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Looking for a simpler, slower, healthier way of life

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newbie79
6/29/2020 11:21 EST

The reason for our upcoming move is to get away from consumerism, a chemical-laden environment (processed foods galore, fluoride in water, Big Pharma taking over, etc.), a society where every single person is on
a screen for 90% of the day, and, more recently, a strict mask-wearing, ever-judging, very controlling, fearful way of life. That is what we have now in the US, unfortunately, and we are wanting to move away from that and live off-grid.

Is this actually possible in Nicaragua, or is most information we get online just not accurate and too good to be true?

We have kids, but we homeschool, so not looking for schools. We also have pets. We are specifically searching for a quiet life where we can keep to ourselves while also enjoying the culture and the people around us. Is that feasible, or should we look elsewhere?

Thanks in advance for any help/advice/tips.

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paddyoperry
6/29/2020 11:44 EST

Good luck.
You most definitely can find this in Nicaragua but who knows for how long. The people are wonderful, timid and mostly naive to the evils that lurk outside of their reality.
You'd better have at least a rudimentary level of spanish and some way to secure your income stream. Medical care in the state run system is no better or worse than cook county hospital in chicago. Private is better.
There is no escape from pesticides nor oppressive government. I moved to Panama and loved it until they used the scamdemic to install the most draconian restrictions that I've heard of.
When the us decides to increase the level of punishment on the Nicaraguans, while saying that they are punishing old Danny boy, Old Danny will claw and scratch at any and everything to pull down the drain with him.
If you find that utopia, let us know OK?

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atz111
6/29/2020 11:46 EST

I think you will be in for the shock of your life here in Nicaragua. Lots of good stuff here, but you seem really too green to do half the stuff you want...unless you have a lot of cash (see there is that "consumerism" stuff you hate cropping up even here). There is no fluoride in the water but people do wear masks You sure about the fact that "every single person is on the screen ( I assume you mean computer, not MGM) 90% of the day. OK, that is probably is used just to make your point about that....but you might rethink some of the other drivers in your equation. You want to keep to yourselves but enjoy the culture and people around you....not exactly compatable. You do know you do not have to consume those heavily processed foods that are available in the States, don't you? My guess on you making it here 30% on you enjoying it zero.

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newbie79
6/29/2020 12:13 EST

Thanks for your reply. Every part of the world seems to be drowning in this horrific future that awaits us. I just don't know how or where to keep my family safe. Looking to get as far away from it as possible, but I'm not 100% sure of how to do that yet.

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newbie79
6/29/2020 13:03 EST

Wow atz111, that was a very negative and slightly mean comment. I have traveled all over the world, speak 4 languages, and have lived in 5 different countries. I know what it is to travel and to live abroad.

My question was precisely for that: to make sure that I am not following some unrealistic dream that will never be fulfilled because of my idealistic view of Nicaragua. I would like to know what it is REALLY like to live there, and if living off-grid is possible.

As for the culture - it is absolutely possible to not be a part of the system and be self-sufficient, and also enjoy friendly people and establish relationships with others. Just wondering how that would work over there.

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atz111
6/29/2020 15:21 EST

I have livd in Nicaragua for 10 years and built an off grid home and ecolodge. I have worked all around the word in agriculture so I see countries as they are, not from a conference room. I am telling you what is is like. I think the parts you perceive as mean in my response are those which question your standards for where you are now...in the USA I presume. If wearing a mask for the public good is what is driving you away from there to here, same-same here. Gardening is tougher here than most parts of the USA, so that is also a consideration...I guess to do it well, you have to live in the north. In my view your denim of Nicaragua is flawed. If you really want advice you need to take what comes and not what you want to hear.

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Mtvsolis
6/29/2020 17:58 EST

Wow! On the positive and realistic side....we retired near Leon, Nicaragua in a rural setting. We purchased land two years before starting construction and moved into our "finca" home in December 2018. So, we are new and have some experiences that may give you a different point of view.

1. Simple, slower life...yes.! We find life here with less complications and stress than living in LA, California. We don't own a car and don't seem to need one. We have made friends with two very reliable honest taxi drivers who pick us up and take us to town for groceries and errands.

