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    • Day 11


      March 4, 2020 in Nicaragua ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

      Today we docked in Corinto and are going to El Viejo and Chinandega. We were welcomed on the pier by two groups of dancers, one modern group accompanied by a percussion group and one traditional group and traditional musicians. They played and danced for about an hour while we waited for our turn to disembark for our tour. About a dozen little girls in traditional dress greeted the first 100 or so passengers with gift bags. This port is industrial so if you want to see anything, you need to take a tour.

      This is the largest country in Central American . It means place with several deposits of water. 27% of the country used to be water. 7 active volcanoes . 6.2million inhabitants in Nicaragua and used to be the safest country in Central America. Political crisis in 2018 changed everything.

      First export is beef, then coffee, then gold. The gold mines are owned by Canadians and of course the currency is printed in Winnipeg.

      We stopped at the minor Basilica in El Viejo dedicate to Mary who is the patron saint of Nicaragua. Such a poor country and the children beg for money when you walk into the church. Th primary children go to school in the afternoon as the secondary students go in the morning.

      It is very dry though not a desert area. September as October are the rainy season.

      Our tour guide Bosco’s cousin’s. Holstein go to the Goethe Schule in Corinto. Bosch hopes to send his oldest son to English school next year.

      The temperature today is 36C though it feels like 40C because of the humidity. Gas is $1.20/litre.

      Visited a museum with artifacts from 3000 BC.
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    • Day 13


      December 27, 2017 in Nicaragua ⋅ ☀️ 91 °F

      The two words that summarize Nicaragua are “plastic,” and “poverty.” Discarded plastic bottles, bags, and packages are all over the streets and sidewalks. Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Only Haiti is more impoverished. There is no compulsory education here and unemployment is 49%. And yet the people are friendly and kind. We docked at the port of Corinto, our gateway to the interior of Nicaragua. A 90 minute bus ride took us to the old colonial Spanish capital of Leon. Along the way, I was amazed by luxuriant fields of sugarcane, pineapple, bananas, cashew nuts, macadamia nuts and coffee. The terrain is almost breathtakingly beautiful. Virtually anything will grow in this hot, humid environment. The volcanic soil is some of the most fertile in the world. Of 23 volcanoes in Nicaragua 17 are still active. As we prepared to tour the old Spanish cathedral, our bus parked right beside a museum established to show the history of the attempted revolts of the 1970s and 1990s. The recent political turmoil in this nation began with the three-generation Samosa dictatorship in the 1950s. The Samosas were overthrown by Daniel Ortega. In the 1980s a Civil War between the Sandinistas in the Contras further injured the nation of Nicaragua. Now virtually all of the wealth of Nicaragua is controlled by fifteen extremely wealthy families. Still, the people are hopeful. For the last two years the nation has experienced an increase in it’s gross national product of about 1.5% per year. Tourism is on the increase. The Spanish Cathedral of the Assumption has been restored to its former glory, but in this hot, humid climate a team of workers must constantly clean the inside to remove the mold that grows over every square inch of the interior. The dominant impression that I have after visiting Costa Rica, Panama, and Nicaragua is that culturally and linguistically these nations are much more similar than I expected. While they are separate nations with separate governments, the people share many of the same problems, interests, customs, and traditions.Read more

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