Nicaragua? Yeah, I could go there!

Like most people who were around and followed current events in the 1970s and 80s, when I think of Nicaragua I normally think of the brutal and corrupt Somoza dictatorships, the devastating 1972 earthquake; the late, great Pittsburgh Pirates star Roberto Clemente, a Nicaraguan, who died in a plane crash, on his way to help the earthquake victims; the rise of the Sandinistas; the bloody proxy war between the Soviet-backed Sandinistas and the U.S. backed Contras; and the Iran-Contra Affair.

And yet, today I received an email from some acquaintances who have built a vacation rental home, Casa Del Sol, on Playa Marsella, just north of San Juan Del Sur.

Yeah, um, I could go there!

Now, for purposes of full disclosure, I have really mixed feelings about visiting developing countries and living in luxury, while within miles locals are living with very limited means. Nicaragua, after all, is the second poorest country in the Americas after Haiti.

But then again, after agriculture, tourism is Nicaragua’s second largest industry, and like Costa Rica, where my family and I visited last year, Nicaragua is capitalizing on the increasing popularity of Ecotourism, which, while not perfect, is mostly proving to be a positive benefit for both the economies of the destination countries and for the environment.

It could be argued, then, that I’m actually doing some good, bringing my vacation money to a poor country, rather than travelling in, let’s say, Europe.

For now, I will go back to daydreaming, thinking of these lovely descriptions from the Casa del Sol website:

Wake up to the chirping of birds, the howling of monkeys and the song of the waves…the house is absolute beach front, directly on the sand on Marsella beach…Explore the pre-historic rock formations along the coast with our ocean kayaks…Time your vacation right and observe the miracle of Olive Ridley turtles hatching on the beach.

Hmmmmm. When’s the next flight?!

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