2. Healthier...well, in some ways yes. When neighbors are burning plastic in their garbage the smoke and smell are not nice. If we wanted, we could grow our own veggies but that is too much work for us. The produce in the outside market in town is VERY GOOD and not expensive. We have many fruit trees and thrive on the harvests. Water to our house is from a community owned well and is not very expensive..

3. Electricity is very expensive, more per month than in the states and the internet signal is very weak, but we do have one.

4. Neighbors are far enough away to have privacy and close enough to yell for help should we need it. Sky is blue, air is clear and birds are plenty. Relationships are hard for me...I'm native Californian and not included in a lot of the conversations and jokes between my husband who is Nica and neighbors. People are "nice" and that's good enough for me.

5. Simple, two seasons, rainy and summer, both are HOT and humid. I prefer rainy because everything is beautiful shades of green.

5. Finally, we believe each person has their point of view and you can best create your own with a personal visit... several months should give you a better idea on what life is here in Nicaragua. You can visit us once we can get back to our home. We are currently stuck in the states due to covid and politics. UGG! Take care, stay healthy!

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atz111
6/29/2020 18:55 EST

couple of things to factor in to Mtvitsolis analysis....

1. LA as a comparison to stress is way off what a typical stress pattern would be in most other places.

2. Husband is a Nica..IMO big factor in assimilation

3. People are friendly..mostly...but wait till the second half of the revolution...you pale because cop killed a guy in MN...in Nica 300 got shot by cops in one day.

4. They live on the grid

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elduendegrande
6/29/2020 19:34 EST

Well. glad the old grinch wasn't the first negative, hatefull, mean reply. jejeje.

Off grid in the tropics is much worse than in a temperate climate. Heat, bugs, bad weather. If it is a hobby farm enjoy it but if you are depending on it for your livelhood it will be tough. One drought year or flood year will ruin several years of hard work.

Medical care is primiitive and now the chance of jumping on a plane to the US is iffy. This is not the first rodeo, we were locked in town during the street festivities in 2018, too. And probably more to come.

Once you get over the "smiling faces' stage, you will see that only a tiny percentage of people, mostly those who have lived abroad or who are successful professionals, have much in common with you.

I, too, came for the simpler life but that includes persuing my hobbies and interests which are difficult here. Shopping and the supply chain are crap, even with a relative shipping me stuff from Home Depot. At about the 7 year mark I realized I needed to splurge another 10k to expand and protect my garden. So much for cheap hobbies. Christ, in AZ I could have bought an acre with water and (cheap) electricity for under 15k and gotten by with chain link.

Find a soft spot in your own country. You don't know how good you have it in the US. Move somewhere that is ar least 100 miles from the nearest concentration of Black people and hunker down. The next few years will be plague, recession, and
wars. Immigration will be real iffy as countries scramble to find work for their own people.
If covid settles down, go visit some haldway functional country like Portugal or the Canaries.

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KeyWestPirate
6/29/2020 21:30 EST

My Two Cents:

First, determine what you are looking for more precisely.

Leon and Granada have lots to do, endless restaurant opportunities, entertainment. But they are both very hot, and you will spend more money there.


San Juan del Sur (or somewhere similar), plenty of beach in Nicaragua, will have the beach, but not a garden, pigs, chickens, maybe a cow ??

The north has Estelí with some of the advantages of Granada, Leon,, It's reasonably close to everything,, including MGA, the beaches, even Leon.

Are you looking for a small farm ? There is plenty of that left in the north, The north is cooler, and can be quite cool in the mountains.

If you go this route, you will need a vehicle. There are buses, but probably not the frequency and timeliness you will want.


I suggest, as many have earlier, arrive, rent a house. They are available inexpensively, I rented my first house in Condega for $150 (actually a compound with 12 ft walls around it), and three months ago a rented a nice house in Estelí, centrally located. $150 My combined water and electric is less than $50. Estelí is a LOT cooler than Granada and Leon, but stil gets pretty warm.

Using your house as a base,, explore the country. Buses go everywhere, and are cheap. In a couple of months you could see most of the country. At that point you should have a pretty good idea of what you want.


