Pura Vida Travels - A Guide To Travel In Latin America









Gas has hit the absurd level of $6/gallon giving Nicaragua the distinction of having the highest gas prices in Central America. The man of the people (cough, cough) Daniel Ortega has profited off the high prices to the tune of $520 million. Of course, no one knows where all that money went but there's a lot of Sandinistas riding around in new Mercedes these days. Rather than use the money to help the country as it was supposedly intended, Daniel is using the money to make his cronies rich. The reason being is that Daniel and his wife desperately want to rule for life and they are paying off the people that can make that happen.

The people of Nicaragua are horribly disillusioned right now. I can't tell you how many people I've heard say "We threw the Somoza's out for this?" Make no mistake about it, Daniel Ortega is now a dictator. He's using the oil money from Venezuela to build his power through the CPC's. He controls the courts and he now rules almost exclusively be executive orders. Whatever blatantly unconstitutional order he issues the courts rule them constitutional. Of course, all this has come at a cost. The IMF has withheld funds and is threatening to cutoff Nicaragua completely. Germany, France, England, and other European nations are "examining" their continued funding of Nicaragua as well. Daniel, of course, doesn't care. All he cares about is power. I have to wonder how long it's going to be before we start hearing of people taking up arms against him.

Having lived through a horrible war that's in most Nicaraguans recent memory most have little appetite for another war. The reality, however, is that with 30% inflation people that were already horribly poor are now barely able to survive. If things continue to get worse I have a sad feeling that many people are going to reach their breaking point. I pray it doesn't have to come to that.


Need Mental Help
Need Mental Help
Artist At Work
Artist At Work
One Stop Shopping
One Stop Shopping
Gas Is $6 A Gallon
Gas Is $6 A Gallon
Rotonda Ave Maria
Rotonda Ave Maria
Juniett Resting
Juniett Resting
Playground In The Rotonda
Playground In The Rotonda
No Drunks Or Druggies
No Drunks Or Druggies
They Dug This By Hand
They Dug This By Hand
A LOT Of Dirt
A LOT Of Dirt
Fresh Fruit In Masaya
Fresh Fruit In Masaya
I Forget The Name
I Forget The Name
Cracking Open A Snack
Cracking Open A Snack
Looks Tasty
Looks Tasty
Casa De Salin
Casa De Salin

On my final full day in Nicaragua we headed back to Acoyapa to take Juniett's grandmother back home. She had been staying at our house because she had a doctor's appointment in Managua. When we got back to Acoyapa I went to the leather shop and bought a saddle. Since I don't own a horse I plan to sell it on ebay. We'll see how it goes since I know nothing about saddles.

A Little Dusty Here
A Little Dusty Here
Heading To Acoyapa
Heading To Acoyapa
Cemetary In Juigalpa
Cemetary In Juigalpa
Saddle Store In Acoyapa
Saddle Store In Acoyapa
Plenty Of Saddles
Plenty Of Saddles
I Bought This One
I Bought This One
Church In Acoyapa
Church In Acoyapa
Shoes In The Wire
Shoes In The Wire
The Joe In Acoyapa
The Joe In Acoyapa

While I was waiting for my wife her uncle asked if I wanted to go to a baseball game. It turns out it was the day of the big championship in the local league. I jumped at the chance since I've never been to a game and I wanted to see how good the players are. What I witnessed was more passion for the game of baseball then I've seen since I was 10 years old playing for the Little League Championship.

It's hard to tell who's on what team since they all wear different uniforms. Unlike here, where a company will sponsor a whole team companies sponser 1 uniform. These guys play like it's the World Series and are tough as nails. The catcher for one team, for example, was catching without a chest protector. These weren't little boys either. The pitchers were throwing in the high 70's to low 80's and some of the betters had pretty good power. Having caught until I was in college I can tell you that it hurts like hell to get thumped in the chest with a ball going 80 MPH with a chest protector on. I can't imagine getting hit without one.


Built By President Chamorro
Built By President Chamorro
On Deck
On Deck
Play Ball
Play Ball
Private Boxes
Private Boxes
Loosening Up
Loosening Up
The Crowd Is Intense
The Crowd Is Intense
Plenty Of Cerveza
Plenty Of Cerveza
Meeting Of The Minds
Meeting Of The Minds
Rough Infield
Rough Infield
A Full House
A Full House
Nica Fireballer
Nica Fireballer
Bring It
Bring It
Base Hit
Base Hit
Plenty Of Parking
Plenty Of Parking
Lets Play 2
Lets Play 2
And Vote FSLN
And Vote FSLN
Nacatamales Cooking
Nacatamales Cooking
The Slot Parlor
The Slot Parlor

My last task was to get my shoes shined. I saw these 2 kids walking down the street with their shine boxes and asked them how much. It's hard to beat a shoe shine for 4 Cordobas. (20 cents) I felt bad since there were 2 kids and I only had 1 pair of shoes to be shined. As a compromise I gave each of them 4 Cordobas and they had a contest to see which one could do the best job. I don't think I've ever had a shinier pair of shoes.


Shoeshines 4 Cordobas
Shoeshines 4 Cordobas
The Snow Cone Man
The Snow Cone Man
Saying Goodbye
Saying Goodbye

As we were taking off from Augusto Sandino Airport in Managua I took some pictures of Daniel's 737. It's from a Mexican airline called Global Air and he's been renting it for $10,000/hr to fly him and his wife all over the world. This is just another one of those "little" things that nobody knows where the money is coming from to pay for it. It's good to be the dictator...

Daniels 737
Daniels 737
$10000 An Hour
$10000 An Hour
Its Green Now
Its Green Now
Random Aeiral Photo
Random Aeiral Photo
Managua From The Air
Managua From The Air
Smoking Volcano
Smoking Volcano


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