Nicaragua: It Just Feels Like Home

Living in Nicaragua is different than the USA

Street in Granada, Nicaragua Author Adalberto.H.Vega

Street in Granada, Nicaragua Author Adalberto.H.Vega

By Suzanne Maxey — My son advised me that Granada, Nicaragua was nothing like the United States. And I thought that I completely understood – that is, until I had lived here for a few months.

It’s a lot like living in the good old days

If you are old enough, think back to the USA in the 50’s and early 60’s.  Then slow the pace down.  Horse drawn carts compete for space on the streets with all the taxis. A small herd of cows and the bull pass by my casa every morning and evening on their way to graze. Ladies older than I am walk the barrio with huge baskets of fruit, vegetables, bread, you name it, balanced on their heads, selling their wares, the bread still hot from the oven. Men walk by all day selling anything you can think of from their carts. Ceiling fans, sewing machines, pots and pans, window glass, you name it.

Living with minor inconveniences

At least once a week either the water or the power or both go out. Usually it is back on by 5 p.m., but now and then it is a 24 hour marathon of no water or no electricity. Not so much fun when it is 95 degrees outside and there is no breeze. Hardly anyone in Nicaragua has air conditioning but a fan usually keeps us cool enough…until the power goes out. Then we spend a fair amount of time standing under the shower.
Hardly anyone here has hot water, either.  But honestly, we don’t need it. The showers are lukewarm to slightly cool, and they sure do feel good.  If you insist on hot water for the dishes, just fill up a bowl with tap water and put it in the microwave. Works fine.

No deprivation required

Most anything you can get in the U.S., you can get here. Can’t say regarding Canadian foods or goods. The grocery stores here carry the more expensive U.S. brands of food as well as Latin American brands. The LA brands of food are just as good, and a lot cheaper. Once in a while I splurge and buy a can of Spam or jar of Jif, but stick with local brands for the most part. In the mercado, any and everything can be found. Be careful in the mercado though; pickpockets love the gringos.

A comfortable life

It’s a slower pace but it is a comfortable pace. I don’t miss the congested interstates or the crowded, overpriced convenience store on every corner. Here, there are pulperias on every block, small convenience stores being operated out of someone’s living room. You can get eggs, chips, milk, soft drinks and homemade frescos, even detergent just a few doors down from your casa. In the evening, ladies set up tables outside their homes with home cooked meals, ready to buy for your supper. Delicious!
Granada, Nicaragua feels like a soft, well worn old shirt and pair of jeans. If I want to go to the mall or a movie then Managua is close by, but the slow, easygoing pace of Granada fits me like a glove. It can be frustrating when the power goes out and then the water cuts off for a few hours, but in the evening when everyone comes outside to walk and visit and gossip, Nicaragua feels like home.
Suzanne Maxey lives not too far from her son (and grandkids) in Granada. Her son, Casey, wrote the NCX Guide to Residency in Nicaragua, a must-have for anyone considering moving down to this beautiful country. 

Nicaragua’s Renewable Energy Revolution Picks Up Steam : Parallels : NPR

Nicaragua’s Renewable Energy Revolution Picks Up Steam

Renewable energy sources — such as the Eolo wind park about 75 miles south of the Nicaraguan capital, Managua — generate about half of the country's electricity. Officials predict that figure could rise to 80 percent within years. Inti Ocon/AFP/Getty Images

Renewable energy sources — such as the Eolo wind park about 75 miles south of the Nicaraguan capital, Managua — generate about half of the country’s electricity. Officials predict that figure could rise to 80 percent within years.
Inti Ocon/AFP/Getty Images

Nicaragua produces no oil, but is a land of fierce winds, tropical sun and rumbling volcanoes. In other words, it’s a renewable energy paradise — and today the Central American nation is moving quickly to become a green energy powerhouse. Within a few years the vast majority of Nicaragua’s electricity will come from hydroelectric dams, geothermal plants and wind farms.

Nicaragua’s largest wind farm lies on the shores of giant Lake Nicaragua, which stretches halfway across the country.

via Nicaragua’s Renewable Energy Revolution Picks Up Steam : Parallels : NPR

NPR has been doing what I think is a bang-up job on their Nicaragua reporting. We have reposted and commented on several of their stories here, here, and here if you would like to see them. They also did a feature on Medical Tourism that had a bit about Mike at the Farmstay!

Anyway, here is another good news story about how Nicaragua is developing its natural resources in the areas of wind, solar and geothermal with the goal to be a net energy exporter to other Central American countries in a few years!

