— mike (@el_porton_verde) April 28, 2016
Frenchman who disappeared in Cosigüina is found
The Frenchman identified as Franck Jöel Daniel Villain, 31, who disappeared on Friday, April 8th after climbing alone on Cosigüina volcano was spotted in the Cabo de Hornos area, on the Cosigüina peninsula, the Unified Search and Rescue (UBR) team of the of the General Directorate of Fire (DGB) of Managua, with the help of local staff in Leon and Chinandega of volunteers.The discovery was made shortly after 9:00 pm on Sunday April 10 and it was learned that the Risk Management Unit (UGR) of the municipality of El Viejo, Chinandega, traveled to Potosi to give aid to the foreigner who was found to be dehydrated and with a wounded leg.
The Frenchman is recovering in hospital in Chinandega where he was taken at about eleven o’clock Sunday night. He said yesterday that decided to leave the abandoned ranch where he had taken refuge, he started walking at night and found the peasant Amilcar Lazo, who took him to his house and gave him drink.
From there, they called the authorities and asked if they were searching for a foreigner. Mr. Villain said he works in a museum in France and wanted to know the place, before he had been in the ruins of Tical in Guatemala, then Honduras and last Monday he entered Nicaragua. It was also in Cerro Negro.
After his experience, he recommended tourists come up with a guide to avoid risks. After leaving the hospital he says he will go to Leon, Managua and has plans to go to Ometepe. He will then travel to Costa Rica.He thanked firefighters and villagers who searched for him.
THEY GAVE AN ALERT VIA PHONE
Dionisio Jose Lopez Ruby, first chief commander of the Fire Department of the municipality El Viejo, reported that a tour guide found the foreigner on Friday and that he had said that he would climb to the viewpoint of Tres Países and would continue to the other side, to the northwest side .
The guide showed the Frenchman the path to take, however Villain apparently became disoriented.
Villain sent a message to a friend abroad to him know that the tourist was lost.It was known that by Villain sending a message at dawn on Saturday to his Romanian friend, letting him know he was lost and could not find the way back.
From Romania a friend of the Frenchman sent a message to a citizen of Matagalpa and this person in turn called the fire department of Managua. which then warned the DGB of Managua, Leon and the Civil Association of Volunteer Fire Chinandega and El Viejo what scoured from 9 April began.
The last thing the French had written to his friend in Romania is that it was in a desolate house where there was a bean field near something that looked like a military sector. The cellphone battery then discharged.
EVEN LOCALS GO ASTRAY
On September 3rd, Yucenly Tyyacount Israeli, who climbed from the region of El Jobo and then got lost the way, went deep in the woods where he slept and the next day was found dehydrated and lost.
Yucenly was rescued by members of the Civil Defense in the municipality of El Viejo and people who participated in the search.
Also the 1st of February three locals were rescued who went down to the lake to hunt deer. The firefighter commander Dionisio Jose Lopez Ruby suggested to the mayor of El Viejo that they better maintain the control the access to the Cosigüina Nature Reserve for visitors wanting to enjoy mountain tourism.
World in a commotion because of the “Panama Papers”
Confidential analyzes more than ten thousand documents related to Nicaragua signed Mossak-Fonseca in the Panama Papers
Confidential journalist, Arlen Cerda, revealed in the edition of Monday’s program Tonight, that the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca had communication with various Nicaraguan firms seeking to establish links with them (including the case of former President Arnoldo Aleman). The responses of the latter to the signatures, including all the information extracted from the data released on Sunday, are included in a report which tells you how much Nicaragua is involved in this story of creating paper companies, fraud, bribery and use of tax havens.
“It’s a mega database of leaked documents that consist of11.5 million files to give you an idea, they are 46 times larger than the leak of Wikileaks that upended the world five years ago,” said Cerda. Mossack Fonseca has been branded as “the greatest frontmen platform in Latin America and a money machine.” But they are not alone.
