We entered Nicaragua at the Port of Corinto, the country's largest Pacific port, and only deepwater port. Our excursion for the day was taking us to León, the second largest city in Nicaragua, 90 miles away. As we drove through the area outside of the port and through the residential areas on our way to León, the constant thought in my mind was, Oh my god. They are so poor.
The houses - if you can call them that - had corrugated tin roofs, thatched window coverings, open doorways. They were shacks. As we got closer to the city of León, although still run down, the residences looked a little better. Colorful, maintained a little better.
But it's still one of the poorest countries in the Americas. Wikipedia says, "According to the United Nations Development Programme, 48% of the population of Nicaragua live below the poverty line, 79.9% of the population live with less than $2 per day, and according to UN figures, 80% of the indigenous people (who make up 5% of the population) live on less than $1 per day."
One to three dollars PER DAY! So that means if some little girl is selling a handmade string bracelet for two dollars, she'll be getting that two dollars. I'm not haggling when I spend more on a cup of coffee than they make in three days.
Because it's so expensive to own a car, and then have to pay for gas for that car, many people ride bicycles. They were everywhere. In addition to the same kind of tuk-tuks we saw in Guatemala.
A food vendor at the street fair selling rice, plantains, etc.
We noticed a lot of young people in this area - students - because the UNAN (National Autonomous University of Nicaragua) is located here. Founded in 1813, it's the oldest university in Nicaragua and the second oldest university in Central America.In front of the Museo Historico de la Revolucion (Historical Museum of the Revolution) men sat on the steps, bikes parked nearby, watching the tourists stream by. The sign above and the writing on each side of the doors says Asociacion de combatientes y colaboradores. Historicos Heroes de Veracruz (Association of combatants and collaborators . Historic Heroes of Veracruz.)
The red bottom portion of the wall held a graffiti message. It said, Bush genosida. Enemigo de la humanidad. Muerte al invasor imperial. (Bush genocide. Enemy of mankind. Death to the imperial invader.)
I checked Wikipedia regarding Nicaragua and did a little Googling about the whole genocide thing - too much political crap and information to include here - if you're interested, you'll have to do your own research on that one.
In closing, I'll leave you with another building that flanks the town square, and the fact that although it may be a very poor country, Lonely Planet ranked Nicaragua #4 on their "Best in Travel 2015" list, and National Geographic Traveler included it on its "50 Tours of a Lifetime 2013" list.
2012: Looking For A Coffee Fix
2011: Container Port, You Are No Friend Of Mine
2010: Encased In Plastic
2009: No Lifeguard On Duty
2008: Palm Sketches
2007: You Know Who You Are
2006: I Fear The Family
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!