Pura Vida Travels - A Guide To Travel In Latin America

One of the biggest challenges with dating someone from a different culture is the language barrier. Nowhere is this more evident than when it comes to food. Nicaraguan food and drinks all have names that are uniquely Nicaraguan which means they're not in any dictionary and you've probably never heard of them. Just about every day my girlfiend says something like, "Honey, do you like a fresco?" and I say, "I have no earthly idea what a fresco is." This leads to the response, "You no like frescos?" to which I respond "I didn't say I didn't like it, I said I don't know what it is." She will then ask, "Honey, why you no like frescos?" In those moments I often feel like I'm in an Abbot and Costello go to Tijauna routine. I always end up eating or drinking whatever it is and I can honestly say there are very few Nicaraguan foods that I don't like. So, what's a fresco? A fresco is a drink that is made by taking fruit, chopping it up into pieces, and then smashing it (no blenders or strainers) into juice. The "juice" is super thick and contains seeds, pulp, etc. It's very good but it takes a little getting used to drinking something that "meaty".

I Enjoy A "Fresco"

Is She Giving Me The Bird?


House For Sale In Acoyapa

Welcome To Juigalpa

Not Much To See In Juigalpa

They Do Have Cows

Juniett Likes Cows...

Cemetary On The Hill

Full Service Gas Station

Juniett & Her Tia

The Floor Mat Store
An interesting thing happened when I was in Nicaragua that does little to inspire my confidence in Daniel Ortega's government. (not that I had much confidence in it to begin with) It seems Daniel decided that ESSO (Exxon/Mobil) hadn't paid some obscure tax for years and they now owed the government $6 million. ESSO proceeded to tell Daniel where he could stick his tax bill claiming foreign companies were exempt from the tax and Daniel responded by sending in the military and seizing their storage facilities and refineries. This was done, of course, for the good of the people because we all know that socialism is all about what's good for the working man. Unfortunately for Joe working man in Nicaragua ESSO provides %80 of the countries gasoline. While Daniel held ESSO's facilities hostage the supply of gas in the country quickly began to dry up. This quickly led to rationing of gas while Daniel called for the transfer of ESSO's facilities to his buddy in Venezuela Hugo Chavez so "a friend of the people" would control Nicaragua's gas supply instead of an evil American company.

ESSO ended up getting their facilities back after about 3 weeks but this is the kind of government action that Nicaragua can ill afford. (Who knows what they had to do to get them back?) There is next to no industry to speak of in Nicaragua and when the government does crap like this it's no wonder why. Nicaragua desperately needs foreign investment but until they elect a government that understands how to promote business rather than scare it away it's never going to happen.

Daniel Stole Their Gas...

Nice Hotel Near My Apt.

The Bimbo Truck
I have a funny story about the picture of the "BIMBO" truck above. Well, not really about the truck but about the name BIMBO. BIMBO is the "Wonder Bread" of Latin America. I have no idea what bimbo means in Spanish but I do know what the word means in English so it always makes me chuckle when I see the BIMBO truck. Anyway, because BIMBO is big in South and Central America they naturally sponser a lot of soccer teams. Some of the coolest jerseys have their logo on them. Well, on my many journeys I always try to bring back a couple of soccer jerseys for my bosses daughter. She's a star player and loves foreign jerseys that are hard to get in the US. I was in Peru (I think) and I almost bought a BIMBO jersey for her. As I was standing in line to pay for it it dawned on me that I was about to buy my bosses 9 year old daughter a bright blue shirt with the word BIMBO emblazoned on the front and back of it. That was nearly one of my most tragic carrer moves...

Packed Into A Cab

Perfectly Clear Directions...

Street Vendor

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