It all started with a database given to journalists of the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung. A database that a year ago was shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists that then gave access to 370 journalists from nearly 100 countries, including Arlen Cerda of Confidential .
In Tonight she explained that there is a work schedule specifying the order in which the findings of each media outlet that has dived into the digital files including photos, emails, accounts, and contracts to be issued. There is also, among journalists, a secret exchange of information and clues. In Nicaragua we found at least ten thousand entries, which are few compared to those of Venezuela, that border the 240 mil.
It is uniting millions of scattered pieces. Confidential is still in the process of analyzing them. More so far undiscovered scandals will be revealed, confessed Cerda.
The controversy of Mossack Fonseca, and a swing of anomalies, is a key fact in journalism. On the way to do it. “Having been trained as journalists with this scoop as fundamental as this one, sometimes they do not want to release it, I think we are entering a new stage,” she stressed to the director of the Media Observatory, Guillermo Rothschuh.
Arlen Cerda, meanwhile, said “research is not only historic for the number of documents that were leaked and is the largest to date, but is also a milestone because it is the largest global collaboration of journalists it has been done so far. ”
Icelandic Prime Minister David Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson, is the character so far most shaken by the data leak. He used an offshore firm to cover millions of dollars in investments during the financial crisis.
Discontent was immediate. Monday, during a demonstration demanding the resignation of the official, thousands of Icelanders outside of parliament threw eggs and yogurts. Sunday Gunnlaugsson left an interview in which he was questioned about the shell company he created with his wife. Protesters accused him of being a traitor and demanded his resignation.
In Argentina, the opposition has charged against President Mauricio Macri family and football star Lionel Messi as he came to his defense.
Mexico, Spain, Chile, begin to research while Panama offered to start their inquiries. The government regretted that the world identifies the country with this scandal.
” I would rather call it The Mossack-Fonseca papers”, instead of the journalistic revelation, known as the papers of Panama, said the Central American country ‘s ambassador in Madrid, Maria Mercedes in Guard Corró, EFE reports today.
“These are not the Panama papers. These are the roles of an actor in a global industry, many of whose users are decent people seeking discretion, not opacity, “said the diplomat.
This firm, founded in Panama, has offices in 42 countries and twenty companies registered in jurisdictions worldwide, De la Guardia, who said she recalled: “In the first instance, it is about the clientele of an office; second, about the use that the customer may have given the companies registered through this”.
The Panamanian diplomat regretted that his country “has taken the brunt” in a matter of image, although only 20 percent of companies investigated more than 200,000 were actually registered in Panama .
If positively analyzed, according to the ambassador, this “scandal” will help all measures taken by Panama to improve the transparency of service sectors “to ensure they are implemented faster and harder”.
Mossack Fonseca has had no more to apologize to customers for the exhibition and the thrashing of public opinion.
Are almost four decades of confidential information, it is no longer more than 214,000 ghosts and personalities from at least 21 countries involved in the scandal societies.
Central Americans involved in “Panama Papers”
In 2009 in Guatemala, the Panamanian firm sold a company and offered services to a group of people who had a criminal record and ties to publicly known financial scandals in both countries. This is the company that was headed by the Guatemalan Marllory Chacon Rossel, who was later identified as the most active money launderer in Guatemala and leader of a cell of the Sinaloa cartel.
In a report published by Univision News, and reproduced by several Guatemalan media, highlighted that although at the time of the creation of the company is not publicly known of the illicit activities of Chacon, a simple investigation would have enabled the firm;s attorneys to learn that two other members of the company were dragged into legal problems.
However, the alert that Mossack Fonseca had to face a possible leak of drug trafficking interests did not come from its internal office of laundering prevention, but the US government in 2012 identified Chacon as the leader of a narco group It was operating in Guatemala, Honduras and Panama.
In Costa Rica, the enourmous data leak known as the Panama papers were investigated by the Semanario University and the site www.ameliarueda.com .
