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Archive for September, 2007

Yet Another Positive Tourism Article on Nicaragua, but…

Check out this New York Times article. It’s the latest in a series of positive tourism stories on Nicaragua over the past few months.

We like what it had to say about Nicaragua:

"After a war-exhausted citizenry voted out the Sandinistas in 1990,
the conservative governments that followed promoted a consumer economy
and courted foreign investment aggressively enough that in the last
three years or so, a tipping point has been reached. Tourism, once the
dessert option in Nicaragua, is now the main course, and one of the
country’s chief sources of hard cash. Understandably so. Packed into an
area the size of Louisiana
are some of the best aspects of the entire Central American isthmus:
huge tracts of forests teeming with endangered species, like in Costa Rica; the kind of sultry colonial cities you’d find in Guatemala; and unsullied surfing beaches as good as those in El Salvador.

But we take issue with what it says and what it doesn’t say about Granada and Leon:

"Nowhere are these pleasures more centralized than in Nicaragua’s
Pacific southwest, in and around Granada. There’s a local expression:
“Granada is Nicaragua; the rest is just mountains. Founded by the conquistador Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba
in 1524, Granada is the oldest city in Nicaragua — although Leon, to
the northwest, vies for the title (it was founded the same year). "

Leon is the older city, and Leon is "better preserved" as the author later writes. Though, as he also writes, Leon’s "touristic comforts are still in an early stage of development," that’s the opportunity. Leon offers more for the buck — in lifestyle options, venues and real estate value — and investment potential than Granada. For instance, a spanish colonial that might cost $300,000 in Granada could easily be $150,000 up here. And Leon is a genuine city — a university town with a middle and working class. Granada is…well, it’s Disneyland. A beautiful affulent center of just a few blocks surrounded by abject poverty and absent (not just dilapidated…absent) infrastructure just blocks from the center in almost every direction.

That’s some of what we see, and why we’re up here rather than down there. The North (referred to as Occidental and North-Central by Nicaraguans) has a lot more to offer for a lot less than Granada, or San Juan Del Sur for that matter, including beaches and mountain views at very affordable prices. We see more people becoming aware of this, including a recent surge in foreign visitors who had previously bought property in Granada. Discover Serenity.


A perfect day in Matagalpa

‘ve beefed up our Matagalpa office…and couldn’t have chosen a better date. We were here just in time for patriotic festivities celebrating Nicaragua’s Independence Day. From our second floor, we had a perfect bird’s eye view of a perfect parade on a perfect Friday with perfect weather. We saw multiple school bands play flawlessly with spirit and flair.

The bands and different groups (including an elementary school honor roll of the city’s academic best) followed one after another around Parque Morazan as we observed from our office, feasted on delicious pork-salad tacos, drank “Jamaica” tea and wine and took in the soft breeze.

We were not surprised when told that these kids had practiced for months. We did not hear one false note during the entire procession. It was quite an event and a wonderful representation of the beauty, heart and potential this city has to offer. Check out our growing inventory of stunning property here.

Discover Matagalpa. Discover Serenity.

Err…more schadenfruede…just a little

We don’t mean to beat a dead horse, but…we just can’t help ourselves:

NYT: Most Flights Are Late, And It May Only Get Worse

As the article explains very well, this situation isn’t going to get any better any time soon, and the solutions will be costly.

And, as before there’s a serious message behind our Schadenfruede. This is part of a bigger problem facing the U.S. It’s major infrastructure — from airports to roads to power grids — are overtaxed, undermaintained, undermanaged and arguably underfunded. Or, more precisely, funds are not being consistently committed to their best use.

Discover Serenity.