Most everyone who has been visiting or living here in Nicaragua is familiar with the wind farms along the lakeshore of Lake Nicaragua south of Rivas, but you might not know about the solar and geothermal. When you think of it, really geothermal is the way to go as that is a never-ending supply of energy since we have so much volcanic activity in this country.

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weather ticuantepe – Google Search

weather ticuantepe – Google Search.

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The Weather Channel – Weather Underground – AccuWeather

It is probably a little cooler here, about 89 degrees with the breeze.

Best Cities to Live in Nicaragua

What are the Best Places to Live in Nicaragua?

There are many fine towns and a few real cities to choose from when deciding where to live in Nicaragua. Some of the factors influencing whether one town or city works best for your personal situation are:

  • lifestyle preferences
  • Spanish-speaking abilities
  • financial situation
  • personal health
  • desires to live with or without other expatriates
  • weather
  • transportation
  • amenities

There are many more factors in addition to those named above. We’ll tackle this topic on a broad level now and in further posts will break it down into some detail. If you have enjoyed this post, please comment below and encourage me to continue with this series!

Let’s get started with some broad strokes as to what whould be the best Nicaraguan city for you to live in.

Do you want to live in a city, town, village, or? Would you enjoy being in the center of the pueblo just a couple of streets off of the plaza? Or, do you prefer living a few minutes drive or bus away from the downtown? As with all things, there are pluses and minuses to each of these options and you need to find out for yourself what is best for you.

What about your Spanish-language skills? If you already have a fairly good handle on Spanish, then you are likely much more open to living wherever you want to in Nicaragua. Folks with limited Spanish and little-to-no ability to learn the language will probably be best suited to live in an area with a large existing expat community where you can speak English most everywhere you go.

Are finances a major consideration? If living on a fixed budget, even though your money goes much further in Nicaragua, you will still need to watch your spending habits and keep a reserve handy in case. Obviously, if you have a much more comfortable financial situation, then you can forego thinking about strategizing on money-saving schemes and live you life as you desire.

What about your health? Your age? Anything requiring regular checkups, medical specialists, tests and exams? That will affect your decisions too. Excellent health care is available in Nicaragua, but is not evenly distributed throughout the country. For the most part, Managua is where the best doctors and hospitals are located.

Do you prefer to live in a real Nicaraguan community or one with a sizeable expat population? Some people, usually those with limited Spanish skills, find themselves drawn to expat communities, of which there are not a lot to choose from in Nicaragua. Do you want to join the Kiwanas club or the American Legion? If that is the sort of social life you envision then your options are limited as regards Nicaragua. Or, do you want to live as completely as possible with Nicaraguans in a Spanish-speaking community? This question also speaks to your needs for a social life. Some folks are just fine by themselves or the occasional meetup with friends, and some are real “joiners” that want to be part of every bridge club, charity event, volunteering at the schools, hospitals, orphanages, etc. Which are you?

Weather is another important consideration. Luckily, in Nicaragua one can choose what kind of weather they like. Warm and hot is the norm here, but there are mountainous areas that are great for that “perpetual spring” climate. As you get to live here awhile, a slight change in temperature can make the difference between sweating and being miserable or quite comfortable.

Transportation is important too. It is not too difficult to live without a car in Nicaragua and in some places it offers a distinct advantage to not drive! Buses and taxis are usually very available and mostly inexpensive. Driving here has its challenges, but of course offers freedom of movement that relying on public transportation just does not offer.

Finally, what amenities are important to you? For example, are you a shopaholic? There aren’t too many shopping malls in Nicaragua and most of them are in Managua. Are first-run movies in brand-new theaters your thing? Again, the capital has those but are not very well distributed outside of Managua. What about nightlife? Culture? Art? Poetry? Live music? A variety of different types of restaurants? I always recommend you be clear with yourself that if you feel you need these amenities, don’t go moving out to the coast where it takes an hour or two to find some of these things. Be real with yourself and admit you like eating sushi and seeing a musical play live once in a while!

Okay, that is the end of this edition. I plan on writing more of these and going into further detail on each and every consideration to help make your move to Nicaragua a good one! Please share, Like, or comment!

The Nicaragua Lifestyle Conference

The Nicaragua Lifestyle Conference

The Nicaragua Lifestyle Conference is a jammed packed information day for retirees, entrepreneurs, investors, – expats and future expats, all of those, in fact, considering Nicaragua as a relocation destination.

 

The Nicaragua Lifestyle Conference taking place May 15, 2013 in Managua is designed with these people in mind.

