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Why Nicaragua…?

I hear it often, “Why Nicaragua?” I used to have a generic version ready to give after hearing the question so often. “It all started with my husbands surf trip, and then a few Nica vacations later, we were putting a deposit down on a piece of land, and started to build a house. We wanted a simpler life.” More or less, this was my answer.

After living here for 5 years now…yes, 5 years, I can’t believe it. I am starting to think about this question myself. Why did we come to Nicaragua?  After the initial ‘honeymoon phase” wore off, living in a rural area of a third world country became tough. Very tough. Losing water and power daily, washed out roads during the rainy season, no grocery store for miles, and the intense poverty right outside our back door. While my husband and I have always done our best to help the locals; by donating micro-loans to start small businesses, hiring only Nicaraguans for our business, and supporting other charities in the community, the poverty here is heavy. I would be lying if I said it didn’t affect our psyches.

I guess we probably knew all of this when we moved, but like everything we do in life…there is the dream of it and the reality of what actually is. Then, there was this place, ‘Redonda Bay.’ I had done my fair share of traveling up to this point, but Redonda Bay (it wasn’t even called RB at that time), spoke to me. It felt different… The drastic cliffs, untouched coastline, the ethereal little cove down at the beach. Not to sound too new-agey, but the energy felt different. As a therapist, I thought it was a unique place for healing and for travelers to come, unwind, reconnect to nature and themselves…

But, it wasn’t just the beauty. After visiting Nicaragua for quite a few years before actually moving here, we met a lot of the locals. We spent time with the families, ate meals together, held their babies, learned about Nicaraguan culture and local pride.   We became connected to them along with their country. It all suddenly makes sense that we decided to expand our own family while living here. Our baby was actually born in Nicaragua and the locals love to tell me, “Elliot is Nica”:) It always makes me smile:)

I have to be honest though, times have changed here in our little community. Redonda Bay is as gorgeous ever. But, we no longer lose water or power quite so much. Our dirt road became paved as a result of the 5 star resort (Mukul, located in Guacalito de la Isla) that opened up next door. The beach is a little more crowded, and I am seeing an increase in expats and tourists overall. While the simplicity that drew us to Nicaragua still exists, we are witnessing the progress of a culture, especially in the tourism industry. Nobody deserves it more. Come see for yourselves…


Posted by: Megan Sihle