal. The best weather app is called “Human Eyes to the Sky” i.e. just look towards the eastern/northeastern sky as that’s the general directions of the Caribbean trade winds which will be bringing the rains. If there’s a lot of dark clouds to the east then get ready it will likely rain at some point.
Cheers, Mike @ El Portón Verde, Managua
Source: May Weather! – Nicaragua Forum – TripAdvisor
So, how about these May rains?
We’ve had a great start to the traditional rainy season here in the Pacific side of Nicaragua. Thank goodness as we’ve had a horrible drought the last three years. While the weather and trade wind patterns can always change, so far so good as we’ve seemingly jumped into a typical rainy season that actually started in early May whereas even in normal years it begins in mid-May.
So let’s all knock on wood and hope that this keeps up!
So I signed up El Portón Verde on couchsurfing.com the other day. I got a message the next day from a nice French couple, they wanted a place to stay for one week. We couldn’t take them that first day but for six nights we could. If someone wants to stay we need them to do some farm work. They mentioned they were interested in farming, so I thought we had a match. Yesterday we got the message from them that they found something else, presumably where they wouldn’t have to do any actual work.
I’ll give it some time, but so far I’m not impressed…