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A House to Write Home About: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

One month shy of our one year anniversary in Nicaragua we moved into our seventh rental house.

Our new place sits high on a hill in a neighborhood that locals refer to as Barrio Chino. The extra altitude allows us to take advantage of the nearly constant offshore breezes.

Situated three short blocks from the beach and about 130 steps from our best friend’s place the location of our seventh rental couldn’t be better!

A House with a View

– From this high vantage point we have a great view of the city and the day to day activities of our Nica neighbors.

– There is no better place to enjoy a cup of Nicaraguan black gold with my buddy Coco.

The market comes to us daily via the fruit and vegetable trucks that stop in our neighborhood.

Water, pop, juice and beer are delivered to our door from a local distributor.  Our delivery boy  – who comes by almost every day to see if we have an order – is a young man who drives a three-wheel bike with a huge basket on the front. 

We often see an older fellow with a horse drawn buggy delivering milk in the mornings. He transports the milk in large metal canisters and uses a huge ladle to scoop it into into his customers’ pitchers, bowls or buckets.

A House to Write Home About

The monthly rent for this lovely three bedroom, two bathroom casa on the hill is $500 USD per month. High speed Internet and Cable TV are included in our rent.  

Electricity is our only extra cost.

A House to Write Home About

– We have air conditioning in the bedrooms, but due to the high cost of electricity in Nicaragua we use it sparingly.

A House to Write Home About

– After a year of “cool” showers it’s a real treat to have hot water.

IMGP0878

– With San Juan del Sur’s frequent water outages the huge water tanks on our roof come in handy.

The kitchen and living area is open concept, which we love.  A living room with two seating areas, combined with a”bar” in the kitchen makes this house perfect for entertaining.

A House to Write Home About

– Windows wrap around the entire house making it bright and airy.

Rockers

A House to Write Home About

– Our large kitchen makes meal prep easy and enjoyable.

As mentioned in previous posts finding a comfortable and affordable long term rental in San Juan del Sur takes a bit of effort. So as you can imagine we feel quite lucky to have found such a nice place.

For the first time since leaving Canada twelve months ago we finally have a home and it feels great!

We are really enjoying our new digs and San Juan del Sur. For now we’ve committed to six months here, but quite honestly, we don’t foresee moving again until we take the plunge and buy (or build) something of our own.

We’re looking forward to celebrating the Christmas season and ringing in the New Year with our friends and family here in beautiful San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua!

Share the Stoke Foundation Sponsors the 1st Annual San Juan del Sur Youth Weekend

Half a dozen years ago Kelly Kingston attempted to sell one of her used surfboards on Craigslist.  With no serious offers Kelly decided she’d prefer to give her surfboard away to a deserving kid, rather than sell it for less than it was worth. Kelly changed her ad to read “free to a kid who sends me an email explaining why they deserve to have my surfboard”.  

We all learn from our experiences, but sometimes an experience can change our path in life. 

As expected Kelly was bombarded with emails. But what Kelly didn’t expect was the genuine level of need within her community. This experience helped Kelly realize that she wanted to help kids in her community stay off the streets and in the water and with that Share the Stoke Foundation was born.

– Totally stoked!

A year after giving away her 1st board Kelly and her partner Neily were in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua enjoying a surf vacation.  My friend Cory took the girls out surfing and they updated him on what was currently happening with Share the Stoke.  They had spent the last year raising money, begging for donated boards and giving those boards away to kids in Florida. It didn’t take this trio long to come to the realization that Florida was not the only place with kids in need and at a crossroad in their young lives.  With Cory’s help Kelly and Neily were able to find a deserving, up & coming surfer who would receive the first board in Nicaragua.  Share the Stoke had gone international!

Fast forward a few years, 5 countries and 74 boards … 

Kelly is back in San Juan del Sur with 6 of her friends sponsoring the 1st Annual “With A Little Stoke From My Friends” San Juan del Sur Youth Weekend. This is where I enter the story as an enthusiastic volunteer that ironically can’t surf and truthfully can barely swim.  

The goal of this weekend was to ensure that all kids in the community could benefit from this event. In order to participate in the weekend activities the kids were required to help in the beach cleanup – we removed 260 pounds of garbage in just a few hours. Other scheduled activities included a fishing trip, beach volleyball and swim and surf lessons – all culminating into a youth surf tournament.  Firewire surfboards were awarded as prizes to the top surfers in each age group.

– Kelly & Cory with participants of the Youth Surf Competition

Share the Stoke Foundation has been working very hard to increase the number of boards it provides to deserving kids each year. They have also been working very hard to find a board sponsor and luckily they’ve finally found one.  Firewire has stepped up to the plate in a huge way by committing to donating 100 new boards in 2013, 200 new boards in 2014 and 300 shiny new boards in 2015! Now that Share the Stoke has the product, it’s time to focus on fundraising so they can distribute these boards to the children that deserve them.  

Stay tuned for my follow up post that will describe how YOU can help!  As a heads up I won’t be asking you to donate money – I’ll actually be asking you to do something that takes less time and effort than tying your shoes and costs absolutely nothing.  

Your participation could result in Share the Stoke being awarded up to $250, 000 of grant money. 

My post will be published on September 6th and will also include detailed stories and more awesome photos of the activities that took place this past weekend!  (Photo credit for all event images goes to Nicole Williams.)  

Please check out the official Share the Stoke site and help spread the word about this great organization by liking them on Facebook. Share the Stoke Foundation and I are counting on you to help make a difference in the lives of some really amazing kids!

Kudos to Share the Stoke Foundation and the volunteers that made this past weekend all possible!  I’d also like to thank the team for allowing me to share in this very special event that had such a positive impact on so many children in my community.

– Kelly – President, Share the Stoke Foundation

– Neily – Vice President, Share the Stoke Foundation

– Lauren (Behind the video camera) Stoke Volunteer

– Nicole – Stoke Volunteer

– Susan – Stoke Volunteer

Matthias – Stoke Volunteer

Cory – Event Organizer

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