I posted a pic of my farm,, don't know if it will work,, my first attempt

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DonSinclair
7/10/2020 15:45 EST

Great post KeyWestPirate. You gave most of the important info. I'll check it out better in short order. How to get to MGA and Esteli from US these days?

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elduendegrande
7/10/2020 19:37 EST

Have somebody spot you on a rubber boat where the current will drift you onshore. Don't expect Migracion to be happy to see you.
Don't expect to see Pirate, he can't get here either.

Your problems are internal, maybe you should persue Zen or Chi Gung or something. You want to jump from a failing great nation to a failing never-ran nation? Toughen up and learn to survive in your own country, the Chinese century is going to be a bitch all over the world.

No flights at this time and the neighboring countries have sealed the borders because they don't want Nicaragua's problems.

Bring lots of masks, they wear them down here, too, but the good ones are hard to find.

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xman
7/10/2020 20:28 EST

Looks like all the negative things about living here have been set multiple times so i will point out a few of the good ones the people here are freaking amazing okay amazing, cost of life here it's relatively low when I mean by the ways you can get a decent-looking home in Managua for a couple hundred dollars gas is extremely expensive food nowadays it's extremely expensive but put that aside you have beautiful mountain views like I said people are humble it's just a different way of life totally and if that's what you're looking for forget about everything negative.



Going to put things in perspective NIC borders Costa Rica I've traveled back and forth several times. A home assistance in Costa Rica runs about $500 a month but in NIC u get the exact same home assistant for $200 a month that opens up all the free time do you have to spend with your loved ones



if you're traveling with kids this is definitely the place to bring your kids to explore a different way of life. So if you want to wake up in the morning everyday to a hot breakfast with coffee and a slow way of life. this is the place to be.

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KeyWestPirate
7/13/2020 07:12 EST

All of the borders are pretty porous and there are people who would help you walk across.

A single guy with no baggage to speak of could still make the trip from the US to Nicaragua.


Like the commercial routes that are still open,, I imagine that the smuggling routes are still open.


Too much adventure for me at this point in my life. Besides, I have too much stuff to haul down.


Opting for a "Balls to the Wall" approach to Covid,, Nicaragua may be the first country to achieve herd immunity. Cases and deaths are falling,, and we still have half of July.


As the virus culls the herd (Where I am, 90 % of virus deaths are in people older than 65. When pre-existing conditions are added in,, the number becomes 96%)


Younger people get sick,, but rarely die. For my wife and me,, the virus was similar to a nasty case of the flu.

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paddyoperry
7/13/2020 07:33 EST

Hey Keywest,
What do you mean by the balls to the wall approach. As far as I know they have just closed the borders and airport.
In my opinion all of these measures are criminal since the 'virus' is just another respiratory flu.
Don't you think that you should add more to your statistics, perhaps like 'in my area with a total population of X, 90% etc etc' and also quote how many have died from other flu's?
People focus on bad and so they only see 90 and 95% and begin wailing and gnashing their teeth.

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KeyWestPirate
7/13/2020 07:47 EST

This virus has been killing predominantly older people.

It would have been less expensive to isolate and protect the oldsters, than suffer the lock downs and subsequent economic disruption.

Balls to the wall refers to Nicaragua's disinterest in taking any serious precautions. Recognizing that an economic disruption in Nicaragua would have more serious consequences than the virus was the official government position.

It would take more than a post to statistically describe the virus. The numbers tell a different story than the media tells. Whereas a month ago they emphasized deaths,, now they emphasize "cases". A lot of younger people are getting sick,, but they are not dying.

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atz111
7/13/2020 08:19 EST

With the virus, even in developed countries, 85% of the cases discovered through symptoms or testing are not hospital variety. You go home, treat symptoms and recover. In about 30% of the the tested cases, people are asymptomatic. So the number can be misleading. Yes most feel sick, miss work, but not fatal by any means (and some feel fine). In the USA of the 15% hospitalized about 20% of those need intensive care treatment. So of "cases" about 3 in 100 people diagnosed/tested with it need intensive care treatment. At that point somewhere around 30% die..making the overall diagnosed with Covid to death number about 3 in 100. Not great, but not the end of time plague. And the deaths are dealing as they figure out the treatment. Remember we are basically 5 months into this disease and already starting to figure out treatment...not bad.

