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Gracias, Costa Rica

Tears of sadness

I forgot how much I loved Costa Rica until the World Cup started last month. Two hours ago, when I was nearly frothing at the mouth as I screamed hoarsely at the the television (frightening the more sensible patrons of Fado Irish Pub), and angrily Tweeting racial epithets against the Dutch while alternately hugging random Ticos, I remembered that this love is for real. This Dutch team is making me racist. And FIFA is re-enforcing my suspicion of authority

— Nicaragua Dispatch (@nicadispatch) julio 5, 2014
It’s an awful thing to watch a valiant team like Costa Rica lose to an arm-flailing, back-arching, shin-grabbing, ground-diving team like the Netherlands. And I should probably end my article here and go to bed before I alienate an entire nation of readers. Continue Reading →

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Nicaragua’s Emilio Alvarez dies at 94

Nicaraguan Patriots: Emilio Alvarez, Alexis Arguello and Herty Lewites all died in the first 48 hours of July

Emilio Álvarez Montalván, one of Nicaragua’s most respected intellectuals and defenders of democracy, died on July 2 at the age of 94. “Don Emilio” was an academic, a doctor, a foreign minister, and a social commentator who remained lucid and active to his final days. As recently as two months ago he penned the introduction to a forthcoming book published by the Nicaraguan Academy of Sciences on Nicaragua’s plans to build an interoceanic canal. In that essay, Alvarez says that the same problems that thwarted Nicaragua’s canal plans 100 years ago remain today: geopolitical issues, territorial studies, technical difficulties and financing. Alvarez was a strong voice for institutional democracy in Nicaragua. Continue Reading →

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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. Continue Reading →

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Is Nicaragua past the point of no return?

sandino copy

To no one’s surprise, Nicaragua’s National Assembly this week approved by a vote of 64 to 26 a series of constitutional reforms that will remove presidential term limits and allow Daniel Ortega to rule by decree. 

Congratulations to my Nicaraguan brothers and sisters; we have returned to a dictatorship by legal and illegal means. No, it’s not an exaggeration, it’s the reality in which we live.

 And it’s an ironic reality. The same people who overthrew the Somoza dictatorship more than three decades ago have risen to power to establish another dictatorship. Continue Reading →

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Nicaragua’s anti-abortion law and US extremists

abortion march

Opinion. On Nov. 5, Virginia voters stopped Republican Ken Cuccinelli from becoming the next governor of the state by electing pro-choice Democrat Terry McAuliffe. If Cuccinelli had gotten his way, Virginia would have become the first state in the country to classify zygotes––one-cell fertilized eggs––as people. 

But Cuccinelli’s defeat certainly is not the end of his extreme anti-abortion agenda, which would ban abortion even in cases of rape and threaten to import abortion policies like those in Nicaragua to the United States. Last year Nicaragua’s Sandinista government forced a 12-year old girl who had been raped and impregnated by her stepfather to remain under “state protection” in a Managua hospital until she gave birth. Continue Reading →

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