It can be one of the biggest decisions in your life – to move offshore, (immigrate) to another country. Some have done it all blindly and met up with complications and roadblocks, twists and turns along the way making it a very bumpy road, indeed. However, there is an easier way of doing things. Learn from the experts to to navigate the path to relocate your business and your life.

The Nicaragua Lifestyle Conference will educate you. Learn from others who have done the thing you have now decided to do with your life. Our featured presenters will show you the ropes. Residency, immigration, legal issues, title insurance, healthcare. Whatever your reason to leave, whether for a need to get back to basics, escape the rat race, seek healthcare that is excellent and reasonbly priced, economic factors, or just an extreme dislike of winter weather, this is one conference you should not miss.

Featured Speakers:

  • Mike Cobb, CEO and Chairman of ECI Development
  • Sergio Corrales, Attorney and Managing Partner at Garcia & Bodan (G&B)
  • Chale Espinosa, Real Estate Investment
  • Maria Amanda Hurtado, of Title Coordination Services (TCS)
  • Arlen Pérez, Metropolitano Vivian Pellas Hospital in Managua

Read more about who’s presenting at the Conference here.

When: May 15, 2013

Where: Hotel Contempo, Managua, Nicaragua

Price:
$69 per person – in advance.
$75 per person at the door.  Lunch is included

The Nicaragua Lifestyle Conference is a great opportunity to network with business professionals and expats in Nicaragua. Make some new contacts and friends, build your network. Find out what you need to know – before you take that giant step forward.

Sign Up Here





Houses / Homes in Rivas / Nicaragua | For Sale | VENDO CASA POR MOTIVOS DE VIAJE : 2 rooms, 57 m2, USD 20000.00

Houses / Homes in Rivas / Nicaragua | For Sale | VENDO CASA POR MOTIVOS DE VIAJE : 2 rooms, 57 m2, USD 20000.00.VENDO CASA POR MOTIVOS DE VIAJE VENDO CASA POR MOTIVOS DE VIAJE VENDO CASA POR MOTIVOS DE VIAJE VENDO CASA POR MOTIVOS DE VIAJE

Property Information

Location: Rivas
Address of Property City of Buena Vista neighborhood rivas special school 4 c. 1c south. This 1/2 c. south
Price $20,000.00
Price/sq meter $350.87
Bedrooms 2
Bathrooms 1
Square Meters 57
Lot Size 200m2
Room Height ground floor
Age of Home 2004
Stories 1
Balcony/Terrance terrace
Swimming pool no
Parking 0
Type of Floor Ceramics
Floor Number ground floor
Benefits Near a School, Patio

Description

Pretty home quiet home sale by reason of illness

This appears to be a good example of a bargain property due to some unfortunate circumstances of the seller. At this price, this nice little house could be perfect for you if you are looking for an easy to maintain place in the town of Rivas.

 

Houses / Homes in Rivas / Nicaragua | For Sale | selling houses on a solo road. : 7 rooms, 280 m2, USD 55000.00

Houses / Homes in Rivas / Nicaragua | For Sale | selling houses on a solo road. : 7 rooms, 280 m2, USD 55000.00.Sell two houses in one spot.Sell two houses in one spot.Sell two houses in one spot.

Property Information

Location: Rivas
Address of Property From the Radio Rumbos 1C to on, Rivas, Rivas.
Price $55,000.00
Price/sq meter $196.42
Bedrooms 7
Bathrooms 3
Square Meters 280
Lot Size 645.12 m2
Room Height 3m
Age of Home 1992
Stories 1
Parking 2
Type of Floor Other
Floor Number 1
Benefits Near a School, Near Traffic, Roofed Parking, 24 hour Security, 1 Studio, Patio, Corner Property, Living room & Dinning room

Description

In one field there are two houses, the first with 2 bed., Porch, 1 bathroom, 1 living room, kitchen and dining together in a single room (91 m2 living area). The second house has 5 bedrooms., 2 room, 1 runner, 2 baths, porch and kitchen (189 m2 construction). The two houses are connected by a large patio in the back and one in the front yard. The good is accessed by the paved road that connects San Jorge Rivas. The type of construction is confined masonry, the structure is an iron pillar and reinforced concrete, type of roof is corrugated zinc sheet, has recessed electrical system and piped. Located 10 minutes from San Jorge and 45 minutes from San Juan del Sur.

This is an example of what might be a good investment property located in the city of Rivas. Actually located on the road to San Jorge, this property has two homes on it. Rivas has a good central location and is near the lake, the ferry to Ometepe, and not too far to the beaches of Tola and San Juan del Sur.