Blogs from Capital Region, Nicaragua, Central America Caribbean - page 9


When we arrived in the capital of Nicaragua from El Salvador we decided to head straight for the city of Granada for a few days. We both felt that we needed a couple of days in the same place and it also meant that we could do all the boring things like laundry etc. Granada is another colonial city and was very pretty. On our first full day there we explored the city, climbed up the bell tower of one of the churches for views of the volcano from the city (it was so lovely and cool compared to the humidity on the ground that we managed to stay up there for about 20 minutes) and generally just relaxed in the city. The next day we headed to Masaya which is supposed to have the best ... read more
View from the bell tower
View from the bell tower
Big  Corn

So I'm new to this travelblog business... this first post is a test post before I head out on my Central American trip and continue this ridiculous travelblog business there... thanks for playing! I am traveling with good friends Kevin Martinico, Robert Schock, and Jon Moga (who has been down in the area for a few months). When I first shared with friends and family that I would be travelling to Nicaragua for an adventure trip, a few thought it was fantastic. Most everyone else said, "Are you nuts??!!" In particular my mom said when I first told her, "I'll put you on the church prayer list" and my Dad says repeatedly when I make mention of the trip, "I don't want to talk about it." The country is relatively calm compared to past years (i.e. ... read more
Martinico and me Drew
San Juan del Sur

In the office in Managua after a long three day workshop about community banks in Esteli. Leave for DF MEXICO TOMORROW AT 6:30 IN THE MORNING!!!!!!!!!!! More on that adventure as it happens. But for now, some more photos... I am supa excited for DF because.... - i will get to see arielle's city!!!! - dark senses of humor - mexican food. flavor. non nicaraguan food. - coffee that is not the coffee at my house - riding the metro - dear god i'm excited for the pollution of a proper city - trying out my spanish in another latin country - hanging out in my pjs at the apartment with my wiiiiiife - being a proper tourist and sooooooooo much more! ... read more
my new lacoste
eyebrows, my host sister
cousin, lenin, host mom, eyebrows

Hi All, As promised (albeit a few weeks late) here is the final entry. Click on the link below to view our video version of our the end of the video are the reflections of our students....Enjoy and many thanks for your support! Ray "Papa Ramone" Sawatsky... read more

Goodbye Guatemala.. After spending 6 weeks in Guatemala, I got my first glimpse of Guatemala City as I spent my final night there waiting to catch my flight to Nicaragua. I said goodbye to Jen that morning and caught the local ‘Monja Blanca’ bus to Guatemala City. When I got there, I was helped by the guard at the bus stop to find me a cab because he didn’t want me to get one myself (He mananged to get me a very good discount). I waved my new friend goodbye and got into my cab for the short ride to my hostel. My cab driver - another wonderful soul, gave me a free Spanish Lesson on the way to the hostel and didn’t even complain when I didn’t have enough to give him for the ride. ... read more
Ruins of a Catherdal
Palacio National
Lomo de Tiscapa


Today was a very interesting Sunday, emotional and powerful. Since the beginning of the trip we had planned for a fancy dinner tonight as a kind of celebration of our trip. Plans were made for an elite restaurant overlooking Managua for a sunset dinner. HOWEVER, (with emphasis) two nights ago, our students observed, after our fun day, how easy it was just to slip back into ‘selfish’ habits and how much they did not want that to occur. Wow! There comments kept me up all night (ok that and heartburn). Seriously, I felt so conflicted about our dinner out that I approached the group first thing the next morning to see how they felt about it. To a student they wanted to do something else…in the next few minutes a plan was hatched to invite the ... read more
Canadians Entertaining
Hanging with the Families

So…no concerned comments from parents after yesterday’s blog. I am disappointed…truly! Part of the problem with our less than serious blog last night is that we failed to talk about the impromptu (actually I had planned it for quite a while) birthday piñata party for Alyssa who turns 18 the day after we return. Our day began early (at least for me) as Ginny left us for home at 5:30 this morning, actually 6:00 Nicaraguan time. I was sad to see her go, but I know that it is good for our girls. Today, we went back to work at a school in El Canyon, but we thought we were going to an orphanage. But hey, we did the SURF training, we can be flexible. Actually, it was a good experience with some meaning full work. ... read more
Fixing Desks
Fixing Desks
Fixing Desks

The blogs about La Chureca have prompted a few and important questions. I want to take a minute to answer, as best I can. I really feel quite inadequate to answer comprehensively, but the following are the answers to questions I have asked or knowledge collected. Why do people live in this dump? The people of La Chureca live their in part because of desperate lives, so impoverished that they resort to generating a subsistance life off of garbage. They recycle, build their homes out of discarded materials, trade the innocence of their children for a few cordobas (currency of Nicaragua) or even just the first rights to pick through the garbage on the truck, and yes, the eat out of the garbage at the dump. There are many 'dump' communities around the world and are ... read more

I now understand why our students had to sign the ‘high risk field trip’ form. Today was our day off and we went zip lining high above a coffee plantation. Zip lining in Nicaragua does not quite come with the same level of ‘regulation’ as in Canada. For that reason I am not willing to post any pictures of your children flying over tree tops upside down, going tandem (superman) with Nicaraguan men or the massive collision at one of the 13 platforms and did I mention monkeys….hmmm…maybe I won’t. We spent our afternoon in a market, shopping for all the cheap tacky gifts you will receive when we get home and this is where the story gets interesting…it seems that certain female members of our team were ‘discovered’ by Nicaraguan boys at the market….lets see, ... read more

Today as we returned to La Chureca I was reminded of a quote by George Santayana: "The world is not respectable; it is mortal, tormented, confused, deluded forever; but it is shot through with beauty, with love, with glints of courage and laughter; and in these, the spirit blooms timidly, and struggles to the light amid the thorns." (or in this case…garbage) Today words are not enough…nor will they ever be. I couldn’t possibly describe with full effect what we say today, nor can I describe the combination of smells, wind (the fires were worse today) and the taste of the dust. Nor can I describe both the hope and the hopelessness and everything in between. We began our day with a tour of La Chureca, a walking tour. In started simply enough, more of what ... read more
A Mountain of Garbage
Walking at La Chureca
Walking at La Chureca

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