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An Expat Talks about Living in Granada, Nicaragua

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Granada

How long have you lived there?

3 years

What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?

The expat commmunity is just starting to formalize groups and organizations though many expats work with the various non-profits to help Nicaragua and its people. Here in Granada we have Amigos de la Policia (to improve the rapport with the local police), Care Granada (works with city and mayor for improvement projects), Calzada Centro de Arte (people learn to paint or paint with other artists), Book Club (the usual monthly group to discuss books) and monthly luncheons to just get together.

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Expats living in Nicaragua interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get quotes our partner, International Citizens Insurance, a trusted expat health insurance broker. They will provide you with comparison quotes from some of the biggest expat health insurers: Cigna, Aetna and GeoBlue.

In terms of religious, racial, economic and cultural diversity, are the people of this city or town diverse? Are they accepting of differences? Describe.

The vast majority of the locals are Catholic as are most Spanish countries. Economically a very poor country with the top 5% having almost all of the wealth. Culturally the locals are not that diverse yet very aware of what is going on the world stage. They do have their own rich culture.

The expats are very diverse with the largest group being from the USA but large numbers from Canada and Europe (especially Holland). Being a Central American country, the people that move here tend to be adventuresome, open minded to other cultures, caring and aware of global events.

What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?

Other than starting a business and volunteering for a non-profit, there are few career opportunities for expats in Nicaragua. Your competition makes $1 an hour unless you have special knowledge or have niche skills. There are a lot of opportunities for starting businesses especially in the tourist sector. On the social side, there are many opportunities to teach skills to the people here from agriculture to running a business. Don't expect a high salary or a highly profitable business but then again, money is not everything and you can live here very inexpensively.

In general, what are peoples' priorities in this city? For example, do lives revolve around work, family, socializing, sports, etc.?

Many of the expats are retired yet work on many projects especially with non-profits. Some have the usual restaurants, B and B's, bars, hotels and other types of business. For the locals, life is about work and family though it is a poor country with very high unemployment and even higher under-employment. Baseball is the most popular sport followed and futbol (soccer) is the most popular for the children to play.

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If a friend of yours was thinking of moving to this city or town from far away, what other advice would you give them.

Always live in your chosen location for 6 months to a year before settling down or buying any property. Nicaragua has everything from hot, humid weather to beachfront to cool mountain living. What do you want?

Learn the culture and language is part of the culture. English is not widely spoken here outside the expat community.

Expect frustrations. This is their country and we are the guests. The rules are different and you are the minority.

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Comments about this Report

guest
Aug 14, 2010 19:18

Hi, I like your area from what I see on the Net. But the cooler high country is better for me. Any thoughts on Jinotega. The rain is ok lived in Seattle 30 yrs. Thanks. Carlo Maietto

guest
Aug 16, 2010 12:19

I have a friend named Ray Lyons who resides on a lake near Granada. I have had no contact with him since May. Usually he responds promptly to my e-mails. He has not done so for 3 months now and I cannot contact him. He is not a young man- he is about 72- and may not be in the best of health. If you know anything about him- specifically is he still alive and well- please send me an e-mail telling me he's OK and if you see him tell him to contact me. thanks, Doug. My e-mail address is:

guest
Oct 25, 2011 18:20

I thank you for your report, it is very good.

guest
Jan 17, 2012 20:09

I have been in Granada three months. I'm interested in Care Granada, the Book Club and the monthly luncheons. Can you tell me any more details about where and when they meet? Pat Bray

guest
Jul 30, 2012 18:38

Could you contact me about an interview for a documentary about expats living in Granada? Gracias

guest
Aug 7, 2012 20:23

We hope to visit Granada and other places in late Jan to Feb for weeks. i am interested in helping churches and commmunity ( Baptist Background).Imm almost 59 *(youthful) Raquel is 6 yrs younger. No social Sec for about 6 more years and Hpe that the Lord will provide a way to leave now and help those in need. Our home sales went down, bills are alweways there, dog died, i am an Ordained minister and just a rfegular guys born IN NYC speak fluent spanish and some French. I am Saved To Serve, please provide info on pastors and churches in granda and san jose, Bless you, Joe

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