Living in Nicaragua

Living in Nicaragua definitely has its charm and advantages that make it more attractive to living in other countries around the world.  Tropical paradise, warm climate year round, reasonable cost of living, lower healthcare costs are just a few of attractive options appealing to foreigners looking to visit or potentially live in this beautiful country.  

Living in Nicaragua

However, we must remember Nicaragua is also the second poorest country in the western hemisphere and has its drawbacks.  Poverty is always a stone’s throw away from your house or hotel in any part of Nicaragua.  Poverty may also be working for you cleaning up your yard or mopping your floors.  Children  just old enough to walk begin their life on the streets.  These children are on every street corner looking to wash the windshield of your car whether you like it or not.  They are SURVIVORS!  Their mothers (if they are around) are on the sidelines letting the children beg because they are more likely to tug your heart that results in cash response.  Many streetlights feature a handicapped person who has lost limb either from the war in the 1980′s or from an easily treatable infection that never got the appropriate medical treatment.

What should be our response to these “problems”?  Many will try a universal either handing out money to as many of them as possible.  Others will refuse to give out money to any of them on the basis of “principle”.  My solution….The fact is I have no idea what the proper response is.  There are so many dynamics involved.  Each person at the streetlight has a story behind them that led them to where they are today.  Some are self inflicted but many of them have inherited their situation and do not know any other way around it.  That is life as they know it.  Some will refuse to give money to anyone on the basis its encouraging them to beg.  But what job is the man across the street from the Los Ranchos Restaurant supposed to get??  Unable to walk, he was born with limbs that never fully formed and is subject to a wood cart that he is a able to peddle around.  I would tend to help out someone in that type of situation with some loose change in the car.

I wouldn’t tell you what to do but only offer the advice of not taking the universal one fits all approach. Every situation is unique with many of them looking for more than just money.  They want to be treated with dignity.  That means not looking straight ahead pretending not to see them on your side window.  Roll down your window and get to know them.  Pick a few of them that are on your regular routes around Managua to slowly get to know them.  You would be surprised with the results.  If a good group of us start to do that, we might be able to make an impact on their lives.  So much of doing good doesn’t involve giving money but it also doesn’t mean being opposed to it either. But all in all… Que viva Nicaragua!


  1. Myra Trolese says:

    Wow, I felt guilty of some of my wrong thoughts and actions in driving past people like that. It;s true money might be the easy way to help but the kind word, genuine acknowledgement can mean so much and bring more lasting change.

  2. Myrna says:

    Excellent article! I like your solution at the end of the article. Taking time for people is always the best solution especially those that need a kind word, encouragement, a smile and sometimes money

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