“The naked data release exposes the enormous legal, economic, intellectual and logistical effort made by a group of politicians, businessmen and bankers from Costa Rica to transfer their capital abroad, make domestic tax advantages and circumvent the maximum payment of taxes in Costa Rican territory” said the Semanario Universidad.
In the information appears to indicate that deputy Otto Guevara, of the Libertarian Movement, who has blocked a vote on a bill against tax fraud and was the notary who recorded the subsidiary Mossack Fonseca in San Jose in July 1989.
Guevara said that the incident occurred 23 years ago and could not remember who recorded the associates and partners. “I do not know (a Mossack Fonseca),” he said.
Among the companies cited, the now defunct tuna canning company, Borda Azul also appears, as well as the president of the Costa Rican Football Federation, Hermes Navarro (1999-2006) and the Cuban-American Ted Brink. This tuna processor installed a shell company in the British Virgin Islands that served to falsify exports and get monetary incentives granted by the government to exporters.
Meanwhile, in El Salvador, the digital newspaper El Faro reported that “more than 220 offshore companies were created under the umbrella of the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, between 2000 and 2015 worked at least 33 Salvadoran clients” to transactions outside the control of the authorities.
A Search for Best Places
Bonnie Hayman, an International Living correspondent who lives in the coastal town of San Juan del Sur, found a two-bedroom, two-bathroom home with an ocean view for $132,000. “I would never have been able to live in an ocean-view home in the States,” she said in International Living’s report. “I pay real estate taxes of just $151 a year.”
Debbie Goehring and her husband, who spend $1,089 a month to live on Ometepe Island, joined the Vivian Pellas Metropolitan Hospital health discount program in Managua, Nicaragua’s capital. “Built to U.S. standards, this hospital provides excellent services to expats at about a quarter of what it would cost in the U.S.,” she said.
Isn’t it about finding your best places to retire?
Hey reader(s) and robots! Here is another article about how Nicaragua should be on the list when considering low-cost with quality-living places retirement spots overseas.
There’s also a bit on low-cost cities in the US to live, which is good, I mean there are places in the the US that are perfectly appropriate places but maybe just don’t have the romance of moving abroad to some? I’m asking here folks, let me know what you think.
They went to a couple of the “go-to” expats here for the money quotes, in this case literally, and more power to ’em! If you click through to read, what stood out most is Peru, that a single person could live there for $500-$600 per month in a nice pleasant situation.
Here’s my comment I put on the story’s website:
Cordial Invite? Friends and Family, Please Visit El Porton Verde and Experience Nicaragua!
To my friends and family: I am officially inviting you to come and visit Nicaragua this year. Maybe Nicaragua isn’t for…
What’s this all about anyway?
Partial list of what’s on offer:
- surfing at all levels and any number of breaks, beginner to expert, soft beach break to tow-in outer reefs (and everything in-between)
- yoga, likewise from beginner to teacher trainings
- low-budget or full-on luxury resorts: lots of good options based on your pocketbook and interests
- beach house rentals (Casa Ayers and Casa Truda) with staff that take really good care of you
- real interactions and unique experiences
- nature in all its glory: volcanoes, lakes, mountains, Caribbean and Pacific beaches and islands
- etc. etc. (link to 10 destinations I like)
Give me an idea, what’s a “typical” Nicaraguan vacation include?
You will fly into Managua International Airport where as soon as you get out of customs, heading towards the area of the rental cars, you will see my smiling face! A lot of flight arrive sort of late at night, so you and your travel companions can stay with us at the farm that first night.
When you wake up, you’ll see a wonderful view, enjoy a tasty farm-fresh breakfast, with ingredients from the farm, and we’ll plan out that first day. There are lots of things to do in the local area, colonial towns, big lakes, crater lakes, volcanoes, waterfalls, beaches, etc., so you can easily spend a couple of days partaking in that and getting your feet wet so to speak.
Then we can figure out what your particular interests are and make sure those fantastic travel experiences happen for you. Here are some possibilities:
- learn to surf
- go fishing; deep sea, lakes or rivers, Mahi-Mahi to Snook to Tarpon (and more!)
