Pura Vida Travels - A Guide To Travel In Latin America








The finca is surrounded by fruit trees. There are bananas, oranges, coconuts, grapefruits, and some things that I have on idea what they are. The ironic thing is the one kind of tree I never did see there is an almond tree. Why is that ironic? Well, because el almendro means "almond tree" is Spanish. Of course, I gave up on expecting things to make sense in Nicaragua a long time ago.

While you might look at the photos from the finca and think my wifes family is horribly poor the fact is that you would be wrong. My wifes family is actually fairly well off by Nicaraguan standards. The 2 fincas employ about 15 to 20 people and in addition to cattle they grow beans, corn, and other crops as well. The fact that they lead such a spartan existence is a result of the lousy infrastructure in the country rather than the ability to afford things. It's tough to have a TV when there is no electricity. It's pointless to have a radio when there are no stations.


Bizarre Fruit Tree
Bizarre Fruit Tree
Bizarre Fruit Tree
Bizarre Fruit Tree
Bizarre Fruit Tree
Bizarre Fruit Tree
Making Logs
Making Logs
Miltons Wife
Miltons Wife
The Housekeeper
The Housekeeper
Fresh Cheese
Fresh Cheese
Wood Fueled Stove
Wood Fueled Stove
Barbed Wire Clothes Line
Barbed Wire Clothes Line
Hot Pepper Bush
Hot Pepper Bush
Relaxing Cows
Relaxing Cows
Cows In The Orange Trees
Cows In The Orange Trees

After hanging out at the finca for a bit my wife's aunt wanted to go visit a friend of hers that lived nearby so we headed out into the jungle for a little hike. There wasn't any road to where we were going and we hiked for about an hour up and down hills, along dry river beds, and through thick jungle brush. Eventually we came to a large clearing at the base of a big hill. On top of the hill was a little house where my wife's aunts friend lived. The view from the top of the hill was absolutely incredible. It's hard to comprehend scale from photos but some of the trees were massive and had to be hundreds of years old.

Heading To The Neighbors House
Heading To The Neighbors House
Trekking Through The Jungle
Trekking Through The Jungle
Lots More Cows
Lots More Cows
Mooooooo
Mooooooo
Thats A Massive Tree
Thats A Massive Tree
Relaxing On A Rock
Relaxing On A Rock
Massive Trees
Massive Trees
House With A View
House With A View
A Little Rocky Here
A Little Rocky Here
Rocky Hills
Rocky Hills
Its A Long Way Down
Its A Long Way Down
Linda Vista
Linda Vista
Grapefruit Tree
Grapefruit Tree
Grapefruit Tree
Grapefruit Tree
Great View
Great View
No Noisy Neighbors
No Noisy Neighbors
Cat Napping On The Oven
Cat Napping On The Oven
Rain Water Catch
Rain Water Catch
Smart Dog
Smart Dog
Eating Lunch
Eating Lunch
Roosters Enjoying The Shade
Roosters Enjoying The Shade

One of the really interesting dynamics about country life in Nicaragua is that when people visit they automatically pitch in and help with whatever the family is doing at the time. When we got to the first house in El Almendro they were bagging rice that had been drying in the sun so we all immediately joined in and started helping as well. When we got to this finca the men were making cheese and the women were cooking lunch. My wife and her aunt immediately joined in and started helping preparing the food. Although I didn't have a clue as to what I was supposed to be doing I joined in and helped make the cheese. The nearest analogy I can think of is that it would be like stopping by your neighbors house and mowing the grass while you're there.

The girls help out making lunch...

Around 1 o'clock I decided it was time that we needed to hit the road because this was going to be one loooooong trip back to Managua considering how deep in the jungle we were at this point. All told with stops in El Almendro and Acoyapa in took around 10 hours to get back to Managua.


The Cows Are Coming
The Cows Are Coming
Heading Back Home
Heading Back Home
The Farm Workers Take A Rest
The Farm Workers Take A Rest
Theres Always A Baby
Theres Always A Baby
Wonderful Road
Wonderful Road
We Found The Car
We Found The Car

On the way back to El Almendro we drove by the town dump. This is another one of those things that we take for granted and don't give much thought to. In El Almendro you have to haul your own trash to the dump. If you look at the picture closely you can see there are people in the mound of trash.

Another thing we had to do before we left was visit our godchild. I am her "padrino" or godfather and my wife is her "madrina" or godmother. I seem to pick up a few new godchildren on every trip to Nicaragua. One thing that Nicaragua doesn't have a shortage of is kids. It's a very twisted logic that leads people to have so many children. The prevailing view is that the more kids you have the better the odds that 1 or 2 of them will be good "earners" and eventually take care of the family. Unfortunately, because there are so many mouths to feed the kids need to start working as soon as possible leaving little time for formal education. Without any education the cycle of poverty continues generation after generation.


Lots Of Barbed Wire Here
Lots Of Barbed Wire Here
The Town Dump
The Town Dump
Our Godchild
Our Godchild
Our Godchild
Our Godchild
Wonderful Roads
Wonderful Roads
Happy Campesinos
Happy Campesinos


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