Category Archives: Sights & Activities

Snapshots: Flora & Fauna of Nicaragua

(To view larger sized photos click on any image)

Nicaragua National Zoo

Planning a trip to Nicaragua with children?  The National Zoo – home to over 650 different animal species – is definitely worth checking out. From tiny hummingbirds to awe-inspiring African lions they have it all!

The Nicaragua National Zoo is located at Kilometer 16 of the Managua-Masaya road.

It is closed on Mondays, but open Tuesday to Sunday from 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM. The entrance fee is C$15 for adults and C$10 for children. 

Entrance fee to the butterfly and orchid garden (my favorite place at the zoo) is an additional C$15.

Learn about Nicaragua National Zoo.

Photo Journalism Friday: FSLN Revolution Day

Today, July 19th marks the 34th anniversary of the Sandinista Revolution of 1979 – the day that the National Liberation Army defeated the Somoza dictatorship in the Nicaraguan Revolution.

– Today all buses in the country change their stationed route to Managua.

As we made our way from Granada to San Juan del Sur we passed bus load after bus load of FSLN (Sandinista National Liberation Front) supporters en route to Managua.

Every year on July 19th thousands of people from all over the country gather at Plaza La Fe in Managua to commemorate this historical event.

UFC Fight Night: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

A UFC fight night out in Nicaragua is slightly different than a UFC fight night out in North America.  FREE admission and $7 bottle service (or Tona buckets) tonight at Howler Bar & Restaurant in San Juan del Sur!

UFC Fight Night:  San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Semana Santa 2013: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

The place we now call home – San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua – just so happens to be one of the most popular places for Nicaraguan youth to party during Semana Santa. 

Rooms (with only cushions on the floor for sleeping) rent for up to $75 USD a night.  Vendors line the streets. There is no shortage of cheap beer, rum, knock off sunglasses or inflatable toys.

One of the local restaurants has set up a temporary Tip Top chicken franchise. Morning, noon and night we see Nicaraguan men passed out on the sidewalks and streets.  

Girls in booty shorts and bikini tops represent Heineken, Victoria Frost, Flor de Cana, Tona, Claro and Movistar.

As we sit in the Heineken tent and sip 30 cord ($1.21 USD) green frosties a group of special forces police – clad in black -march together in a troop of six. Rifles are strapped to their backs and they carry hand guns in holsters on their hips.

Convoys of Nicaraguan families have set up camp on the beach. The bay has become a place to bathe and use the toilet.  Avenida del Mar reeks of urine. Beach parties rage on until the wee hours of the morning. The techno beats can be heard all way to our house, which is more than three blocks away.

This is San Juan del Sur during Semana Santa! 

A Most Awesome Day of Sailing: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

With the end of the dry season rapidly approaching the temperature is climbing. From experience we know that each day will feel hotter and more humid than the last, until the merciful rains come in May to cool us off. For the next month we’ll be staying close to the ocean or a pool.

One of our favorite ways to cool off and have a great time is to go sailing.

We recently got together with sixteen of our friends (new and old) and spent the day on a catamaran with Captain Zach from Nica Sail n Surf. We cruised out to a private beach north of town and enjoyed a day of swimming, snacking, drinking and relaxing. We had our own private party on the water.

$60 USD included our day of sailing, open bar complete with beer, rum, juice and soda, as well as Zach’s very own homemade ceviche, guacamole and salsa.

It was our friend Stephanie’s birthday and she said that the day couldn’t have been better. Even though her daughter Layla was the only kid on board she had a great time.

This was our first time sailing with our buddy Zach, but it certainly won’t be the last!

To learn more about Nica Sail n Surf or to book your very own catamaran adventure click here.

Celebrating St. Paddy’s Day in San Juan del Sur

This year we celebrated St. Paddy’s Day much of the same way we would have had we been in Canada.  We participated in a pub crawl.

The festivities kicked off midday from Big Wave Dave’s Bar & Restaurant.  There were a couple of things that made this particular pub crawl unique – our mode of transportation and the cost.

We paraded through the city on a horse cart, two ox carts and a jeep. The fact that drinking and riding in an ox cart through the city is completely legal made for a very interesting day. 

Locals lined the streets snapping photos of us as we paraded around town. 

St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday that Nicaraguans have heard of, but don’t celebrate. To them it’s a day in March when they get to witness Gringos getting as drunk as some Nicas do on Sundays.

And at $20 USD for transportation, rum and beer on the cart, as well as drinks at each of the 4 establishments we stopped at the price was hard to beat.

Huge thanks to John Crilly of Classic Cruisers for organizing the event.  Special thanks also to Dan & Cesar for allowing me to combine some of their photos with mine to create the large gallery of images shown below.

