Pura Vida Travels - A Guide To Travel In Latin America








On Friday I was informed that I was going to the "Miss UPONIC" contest that evening. To be honest, I had absolutely no idea what it was and very little interest in finding out. It had been a long week of getting up at 5:30 every morning to work and frankly by Friday night I was pretty tired and didn't really feel like doing anything. After thinking about it for a bit I realized my options were sit home alone in the dark or find out who this years Miss UPONIC would be. Guess which one I chose?

It turns out that this contest is a pretty big deal in Managua and Juniett's cousin Claudia was one of the contestants. It was held at an upscale club and even had TV coverage. The best way to describe it is that it's like the Miss America pageant held during a New Year's Eve party with a rum-soaked audience. There's a swimsuit competition, an evening gown competition, a talent portion, etc. Mixed in there were performances of singers and dancers. Each girl had her own cheering section comprised of family and friends. It was definately a crazy night of watching beautiful girls. Since it was so dark I took a lot more videos than pictures. The videos give you a feel for how nuts the crowd got.



Ticket To "Miss UPONIC"

Ticket To "Miss UPONIC"

Juniett's Crew Gets Her Ready

Breathless Anticipation

Nicaraguan Dance

Nicaraguan Dance

Nicaraguan Dance

The Contestants

The Contestants

The Contestants

The Contestants

More Dancing

Finally, The Swimsuits! :)

More Swimsuits

The Evening Gown Competition
On Saturday night we made a trip to the mall for some Eskimo ice cream. Just out of curiousity I asked grandma if she had ever been to the Galleria mall before. She said, "No, this is the first time." I then asked her if she came to Managua often. Her response floored me. She said the last time she was there was in 1957. Her impressions, "it's changed a lot since then." In fact it was the first time she's been to or even seen a mall.


Juniett & Cousin Claudia

Mall Rat?

The Mall's Mascot

Grandma At The Mall

One More...

The Kitchen Stove Store

Gets Great Mileage!

Colorful Store

Police Checkpoint
Unfortunately, on Sunday my trip was over and I had to head back to the good 'ole USA. I failed to mention that while I was in Nicaragua a category 5 hurricane named Felix blew into the country. The amazing thing is that I was less than 200 miles from the eye of the hurricane and I had absolutely no idea it was even coming. This will give you an idea of how remote and isolated the towns outside of Managua are in that no one knew this storm was on the way. I only knew because my phone was ringing every 5 minutes with people in the states calling me about it. Thankfully, it turned north and missed us completely but had it come our way the area we were in was completely unprepared for a storm of that magnitude.


Heading To The Airport

Heading To The Airport

Venezulean Military In Nica

Taking Off

Nicaragua Is Green

Heading Home...


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