The answer is a resounding yes. In its second decade as a stable, democratic society, Nicaragua is demonstrating to the world precisely why Oscar Arias deserved the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987. Following the Costa Rican example, its neighbor to the south, Nicaragua gives hope to other developing nations that democracy, combined with less investment in military and more investment in education and health, are the key success factors to development. And your visit will only help reinforce the commitment of this country’s bold efforts at reinventing its role as a leader of cultural, economic and civil society in the region–a role it relinquished for part of the last century but that is well within its reach during the next.
Nicaragua is a developing nation. There are two faces of such a developing nation, and it is your choice how to view the experience. A blessing of its not being fully “developed” as an economy is the largely untouched natural splendor that first attracted Christopher Columbus to the region 500 years ago. There is also much less evidence of wealth as most North Americans and Europeans are accustomed to seeing in their own parts of the world. Viewed as an opportunity to learn about differences, we believe that the developing nation status of Nicaragua is a plus.
Nonetheless, if evidence of poverty makes you uncomfortable, you may need to think further about whether this is the place for you. One assurance we can make is that the poverty is not as ugly as you first might see it. Nicaraguans, who have less in their personal possession on average than other people in the Western Hemisphere, are somehow the most generous. People who appear to have nothing in this country will still find a way to offer you something. That is an experience we can all learn from.
Is it safe? If you look at the country profiles for all the countries south of the border of the United States of America, as documented by the United States Department of State, all the way to Argentina and Chile, you will probably conclude that Nicaragua is the safest country of all. Safety, in the modern world, can only be assessed in relative terms. And here, thankfully, Nicaragua has been blessed by relatively low levels of crime. And what crime there is has been “local” to the very remote northern parts of the country, and never directed at tourists.
The property where Morgan’s Rock Hacienda and Ecolodge is a private nature reserve. There are nature guardians stationed along the beach to ensure the security of the sea turtles and to discourage illegal hunting.
Crime in Nicaragua is less severe than neighboring countries.
Nicaragua is, for the most part, a very safe place to travel to. Most of the people you meet are very kind, and the media has done a lot to misrepresent just how safe most of central America is. In fact, if you really compare the statistics, you will probably find that the area you are living in has a higher rate of crime. However, you must be very careful if you are traveling to the Managua area of Nicaragua. The one thing you should never share, if you are concerned about Nicaragua safety, is a cab or car with strangers. Make sure in Nicaragua that you only accept rides in authorized taxis which have red license plates. Also, it’s always a good idea to write down the number of the taxi that you are in and to lock the doors as soon as you get in the taxi.