5 Nicaraguan Souvenirs You Probably Won’t Want to Buy

#1

EROTIC ASHTRAY
I spotted these rare and lovely pieces at one of the shops in Catarina. When we looked at the girl in the shop with questionable expressions on our faces she described them as “erotica”. These unique ceniceros (ashtrays) sell for just $6 USD.

Nicaraguan Souvenirs You Probably Won't Want to Buy

– How do you like them bananas?

#2

CHICKEN BASKETS
I’m not really sure what use one would have for these rare and interesting baskets, but I am sure of one thing, at $60 USD they don’t come cheap!  

Nicaraguan Souvenirs You Probably Won't Want to Buy

– Yup, that’s right, these baskets are made from real chickens.

#3

“EL BANO” PAINTINGS
These masterpieces come in all sizes.  I had to stop myself from laughing out loud when the shop owner told me the price for a piece this size (16″ X 20″) was $50, but he’d be willing to sell it to me – on sale – for only $40 USD. 

Nicaraguan Souvenirs You Probably Won't Want to Buy

– This El Bano painting is one of the more modest pieces I’ve seen. Many actually show dirty toilet paper littering the ground.

#4

FLOR DE CANA FROG
Whether it be Cuba, Mexico or Nicaragua we’ve all seen multiple versions of the “stuffed” frog. To ensure In Nica Now remains a family friendly website I’ve chosen to share this G-rated photo, instead of the XXX one I have.  At $10 USD (including the Flor de Cana pocket rocket) I suppose you can’t really go wrong.

Nicaraguan Souvenirs You Probably Won't Want to Buy

#5

CUP ‘O BOOB
This exquisite hand painted coffee mug is definitely one of kind and can be yours for only $8.33 USD.  Imagine the reaction you’d get from your coworkers when you walk into the coffee station with this mug in your hand. 

Nicaraguan Souvenirs You Probably Won't Want to Buy

– This might actually be the one (and only time) a “cup of boob” would be appropriate in the office. On second thought…maybe not!

So there you have it!  A sampling of some not so beautiful treasures that can be found here in Nicaragua.  If you’d like to check out some Nicaraguan souvenirs you probably will want to buy just click here.

Snapshots: Granada, Nicaragua

(Click on any thumbnail to view larger sized images)

BPP Preschool Program Wish List

This blog post was updated on December 13, 2012

It has been brought to my attention that some items on the Amazon Wish List are very costly to ship.  In order to maximize everyone’s dollars I’d like to suggest all donations moving forward are made in cash via Email Money Transfer or PayPal.  

My sister has already started purchasing some of the items on the list at Walmart and Toys R Us in Calgary. We definitely want to support the local economy, therefore items we can actually get here, will be purchased here.

We’ve received a a great response so far and look forward to even more donations coming in.  

Thank you so very much for your generosity and support and making a difference in the lives so many special children here in Nicaragua!

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Most North American kids I know have more toys than they know what to do with. Things are a little different here in Nicaragua. Actually…they are a lot different.

One doll, a wooden puzzle, a couple coloring books, some broken crayons and a few books are all that sits on a small shelf at the front of the preschool classroom at Barrio Planta Project.  

BPP Preschool Kids

This isn’t a single child’s bedroom I’m talking about, it’s a classroom for fifteen to twenty children. 

I’d like to change this.

And that’s why I’m reaching out to you – family, friends and In Nica Now fans and followers – to help out this holiday season by purchasing a gift for the Barrio Planta Project Preschool Program.

Because how cool would it be for the kids to be able to sit down and play a game of Snakes & Ladders with their preschool teacher or a volunteer?

Or for a little girl to dress up in a pretty princess dress and have a tea party with her friends. 

BPP Preschool Program

I’d especially love for these kids to have their own glue sticks, scissors and paper to get creative with at Arts & Craft time.

To view our Wish List and purchase a gift click here!

Or if you’d like me to do the shopping you can donate cash via PayPal by clicking here!  (The account email address to use is elishaannemackay@gmail.com)

Cash donations will also be used to cover the baggage fees to get the items to Nicaragua.  

All gifts will be shipped to my sister in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  She will pack everything safely into a suitcase and deliver it to me on December 26th when she arrives.  

I will stock the shelves and have everything ready for the kids when classes resume in February. I’ll also be doing a follow up post with photos and video so that you can see first hand the impact you’ve made.

Thank you so much for your support and making a difference in the life of a child in Nicaragua!

Note: With only 15 days left until Christmas it’s important that purchases are made this week. Thanks again!
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