How a taxi robbery helped renew one expat’s faith in Nicaragua

“Everything happens for a reason.” At least that’s what they say. But when a taxi driver robs you of all of your DJ equipment and everything you use to make a living, that is not an adage you particularly want to hear. 

Not only it is a theft of your equipment and your source of income, but it is a theft of a piece of your soul. It hurts! 

On friday of last week, this happened to me for the first time in my life. I didn’t know what to do. I was angry at myself for being such an idiot and not using a taxi that I trusted at 1am in the morning. My first reaction was to smash my cellphone in anger and stomp on it a few times until it lay on the pavement in 15 pieces. How could I have been so stupid!? 

Then I started to think about calling it quits on Nicaragua. I’m moving back to the United States to get a shitty job and give up DJing for good –– after 16 years in the business, I told myself. 

But then something magical happened. Something I will never forget for the rest of my life. The people of Nicaragua responded. A few hours after I wrote about what happened to me on Facebook, my inbox and profile page were completely flooded with people expressing sympathy and asking how they can help. People I don’t even know were offering their solidarity. They were people I have only met a few times before in real life, but they are people who care! 

I had messages from Nicaraguans living in other parts of the world asking where they could send money to help. I had messages from Nicaraguans offering to loan me their equipment for as long as I needed to get back on my feet. I had messages from Nicaraguans willing to give me their music. I even had someone offer me a new pair of headphones. I had friends stop everything they were doing in their lives and spend hours with me at the police station filing a report. 

The next day I was greeted by another Facebook post from a local musician and good friend saying they were putting together a benefit concert for me to raise the money I need to replace by stolen DJ equipment. A few of my favorite Nicaraguan bands and DJs had come together to donate their time and talent for my cause, and my favorite venue was willing to donate their space to host the event. My eyes teared up when I read the outpouring of solidarity; for the first time in a long while I started to cry. How could people be so nice? Why me? I don’t deserve all this. 

At that moment something changed in me. I realized how selfish I have been. I realized that it’s time for me to start giving back. I decided that I’m going to dedicate my time in 2014 to figure out what I can do to give back to all the beautiful people of Nicaragua. 

i’m writing this article in The Nicaragua Dispatch because I want the world to know how kind the people are in this country. I want the world to come and visit us down here and see for themselves what an amazing country this is. And most of all, I want the people of Nicaragua to know how grateful I am for what they’ve done for me. 

Here is my takeaway from this experience: 

1. Never get in a taxi you don’t know with $2,000 worth of DJ equipment
2. DO NOT MESS with the musicians of Nicaragua –– we stick together.
3. I need to change my ways and become a more giving person.
4. My friends and the Nicaraguan people are the most caring in the world.
5. Perhaps everything does happen for a reason! 

If you’d like to come and show support the benefit concert, the event will be held Jan. 16 at Uruk Kalli in Managua. The show will feature La Cuneta Son Machin, Momotombo, Monroy, Chipi, Pavel, Angel De Frutos, Chiricano and Memo Baca. Entrance fee costs 100 cordobas. 

If we raise more money than I need to buy new equipment, the extra funds will be used to buy musical instruments to donate to the Barrio Planta School in San Juan Del Sur so that they can start offering free music classes to underprivileged youth.

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How a taxi robbery helped renew one expat’s faith in Nicaragua

“Everything happens for a reason.” At least that’s what they say. But when a taxi driver robs you of all of your DJ equipment and everything you use to make a living, that is not an adage you particularly want to hear. 

Not only it is a theft of your equipment and your source of income, but it is a theft of a piece of your soul. It hurts! 

On friday of last week, this happened to me for the first time in my life. I didn’t know what to do. I was angry at myself for being such an idiot and not using a taxi that I trusted at 1am in the morning. My first reaction was to smash my cellphone in anger and stomp on it a few times until it lay on the pavement in 15 pieces. How could I have been so stupid!? 

Then I started to think about calling it quits on Nicaragua. I’m moving back to the United States to get a shitty job and give up DJing for good –– after 16 years in the business, I told myself. 

But then something magical happened. Something I will never forget for the rest of my life. The people of Nicaragua responded. A few hours after I wrote about what happened to me on Facebook, my inbox and profile page were completely flooded with people expressing sympathy and asking how they can help. People I don’t even know were offering their solidarity. They were people I have only met a few times before in real life, but they are people who care! 

I had messages from Nicaraguans living in other parts of the world asking where they could send money to help. I had messages from Nicaraguans offering to loan me their equipment for as long as I needed to get back on my feet. I had messages from Nicaraguans willing to give me their music. I even had someone offer me a new pair of headphones. I had friends stop everything they were doing in their lives and spend hours with me at the police station filing a report. 