- go to a yoga resort
- volunteer to do something productive
- hang out on a Pacific beach
- hang out on a Caribbean beach
- dive; scuba or snorkel coral reefs
- enjoy a luxury spa vacation
- party your brains out in San Juan del Sur
- learn all about the process of growing and processing organic coffee
- hike mountains and explore canyons
- learn about Nicaragua’s history and culture
- go to a nature reserve as dense and biodiverse as anything in the deepest Amazon forest
- learn about Colonial architecture
- learn about the 1979 Sandinista Revolution
- visit haunted forts
- go birdwatching
- night hike bat caves
- eat incredibly delicious and cheap street food
- volcano board down a “new” volcano only a few hundred years old
- etc. etc.
And ideally you will plan to have the time to do a number of the above listed items or we can discover even more, this is only a partial listing!
What is the best time of year to travel to Nicaragua?
The one where a family wants to travel to Nicaragua and wants to know what is the best time of year to travel to Nicragua. Hint: The rainy season isn’t bad! From the Lonely Planet Nicaragua travel forum.
We are a family with two kids, 7 and 2, that are very much wanting to travel independently in Nicaragua. We are seasoned travelers, that isn’t an issue, but as it is our first time to Central America we are mainly wondering about weather at the time of year available. We are most likely looking at either a few weeks in the end of May to mid June, or the month of July. I have read that this is the rainy season? We were thinking of a few locations only, probably basing in Granada, but also are interested in Otega and Little Corn, maybe also a few days at least in some off-the-beaten-track little town in a local hotel where there is nothing in particular to do. lol. But is this literally the worst time to go? We don’t want to do the beach every day or anything, but a month of crappy raining weather would suck, especially with the kids. Advice? Thanks
Greetings DBN9663: You have an excellent response already, that the rainy season isn’t like an all-day deluge, but more typically either afternoon thundershowers or better yet, raining at night time. So you can plan your outings in the morning and be almost guaranteed to have good weather. On Corn Island the rain comes more frequently and there’s not such a distinct wet/dry season as there is on the Pacific coast, but it’s usually a short rain that clears up after a bit.
To add to that a little, the “normal” rainy season begins in mid-May but the weather has been anything but normal for a few years now. In fact, the first part of the rainy season has been extremely dry on the Pacific side in recent years. So, that said, it might be better to come in July if that’s an option as it might be that most of May would still be the end of the hot/dry season, which typically is April to the beginning of the rainy season.
By July the rainy season should hopefully be in full swing, fingers crossed! What with the El Niño year, its not clear how that might affect our rainy season in Nicaragua. The forecast maps say it will be dry further north and wet further south but who knows, right?
It’s just weather anyway, so go ahead an plan a great trip for your family!
Cheers, Mike @ El Portón Verde, Managua
Source: Time of year to travel
Tourism in Nicaragua received 18.7% more foreign exchangeYohany Lopez 03/22/2016
The Central Bank of Nicaragua, through its official Twitter account, confirmed that the tourism sector in Nicaragua received $528.6 million dollars during 2015, According to the organization, growth was 18.7 percent as compared with $445.4 million dollars the country received during 2014. Indeed, Tourism in Nicaragua is growing quite a bit!
See:For Lucy Valenti, president of the National Chamber of Tourism (Canatur), this data reflects the efforts of both the private and public sector, who have sought to stabilize and raise quality levels.“That figure lets us know that tourism generated more revenue Nicaragua that the main export products in 2015,” said Valenti, who acknowledges that with a strategy better focused to attract tourists to spend more, the country will exceed $1 billion dollars in a short term.“With just the average daily tourist spending increasing by $ 30, we can see how the sector will continue to contribute to economic development and job creation,” said the president of Canatur.
