Playing Hooky In Granada—This Place Gets Under Your Skin
Sept. 16, 2014, Granada, Nicaragua: Granada, Nicaragua, is returning as a top travel, investment and retirement choice.
Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,
I felt like a schoolgirl playing hooky. We awoke early Friday morning, dressed, ate, and then, instead of heading to the office, we took off for the airport to catch a flight to Managua. Just Lief and me. No kids. No checked luggage. Not even our laptops. We had planned this quick escape weekend to Nicaragua spur of the moment. We needed to do some scouting in advance of our Live and Invest in Nicaragua Conference in November and rationalized that into a romantic weekend for two in one of our favorite countries, a place where we spent a lot of time early on in our marriage but hadn't returned together in years.
Almost immediately upon arrival, it all came back, all the reasons I like this country as much as I do. Nicaragua is naturally and dramatically beautiful, but lots of places are beautiful. What sets Nicaragua apart is its heart. You get the feeling, spending time here, that this country is always trying really hard to pick itself up and carry on...to make things better.
Nicaragua and its people have struggled in ridiculous ways over the past 100-plus years. Pre-1900 Nicaragua was on a track to prosperity. Then a series of events took place that, when you study them now, in hindsight, defy understanding or explanation, leave you shaking your head in despair.
That's the effect Nicaragua's story over the past century has on me anyway.
Not the Nicaraguans, though. Their collective struggles haven't left them bitter or despairing but resilient and resourceful. They are also, I was reminded all weekend, surprisingly when you think about all that they have lived through, big-hearted, friendly, and quick with a smile. Gatekeepers and waitresses, taxi drivers and street vendors, businessmen and bankers...they are all cheerful and pleasant with a sense of humor that helps them, I guess, to keep things in perspective. When we passed one of the many posters around Managua showing President Daniel Ortega promising great things in 2014, I asked our Nicaraguan driver what these billboards were all about. What's going on in 2014, in particular, I wondered.
"Nada," he replied with a chuckle. "It's just propaganda."
Speaking more practically, what's the scene in Nicaragua today?