Community Dispatches

A happy Sunday in El Sauce, León


El Sauce has had a relationship with Rochester New York for many years. In 1988 Dr. Arnie Matlin, a pediatrician from the Rochester area, started a scholarship program and a home for high-risk pregnancies in El Sauce. Other programs, including the 4Walls Project, followed. The 4Walls Project / Proyecto 4Paredes builds houses for people who don’t have them. It began in 2007 with the little idea that maybe people from the United States would give a few dollars to help build brick houses for people who were living in plastic or cardboard ones. Continue Reading →

A look inside the campaign against commercial sexual exploitation in Granada

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The following is a short film explaining the issues that the “Campaign against the sexual exploitation of children in Nicaragua” faces and how it came to exist. The film was produced in association with campaign leaders, the tourist police of Granada and local entrepreneurs. Campaña Contra la Explotación Sexual Comercial Nicaragua from Drew Sutton on Vimeo. Continue Reading →

How to get free money from the IRS – child tax credit

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For many expat families with children under 17 years of age, it is possible to get a “refund” from the IRS without having paid any U.S. taxes. This wonderful subsidy is called the Child Tax Credit. Basically, it’s money that the U.S. government provides to middle income families to help with the cost of raising kids. The Child Tax Credit can be worth as much as $1,000 per child. Continue Reading →

How to make cents of change in Nicaragua

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It should be a simple request. You pull out currency for something and you expect to get change back from your purchase. Happens everywhere, every day, or so I thought until I visited Nicaragua for a month, including a two-week stint as a volunteer in a poor village near Granada and found otherwise. Repeatedly. Continue Reading →

Nicaragua Dispatch — the backstory

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As a teenager, Miami-based journalist Tim Rogers left the comforts of suburban Massachusetts with his father in exchange for a battered Nicaragua freshly emerged from years of war. “It was the most foreign thing I could have imagined – from Wellesley, Massachusetts to this war-torn ruinous city, Managua,” he said. “It was fascinating to me.”

After that 1992 trip, by way of Mexico and Costa Rica, Rogers found his way back to the country that so enraptured him at 16. Although he now calls Miami home, Rogers, 39, still keeps “a wistful eye on Nicaragua,” the country where he launched and struggled to sustain two English-language publications. Where he freelanced for major international outlets. Continue Reading →

Stealing and interracial harmony: a few of Nicaragua’s April festivals


There are lots of interesting festivals and parties going on in the month of April, including the Semana Santa festivals around the country (many of which are not to be missed) and the Carnival in Managua. Here are three of the lesser-known but equally fascinating events going on around Nicaragua in April. Did you know there is a Nicaraguan holiday when the kids go out and steal? (No, that isn’t every night, Mr. Funnyguy). It’s called Judas Night and it is “celebrated” late Easter Sunday night by kids going out into their barrios and hanging up effigies of Judas. Continue Reading →