The next day I was greeted by another Facebook post from a local musician and good friend saying they were putting together a benefit concert for me to raise the money I need to replace by stolen DJ equipment. A few of my favorite Nicaraguan bands and DJs had come together to donate their time and talent for my cause, and my favorite venue was willing to donate their space to host the event. My eyes teared up when I read the outpouring of solidarity; for the first time in a long while I started to cry. How could people be so nice? Why me? I don’t deserve all this. 

At that moment something changed in me. I realized how selfish I have been. I realized that it’s time for me to start giving back. I decided that I’m going to dedicate my time in 2014 to figure out what I can do to give back to all the beautiful people of Nicaragua. 

i’m writing this article in The Nicaragua Dispatch because I want the world to know how kind the people are in this country. I want the world to come and visit us down here and see for themselves what an amazing country this is. And most of all, I want the people of Nicaragua to know how grateful I am for what they’ve done for me. 

Here is my takeaway from this experience: 

1. Never get in a taxi you don’t know with $2,000 worth of DJ equipment
2. DO NOT MESS with the musicians of Nicaragua –– we stick together.
3. I need to change my ways and become a more giving person.
4. My friends and the Nicaraguan people are the most caring in the world.
5. Perhaps everything does happen for a reason! 

If you’d like to come and show support the benefit concert, the event will be held Jan. 16 at Uruk Kalli in Managua. The show will feature La Cuneta Son Machin, Momotombo, Monroy, Chipi, Pavel, Angel De Frutos, Chiricano and Memo Baca. Entrance fee costs 100 cordobas. 

If we raise more money than I need to buy new equipment, the extra funds will be used to buy musical instruments to donate to the Barrio Planta School in San Juan Del Sur so that they can start offering free music classes to underprivileged youth.

  • http://www.empowermentinternational.org kathy adams

    Nice article! I have been running a photography club in Granada as part of our program for at risk youth. Last night we were photographing the holiday tree. Our kids were using tripods for the first time thus did not have their cameras around their necks as usual. We had our first attempted robbery. A guy took one of our cameras (they most expensive one yet to be donated….a Nikon D300) and not only did our kids run after him but a trail of others did too including one house said ‘grab the bike and go after him!’. We got the camera back, unfortunately the guy threw it and we are not sure it is repairable and that will be very sad as it took us a lot to get this donation. Regardless, the self policing and solidarity is pretty impressive.

  • evan rhodes

    Wow kathy so sorry to hear that. Robbing from children seems about as low as one can get. It’s a shame the camera’s been damaged but at least you got it back. If I had a camera to loan you I would but almost everything is repairable in this country as long as the parts are available. Keep up the good work :)

  • Herman G.

    Evan,

    Thanks for expressing your emotions after this unfortunate event, this can change the way some people think about us nicaraguans.
    We embrace the people that love our country as much as we do and we’ll always show our support.

    I’ll be at U.Kalli on the 16th.

    Best of luck and I hope you get back all the money you need to replace your belongings!!!!!!

  • Juan Carlos Fonseca

    My former guitar instructor Arnulfo Oviedo wasn’t as lucky as you were, they took his life…. please be careful and remember there are desperate people out there… good luck on Jan 16th….

  • http://leathernecksecurity Richard

    Evan,
    I am glad many Nicas are trying to help you. We Nicas are not bad people like many here in the USA or Costa Rica think. Let me know how I can help you. I am a musician living in the USA, but I want to go back home and set up free classes to the Nica youth and maybe we can do something together.

    Peace

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  • donna tabor

    In reading your post, I am reminded of being carjacked when returning from the airport to Granada late at night. The wimpy jerks, armed with guns, pulled me from my car (loaded with luggage) and drove off, leaving me on a dark road. I walked to the nearest house with lights where a most generous Nica family calmed me down, gave me their only chair, served me hot tea, and called the police. As I sat in the back of the police car, ready to leave, the woman of the house came to the car window, took my hand, and placed two cordobas in it. I treasure that memory. It almost made the carjacking worthwhile!

  • Jorge Greco Rodriguez

    You sure are shallow, if it would’ve happened in the states you would’ve probably been shot, please move back to the states get a regular job and spend hours in traffic(just kidding)…. Crime happens everywhere in the world and I’m glad everything turn out ok

  • Cata

    Robberies, carjacking…. The crime in Nicaragua continues and gets worse every day. It seems as if it is accepted and the government never goes after and persecutes the criminals.

    Do yourself a favor and move back to the U.S before you get killed.

  • tampanicarquan

    This is another example of Nicaragua’s pre-globalization and colonization by America traditional culture based on the principle of community importance and common good.

    In a few years when the country is run by the profit before God and People soul of American Buisiness, Examples like this will not exist.