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paddyoperry
7/13/2020 08:27 EST

Thank you for clarifying.
Every year there are new strains of virus and world has never shut down because of them. This is nothing more than a smash and grab by the BIS and its global system of central banks.
Ancient scheme and works every time.
This time however, they have shot for all the marbles.
The 'cases' hype is even more ridiculous than the virus hype. You would think that finding 'cases' everywhere would indicate that the 'virus' has run its course, everyone has had it, crisis over, YAY.
How anyone can fall for this is beyond me.

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paddyoperry
7/13/2020 09:13 EST

Better check your math. 3% need intensive care and 30% of the 3% die, makes 1% overall wouldn't you say?

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atz111
7/13/2020 09:22 EST

Well, I don't subscribe to the conspiracy theory for the virus. but I think events like this are a part of the new order of things in the world...ease of travel and the will to do so make it easy to transmit disease, or invasive species, etc. quickly and the speed of the spread to new areas enhances the effect when a new disease pops up far away from the origin. There is no immunity buffer. But as with this one, in addition to medicine, we see that some very simple procedures do a lot to control it....remember your momma telling you to wash your hands and not pick your nose?

As far as this one is concerned, the fatalities are greatest in compromised people...and being obese is the leader. Soooo, again personal responsibility plays a role. A tenet of life we all seem to have kind of lost hold of. Not to say that every disease that compromises us is controllable, but some are and maybe one of the good things to come of this is pointing that out. I very much dislike wearing a mask (except when doing a holdup), but I do because as with not driving 90 miles an hour in traffic it helps me live longer.

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atz111
7/13/2020 09:30 EST

The math...yeah, I just did that. I misstated..it is 3% of the hospitalizations, not the in intensive care. Once in intensive care that # jumps to close to 30%...so grim when you get real sick. But as with other stuff and covid as they work out the treatment protocol, that number is dropping. The overall point can be hidden by ll the frigging numbers...the take away is "cases" are not the best indicator of the severity of the disease...BUT they are a great indictor of the spread....Florida just had 15,000 cases in one day..a rapid rise. Well no masks, opening up bars, etc...shows that works and the consequences of not doing it.

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paddyoperry
7/13/2020 10:07 EST

I would respectfully disagree, case numbers in my opinion are meaningless unless you were to test the entire population today and then again in 2 weeks, to see the 'spread'.
If the test is to be believed, all it shows is that we have all been exposed to it, and for those that don't have other complications, it is a nothing. After all, it is said that a virus will circle the globe in 3 weeks, no?

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atz111
7/13/2020 10:26 EST

Kind of.

Lots of variables. Fact is we all have not been exposed. In the State where I am now, the positivity rate is less than 5%......so 95 percent of people tested do not have it...either showing signs or asymptomatic. That number tracks with hospitalizations and deaths. The thing about using the positivity rate rather than the absolute number of "positives" is that it adjusts for the number of people tested and thus is not skewed by the testing number increasing.

In the county in Florida which has a surge in recent days the positivity rate is 30 percent. Was down to about 10% two weeks ago...then the state "opened up". Like wise hospitalizations and ICU are up about 100%

So the number of people testing positive is a decent gauge of the RELATIVE progression of the disease. Since it is related to tests and not symptoms serves as a guide. likely is overstated in cases where there is a resurgence as people who think they have been exposed or have mild symptoms are more likely to get a test. Not perfect, but a relative indicator of where the disease is headed.

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elduendegrande
7/13/2020 11:01 EST

The courhouse in Esteli is laying off personnel because 5 judges and lawyers have died of covid.
Herd immunity is pop nonsense with this virus. the general population is so far from herd immunity that it is a matter of years or possibly decades. And immunity may be very weak for this bug.
Americans are too freedom loving to survive a minor pandemic, they have turned an emergency into a disaster by their incompetence and arrogance. Check the deaths per million population for Taiwan and S. Korea to see.

China scored a major victory with this virus and there are more to come.

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paddyoperry
7/13/2020 11:31 EST

That looks logical. I wonder what the demographics of that particular county in florida are and how that county compares to the rest of the state?

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