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A walk through a town - Diriamba, Nicaragua
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Pictures from Diriamba, Nicaragua
Introduction to Diriamba, Nicaragua
Nicaragua's rough around the edges. Heck, it's rough in the middle. Horses and cows pull carts all throughout the country. It's the only country in Central America that does not have a paved road going to the eastern side of the country. Though it does have a port on the Atlantic Ocean.
One of the poorest countries in Central America, the people still try to live the best way they can. Nicaragua and Honduras seem to compete for that spot. Both have friendly people who are trying to get out of their slumber.
Diriamba kind of the town that traffic has to pass through. If you want to go from Managua to the beach in San Jan del Sur, you're going to pass through the town. If your a trucker following the PanAmerican highway, your going to pass through the town
The Start of My Walk In Diriamba, Nicaragua
I started my walk off the main drag of Diriamba - the Pan-American Highway. The further you get away from the main drag, the more you see how regular people live. It's somewhat of a "suburb" of Managua. In reality, it's a town that just kind of survives. It's east of Casares, which used to be a place that old dictators liked to visit. To the south is the town of San Jaun del Sur, the most popular tourist spot in Nicaragua.
The first person I ran into was an old man on the street. He wasn't begging, he was just standing on the sidewalk with his dog. He seemed content with life, happy that he had a day outside with his dog. As you can tell from the second picture, he seemed satisfied with his spot in life.
If you ever photograph people, it is always polite to ask ahead of time if it's OK. He gave me his permission. After I took the photograph, I showed it to him through the viewer. He thought it was the greatest thing, and thanked me for taking his picture. Out of respect, I gave him 5 cordobas (about .25 cents). Again, he thanked me over and over for stopping and sharing with him. How can one be so poor yet still seem so happy?
A mystery to me.
The next sequence of photographs is of a street band that was practicing on this Sunday afternoon walk of mine. A marimba, bongo and a guy shaking a paint can to the beat of the music. A few guys hanging around them enjoying a sunny afternoon in the city.
Pleasant group of fellows, despite what the bongo guy looks like. Friendly to the point of trying to communicate with a silly gringo who goes traveling in Central America without learning Spanish first.
The group's in the shade and I could not get a good shot of the guy playing the marimba. Both the fellow playing the bongos and the guy shaking the can sat in the shade, and the background allowed me to take some decent photographs.
In all, I would say there were 10 guys on the sidewalk. 3 in the "band" and the others listening and giving advice on how to improve the music. Some things never change - offering advice whether it's wanted or not seems a worldwide, favourite pastime. Central America is no different. Advice is offered readily, if it's asked for or not.
If you look closely at the bongo and the clothes that these gentlemen are wearing, you can see that the items have seen better times. They have learned to do with what they have. When was the last time you saw a guy shaking a paint can as part of a musical group?
Gotta do what you gotta do!
A horse-drawn cart delivering vegetables in Diriamba, Nicaragua. Not an unusual sight. The carts are either drawn by horses or pushed/pulled by humans. Like most people, if they can get an animal to do the work, it is preferable.
You'll see horses in all the towns of Nicaragua, Small towns use them more than the big towns. But, even in Managua, the capital of the country, horses pull carts that carry vegetables, garbage or dirt. Whatever needs moving, horses and cows are a commonly used in Nicaragua.
All through Central America you will see windows with bars, doors with bars and even garage door entrances will have bars. This is definitely set up to keep robbers out of the homes and offices. No one's kidding anyone - there are thieves and they will steal what is not protected.
There are plenty of abandoned houses and office buildings in Nicaragua. Remember that less than 20 years ago, the country was in the middle of a civil war.
The yellow house is one of the better homes in Diriamba. Even so, you can still see the paint peeling off the mortar on the sides of the building.
Nothing seems easily maintainable in Nicaragua.
Paint is peeling or fading.
Wood is rotting and breaking when it's used in a house or office building.
The next picture is that of an old abandoned building in the town.
Still see the bars?
This keeps out the squatters. People will take over anything unless you keep them out. Once squatters get a foot hold on a piece of property, it involves a legal battle to get them off the property.
It is just as easy to give them a bit of money after they move off the property. Hence the reason squatters squat on land and in abandoned buildings.
The main church of the town appears in the next picture. I thought a nice photograph of the church with a great sky in the background.
The next photograph is that of a government office building. Even with guards, the bars and heavy garage door are normal. It is to make sure that no one enters when the building's unoccupied.
I've never had a problem with any civilians. I guess the locals know better than I, the dangers that are on the streets all the time.
The locals try to give some decoration to the bars and heavy-duty garage entrances. As seen in the next photograph, there was some thought given on the way the windows and bars are used.
Not pretty, but neither unsightly as just slapping up windows and bars as needed.
It was a nice day for a walk. Sunday afternoon, very few cars or foot traffic.
Nice people met and some interesting buildings to look at.
I hope the photographs give you an idea of the relaxed way of life here in Nicaragua.
Danger is kept at bay by fortification of buildings and homes.
This allows people to let their guard down a bit to relax, which is always good!
Nicaraguas earn less than $180 per month
Believe or not, Nicaragua's got some great coffee.
Grown in the northern part of the country in the hills are a town called Somoto.
Definitely worth a try!