According to data from BCN last year the average tourist spending in Nicaragua was $ 41.5, down a bit from 41.8 dollars in 2014.While the average stay increased from 7.7 days to 8.7 days.Read: Tourists spent less in 2015 in Nicaragua
So far the data that the BCN has pending is the number of tourists who entered the country. However, the co-director of the Nicaraguan Institute of Tourism (Intur), Anasha Campbell, said that during 2015, 1.45 million visitors entered the country, of which 1.38 million were tourists, 23.473 cruise passengers and 46.235 tour participants.
According to Campbell, housing increased in 2015 compared to 2014 by 654 rooms, when Intur statistics reflected 13,242. You can also read: holiday accommodation in Nicaragua must growrelated notes
Hey hey! More good data points coming out of the tourism sector of the economy. It is interesting to read that tourism now accounts for more spending than the income from the country’s largest exports. While the article doesn’t say what those exports are, presumably they are cigars, cattle, and other agricultural products.
One other small note, the president of CANTUR, Ms. Valenti says that if the daily spend increases by $30 we can see the sector continuing to support economic development and generation of jobs. Well, I’d like to see the plan on how that is happening, because the daily spend by tourists is currently a little over $40, so how are you about to increase that by 75% with another $30?
There needs to be a study of perceived value for lodging, tours, and other services rendered to visitors, a comparison of prices for said items in Nicaragua, and how much the same types of services and products cost in neighboring countries.
Then, let’s see what the quality is compared to these other places and see if Nicaragua needs to increase the quality of the offerings, and in what respect? Better quality beds? Better trained tour guides? Transportation? Infrastructure? Exactly what needs to change to get that average spend up? I for one would be interested in participating in any studies done!
The obvious “wins” to increase the spending would be from an increase in:
- cruise passengers
- luxury spas and other five-star resorts
- luxury tours
The Nicaraguan canal is a delusion, but human rights abuses and land grabs in the project’s name are all too real.
By Robert Nelson March 17, 2016
The planned Chinese canal through Nicaragua has received little attention in the United States, and when it does, the reaction is usually alarmist. Daniel Runde in his Foreign Policy piece provides a typical example: “The canal’s construction should be seen as a geostrategic probe by China. The depth of the canal, a reported 28 meters, should also raise eyebrows as it would be deep enough for Chinese submarines to quickly and covertly cross between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.”
But the canal almost certainly will not happen. To the extent that the project should worry the United States, the focus should be on human rights abuses and not on any perceived challenge to the outmoded Monroe Doctrine.
The canal will not happen because it does not make sense. The primary reason is that there is no demand for a second Central American canal, making the project financially unfeasible. In an interview with CNBC, Bruce Carlton, president and CEO of the National Industrial Transportation League, a shipping industry advocacy group, speaking for the vast majority of industry experts said, “I sincerely believe we don’t need another canal. I don’t think there’s enough ship traffic to warrant the construction of another canal.” In addition, at a cost of $40 billion, even if the Nicaraguan canal received all of the Panama Canal’s current traffic (an impossible assumption) it would take 40 years for the project to break even. Add on that the Panama Canal offers faster transit times, that no current American ports can handle ships the size that the Nicaraguans are talking about, and that global warming could possibly open a faster and free route north of Canada, and the whole project seems like a fool’s errand.
Read the rest here–>Source: China’s Fantasy Canal Doing Real Damage in Nicaragua | The Diplomat
Is China’s Fantasy Canal Doing Real Damage in Nicaragua?
El Portón Verde has not been reporting very much about the proposed Interoceanic Canal lately, mostly because not much has been happening, and also that most reporting from the US-based media is pure propaganda and I’d rather not assist in that endeavor.
That said, this is a very well-written piece from “The Diplomat” which “is the premier international current-affairs magazine for the Asia-Pacific region.” In other words, this site doesn’t appear to be to far in the tank for one particular point of view or another but rather seems to be dedicated to quality analysis and commentary.
