Community Dispatches

Introducing the New Nicaragua Non-Profit Network (NNN)

NNN Logo 2

It is our goal to develop and provide a common sustainable platform where all non-profit organizations, non-government organizations, government entities, and individual volunteers helping Nicaragua can share knowledge, resources, experiences, locations of operations, needs and even their resulting goals and accomplishments in a collective effort to increase visibility, efficacy, and proper distribution of aid. Continue Reading →

The Tax Corner – Obamacare and U.S. expats


Americans who are technically residents of another country are not affected by Obamacare and its requirement to purchase health insurance coverage (plus penalties for not complying). American citizens are also exempt if he or she spends 330 days or more outside the U.S. during the year. Interestingly however, Obamacare offers an opportunity to purchase health insurance at reasonable costs. It may be advantageous for certain expats to purchase insurance. Early retirees (with no Medicare coverage and low income) are clear beneficiaries. Continue Reading →

Give thanks for festivals in November

Garifuna guifiti in Orinoco

Did you know that there are nearly 20 festivals going on somewhere in Nicaragua this month? Besides the parades of devils and demons, the celebrations of the Virgin wearing a sombrero and the dance of the leafcutter ants, here are three of my picks for where to go to get a taste of the real Nicaragua. Continue Reading →

‘This land ain’t for sale, chino’: Marcha Pacifica de El Tule (en español, pue)

Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 8.15.31 PM

Bajo el lema No Vendo Mi Tierra!!!, este 2 de octubre más de 3,000 comunitario del rio Tule marcharon pacíficamente por la defensa de sus derechos a la tierra. Desde horas tempranas y teniendo como escenario una intensa lluvia, familias que se sienten afectadas por las mediciones de su propiedades, procedentes del Dorado 1,2  y 3, Quebrada Seca, El Naranjo, El Roble, Santa María, se fueron trasladaron poco a poco para concentrarse en el poblado de El Tule. Esta marcha incluyo la participación de 500 montados  tuvo un recorrido de aproximadamente 5 kilómetros y partió de Casa Redonda hasta el empalme del mercadito campesino  y posterior se desplazaron por la carretera y regresaron hasta el lugar de partida, donde se concentraron y los seis oradores en representación de sus comunidades se dirigieron a los participantes de la marchas invitándoles a ser firmes y tomar acciones y no permitir el despojo de sus tierra. Previamente habían recomendado a los participantes a no ingerir licor, ni portar ningún tipo de arma. El Comité Organizador destaco la auto-convocatoria y el trabajo de comisiones, tambien presentaron un socio-drama que pretendía reflejar las barreras que se presentan en el proceso de medición de las tierras, con  diálogos en otro idioma, lo que ha resultado en la firma de las minutas descriptivas del estudio, así como el llanto  de una mujer con sus hijos que demandaban protección de su marido y asi evitar el desarraigo. Continue Reading →

Beer, bulldeer and devils — fun festivals in October

devil in masaya

Festivals are more frequent in the latter part of the year and October is a testament to that. The three-month celebration of San Jeronimo in and around Masaya is in full swing, Oktoberfest happens this month and that doesn’t even touch on the other annual events going on around the country. Schtrap on your lederhosen and wisit zee little willage auf Matagalpa for the festival of Polkas and Oktoberfest. Actually it’s the festival of polkas, mazurkas and jamaquellos, three styles of music as popular as rice up in the mountains. It is sponsored by INTUR and usually falls on the 4th. Continue Reading →

The Other Side of Granada: The danger of being off the beaten track

ML Sign

Editor’s note: the following article is the second in a new series on one expat’s
adventures living and working on Mombacho Volcano. Earlier articles in this series talked about how Mombacho Lodge came to be and what we do to keep it “natural” and running.  But this is really the nitty-gritty about making it work. If you have a real eco, or nature lodge like we are here at Mombacho Lodge you likely are not in a town.  It kind of goes without saying. But, the real danger of isolation doesn’t come from things you immediately think about, like security.  The main danger for a business is that without being listed in a town, you don’t turn up readily on an on line search so, you suffer in bookings. On the other side of Granada, it’s hard for people to find you and you really don’t have an address or a town.   Being new to the business, we have gotten stuck between a rock and a hard place on new procedures to set a business’ location for purposes of the Internet.  Until recently, you simply put in the nearest town you wished to be associated with for purposes of competition.  Now, your location is automatically set using GPS coordinates. Continue Reading →

Bringing the Macua back to the USA


My daughter, Maya, was adopted last year from Nicaragua. She is so special to our family. While in the adoption process Isaac and I lived in the county for five months. It was a unique time to experience Nica culture and where our daughter was born. We brought home not only the most precious gift but also some life long memories and new food ideas! Every year on the day we met Maya I plan on making an authentic Nica meal for the whole family. Continue Reading →