The month of December marks the end of the Nicaraguan school year and the nation’s youth are left to embrace the freedom of a two-month holiday break from the stresses of daily classes, homework and tests.
The vacation commences with the excitement of the Purisima, the commotion of promocion week and the eager anticipation of the Christmas holiday. However, after the December festivities pass, the lack of academic structure begins to place Nicaraguan adolescent women into the molds of another learning environment inside the home.
For Nicaraguan girls living in more rural parts of the country, the school vacation does not open the door to pursue many recreational and personal development activities that might exist for young girls from different cultural contexts in more metropolitan Nicaraguan cities or abroad. Many readers can probably recall delightful memories of summer vacations filled with camps, outings to the neighborhood pool and trips to the beach. As the school break begins in Nicaragua, it is an appropriate time to recall those fond summer memories while also imagining what summer vacation would feel like in the absence of such cherished pastimes and traditions.
Young Nicaraguan women face a realm of responsibilities as they begin their journeys towards becoming women. During their school break, the majority of young girls in Nicaragua are left with the single option of returning to the confines of their homes to take on the domestic responsibilities of caring for the needs of their families. Continue Reading →
Luis Enrique Mejía Godoy’s concert at The Garden Cafe on Dec. 28 will definitely take our Garden Concert concert series to a whole new level. The famed Nicaraguan musician will perform along with his group “Tierra Fertil.”
Luis Enrique, 68, is one of the most prominent Nicaraguans singer/songwriters of all time. Born in Somoto, Madriz, in 1945, Luis Enrique is the third son of a family of folk musicians and brother of fellow singer/songwriter Carlos Mejía Godoy.
Luis Enrique’s musical career spans 40 years, during which time he has recorded 22 solo albums and performed around the world. With his brother Carlos, Luis Enrique composed and recorded numerous memorable songs, such as Guitar Navy (1979), the Cantata al General Sandino (1981) and the Canto Epico al FSLN (1983), including other songs dedicated to the fight against HIV/AIDS and the presidential elections in Nicaragua.
He has composed music for film and TV documentaries and even appeared as an actor in the 1989 in the film Sandino, by Chilean director Miguel Littin.
Luis Enrique founded the New Song Movement Costarricense in the 1970s. Continue Reading →
In recent stories in The Nicaragua Dispatch, Nicaragua has been described as a “renewable energy paradise” and as “ranking third in the Latin America renewables market.” But neither story mentions what has become Nicaragua’s forgotten resource: solar energy. Perhaps this is not surprising as the government’s own assessments of its achievement in moving away from fossil fuels rarely include solar power. Why is this and what contribution is it making?
In theory solar has a big advantage over other sources such as wind and hydro. In part this is because it is so abundant and in part because its strongest concentration is close to areas with the greatest population densities. Continue Reading →
After a short hiatus we are back with a new concert series. This month’s concert is with Moises Gadea on Nov. 22 at 7:30 p.m.
Gadea is a great Nicaraguan singer/songwriter who has travelled all over the world playing his music. His lyrics reflect the social reality of his country, especially that of children and the less fortunate members of society. Gadea’s original lyrics offer a message of solidarity, justice, hope and reflection, and his rythms are firmly planted in the traditional Nicaraguan sound.
As a young artist, Gadea drew his influences from a range of different musical styles, playing in a number of popular groups. Continue Reading →
Nicaragua is facing one of its worst spikes in dengue in recent years, with more than 4,200 reported cases nationwide, including 12 deaths. In Managua alone, there are 1,579 reported cases of dengue, including 79 people who have been hospitalized with the mosquito-borne disease, according to La Prensa’s citation of health officials. “We are in the second phase (of dengue season), and this is the highest spike we’ve seen all year,” said Health Minister Sonia Castro. “We all need to be aware that dengue kills, and it kills fast. Anyone of us can be killed by dengue.”
The health minister said that people who report serious signs of infection– high fever, stomach pains, exhaustion, chills and bleeding–should go to a hospital or health clinic immediately. Continue Reading →
Along the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua, the country’s largest terrestrial mammal still fulfills its role as “gardener of the forest.”
Baird’s tapirs are shy, rarely seen mammals that reach 400-600 pounds as adults and eat more than 100 different species of leaves, stems, seeds, fruits, and bark. Tapirs—known commonly in Nicaragua as “dantos” in Spanish, “pamka” in Mayangna, “tilba” in Miskito and “mountain cows” in Creole—landscape the forests by munching on vegetation and dispersing seeds as the plod along. Over the centuries, tapirs have played an important role in shaping the lowland tropical rainforests along Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast. Still, until a few years ago, very little was known about Nicaragua’s tapir population, other than the fact the animal has become a highly endangered species due to poaching and deforestation. Of the some 5,500 tapirs left in Mesoamerica, only 500 are thought to be living in Nicaragua—down from 2,000 several years back, according to local estimates. Continue Reading →
The municipal government of Granada has ordered the removal of 47 portraits of women that were posted on the walls of two city buildings to honor “the strength and perseverance of Nicaraguan women.”
The portraits were posted by two U.S. Peace Corps volunteers as part of the Inside Out Project, a global social art movement where activists around the world display portraits of people to reflect a societal issue in that country, says Kelli Stam, who oversaw the project in Nicaragua. While the content of the photos has created controversy in countries such as Iran, Russia, Tunisia, Mexico and Venezuela, the fact that they were posted at all was a problem for authorities in Granada, which claimed the posters violated architectural regulations in place as part of the city’s aging effort to be declared an UNESCO world heritage site. “We have regulations here in Granada to protect the colonial appearance of the city. Posters cannot be posted on the outside of buildings; the photos were not allowed because they were publicity,” said Damaris Ramirez, of Granada’s municipal historic preservation office. Ramirez said all buildings must have their paint colors approved, and even chain businesses must comply with regulations governing colonial facades. Continue Reading →
Tornadoes may not hit Nicaragua with the same ferocity as in Oklahoma, but they can still have a devastating—if usually short-lived—effect. On Sunday afternoon at 3:00 p.m., one sprang up during a thunderstorm in Masaya and damaged 18 houses, 14 in the indigenous barrio of Monimbó and four in the neighborhood of Camilo Ortega 2. Five homes had their roofs torn off. No one was seriously injured. An uprooted tree fell on the (thankfully empty) Elena Ortiz schoolhouse. Continue Reading →
Our next Garden Concert is around the corner! On Friday, July 5 we are happy to present two highly acclaimed Nicaraguan musicians: Mario Sacasa and Juan Solórzano. This young talented duo will bring us a fun, lively repertoire—a mix of genres including blues and Latin rhythms such as Son Nica and Vallenato, without forgetting our amazing Nicaraguan folk. Call now to reserve your table. When: July 5, 2013 at 7 p.m.
Cover: C$100 Córdobas (100% goes to the musicians)
Continue Reading →
It’s the most wonderful—and yummy—time of the year! That’s right, another Culinary Weekend is just around the corner, this Friday, June 28-Sunday, June 30. Restaurante La Finca y El Mar at Rancho Santana welcomes back Chef Mark Dommen from Michelin Star One Market Restaurant in San Francisco. I personally love it when we have Chefs visit because it gives the team and me delicious, hands-on inspiration. We’ll be offering specials inspired by Chef Mark all weekend long at the restaurant. Continue Reading →