My family history has been deeply colored by migration. My grandfather mysteriously left Nicaragua and became a successful entrepreneur in Manzanillo. My parents then migrated to the United States when I was a kid. I then decided to move back to Mexico. It only made sense for me to complete the full circle and come all the way down to Nicaragua.
Fortunately, I still have several close family members that still live in Diriamba, Nicaragua and that factored into my decision to pick up and go. I was originally going to take my time busing down from country to country but my cousin Richard and his girlfriend were celebrating their birthday the Saturday of my arrival. Since you only celebrate your birthday once, I figured going out with locals my age on a party night was worth bumping my arrival date up on the itinerary.
The bus dropped me off in Managua and I must say that I was not impressed with the capital. The scenery of the big lake and volcanoes was beautiful on the way to Managua, but Managua itself had little to see. Once again, I was told to avoid Managua late at night as it is filled with crime and what not, but if I run out of things to do, that might be worth an event in it’s own right. As soon as my Aunt Patricia (my dad’s sister) and her husband Roberto picked me up, they couldn’t believe I was actually there. I was greeted with hugs, smiles, and all the hospitality anyone can ask for ☺
If there is one thing that can characterize most Latin American families is their willingness to feed you. You can walk into the poorest house, and if dried tortillas is all they have, they will make sure to accompany it with some home made salsa to feed you. So of course, as soon as I walked in through the door, the famous “Nacatamal” was waiting for me to devour it. I love Mexican food and I am very biased, but this Nicaraguan Nacatamal was truly orgasmic. Definitely the best tamal I have ever had in my life by far. The tamal has potato, rice, masa (corn mix), tomato, onion, hierba buena, and a surprise tiny little pepper with a huge kick to it. I would have taken a picture of this tamal, but I was too possessed with its wonderful flavor to remember I even had a camera.
I then brought sexy back after showering, shaving, and getting ready to head out to Granada for the birthday celebrations. Granada was founded in 1524 and is one of the oldest and most attractive colonial cities in all of Latin America. It attracts many tourists from around the world as it provides a laid-back environment with many shops, cathedrals, and access to the Nicaraguan Lake. From what I saw, there were enough bars and restaurants open at night for people to visit and have a good time. We visited “Café Nuit” and they had a live local band playing traditional Marimba music with a mix of salsa and bachata. Definitely saw a lot of tourists my age there and the place was alive and kicking.