The best thing about Nicaragua
There are so many great things here that it’s hard to choose just one.
We are on our third trip to Nicaragua and our second to the beautiful old colonial city of Granada. As an artist, Granada is my favorite city thus far for its love and appreciation of art, music and literature. It is lively and colorful and old.
On any given evening in any Granada you can walk through the Parque Central or on the Calzada and be entertained by musicians, acrobats and jugglers tossing fire into the air. There is always a festival of some sort happening in the city. This week is the international poetry festival where poets will come from all over several Latin American countries and Japan to read on a large outdoor stage and discuss their work. Poetry is a big deal here. The square is full of hundreds of people. Try pulling that one off in the U.S.... Just sayin'.
There are also top-notch music perfomances and dancing. All of it is free and open to the public. The third week of February will be a food festival and following that a yoga festival. I’m beginning to suspect that Nicaraguans just like to have parties! LOL.
Dinner out means sitting outdoors on the street while people watching and being entertained by the performers. There are any number of children or adults that will walk up to your table to sell you touristy trinkets or cashews or just ask for money. If you can buy something from them please do and be nice even if you don't. They are trying to make a living just like everyone else. They will come back more than once but you just say "Estoy bien" and they will leave you alone.
Strolling on the Calzada or any number of other streets in Granada, you will find a plethora of art galleries overflowing with bright colorful paintings by local Nicaraguan artists. Also lining the streets and in the galleries are the works of artists who make exquisite jewelry from an alloy metal that is widely available to them, many sporting local semi precious gemstones like jasper and amethyst.
The local pottery here is also quite beautiful. It is made from clay that is dug by hand, cleaned, thrown on a kick wheel and fired in a hand built wood kiln. Granada is a place for artists.There is so much beautiful art here that it makes me want to buy it all and bring it home or just stay here forever and make my own.
Finally, I have to say that the very,very best thing about Nicaragua is it’s people. Most Nicas are warm and friendly and smile a lot. They will do everything that they can to help you. They are lively, fun loving, colorful people who are passionate about their families and friends. Nicas are very proud of their country and their traditions. As I go around asking people to tell me the Spanish word for this and that, people are all too willing to help me learn. In the process we have a lot of laughs.
If you are lucky enough as we have been to forge friendships here, you will feel a lot of love and quickly be called "familia."