Unfortunately, it appears that my worst case scenario is aligning to a point where it is likely to come true. That is, in the game that is being played here, where this Chinese company, HKND is supposed to be able to build an interoceanic canal from the Caribbean coast in the east all the way over to the Pacific coast on the west, but is actually much more interested in a land grab, making resorts and golf courses.
Any actual digging will be short-lived, and the result will be that Nicaragua will unfortunately experience all the negative consequences to the natural environment with none of the economic benefits that a functioning canal is supposed to provide the people of Nicaragua.
I am arriving in Managua around 8pm and was wondering if I have time to get to UCA for a 9 pm shuttle to Masaya, and also if shuttle buses from the airport to Granada run that late. Any suggestions on the best way to get to UCA at that time? Would it be more advisable to stay in Managua and travel the next day?
I’d say no chance to get to La UCA at that time and that there would be no bus leaving that late. Like others have written, it is basically either do the shuttle or private sedan, so max $40 but you can split that up to three ways with 3 pax. The other option would be to look for a nice place to stay that will come pick you up and be located near the route from UCA to Granada and then the next morning you would only pay about a buck to go to Granada instead of up to $40.
Arriving in Managua at Night?
This question comes up fairly frequently in the travel forums about Nicaragua, as a lot if not a majority of flights come in at night, when arriving in Managua how would one get to Granada or is it better to wait until the next day?
I’ve answered this before in an original blog post: Head-to-Head Comparison: After Arriving at the Managua Airport, Going Directly to Granada vs. Staying near Carretera a Masaya
Bottom line is that, after arriving in Managua, you should be able to decide if it’s okay with you to get to Granada the next morning instead of at a late hour at night.
If you decide to go with the El Portón Verde solution, you can:
- experience the “soft landing service” in which we specialize
- save yourself some money
- have a cooler, more natural and certainly more tranquil night time sleeping environment
- by taking the short 45 minute bus to Granada you can see a nice bit of the country, including lakes and volcanoes
Now I’ve had expats of Granada give me a really hard time about this modest proposal I make, as if enough tourists don’t go directly to Granada as soon as they land! I don’t argue that what is right for an individual traveler is always the best thing for everybody, but I do contend that for someone who wants a softer landing to Nicaragua, have a chance to see a friendly face, be greeted by someone who speaks your language meets you at the Managua airport, gives you a nice comfortable ride and room at a farm where in the morning you’ll have an incredible view, eat a great filling breakfast, have a chance to do a quick farm tour or a dip in our swimming pool, then we get you on the bus for a short trip to Granada that only costs $1 USD, well, that is a good proposition for some people, am I right?
As of this weekend, the order of President Ortega goes into effect to allow free access to all public resorts this summer season, said First Lady Rosario Murillo on Friday.The First Lady recalled that this approach is applied year after year to ensure free access of families to all the facilities that are for the enjoyment and recreation of the population in general.It has also been stipulated that no one should be charged, nor disavow the income of people working selling food, drinks or other products in these days of Easter and these weekends leading upto the biggest week, said Murillo.“They can enter to earn an honest living selling food, selling sweets and soft drinks selling, selling shave ice, selling ice cream, all our brothers sellers; also brothers who have stable businesses in the various spas will have good jobs, we hope, in this season, with the peace that exists in this country. We will have full local support for the vendors and we are sure that they will brighten up service and observe all hygiene recommendations made by the Ministry of Health , “said Rosario as published on Friday the official site 19 Digital.Radio Primerisima
So this is back again, another “innovation” that at least in past years, has stuck the local alcaldia (mayor’s) offices with the cost of cleaning up from the thousands of people who will take advantage of this. We’ll give the benefit of the doubt to the guvmint here as I’m sure they have it all figured out by now…
But that’s all good for folks to get out to the local spots. For example, there is a little laguna near Managua called Xiloa. I’ve never been but it is supposed to be fairly nice as far as a clean little lake to swim in…still I’d prefer Laguna de Apoyo anyday!
Some of the beaches that usually charge some admission are:
Other places include: