Before visiting a new country I believe that many of you look up the safety in the country first, am I right? Nicaragua is the poorest country in its region yet it has the lowest crime rate in Central America. Their neighbours Honduras and El Salvador are considered rather dangerous to be travelling in but Nicaragua stays relatively safe. During the time (2years in total) that I have spent here I have to agree, it is rather safe here. Of course I have heard stories about the pandillas (gangs) in Managua the capital and also the Barrios of other cities, but nothing worse than what you hear in Sweden.
But there is something very different with Nicaragua…the Nature. I have lived, studied and worked here during 2 years now, with a break for studies in Malmö for my thesis. Under these 2 years I have experienced following;
5-10 Volcano eruptions
1 bigger Earthquake and a few smaller shakes
2 Floodings due to rising sea levels
2 Evacuations due to Tsunami warning
Uncountable thunderstorms shaking your core and making you deaf and heavy rains
What is missing so far is a hurricane, an actual Tsunami, forest fire and hmm I think that is it.
BUT what is important to say is that even if all this have occurred they have not been too serious. Or for you as a tourist at least. It surely have affected the people here in many ways. Floodings and sandstorms destroyed many homes in poorly constructed areas putting already poor families in even harsher conditions. The drought that has been going on since last year have let many farmers without crops, villages without water and the food prices have risen significally. The drought is due to El Niño a weather phenomena that is supposed to happen every 7-8 eight years but have passed by more and more frequently. Quikely explained is that the biggest ocean currents change directions and so does the winds. So where it is supposed to rain like here in Nicaragua from May-Dec it doesn´t or far from sufficient and where it is supposed to be drought like central Africa and India it rains heavely. Since here it is Winter (rain) May-Dec and summer Dec-April(HOT) this means 1,5 years without good rain, you can imagine yourself what harm that can do.
Nicaragua is a country full of power of the earth and it keeps surprising you with its powers! Sure it can make you a bit scared sometimes but woow it is truly incredible to experience! And I don´t want to scare you of with this ok? There are many months that can pass without anything happening as well and as I said as a tourist visiting it is safe and totally once in a life time experience!
P.S. Everything is good in the hood so far, don´t be worried! Everything is wonderful here! D.S.