Look what's coming to Esteli!

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Any thoughts now that

Any thoughts now that construction is in full swing? By the looks of it, the whole complex should be completed in late-2013 or early-2014:



to see heavy equipment and ready mix trucks working this far north. All indications are that this project is loaded for bear!

"Anything that is complex is not useful and anything that is useful is simple. This has been my whole life's motto."

Mikhail Kalashnikov, Russian inventor

Ready Mix Trucks -OMG!

Plus I saw some big propane tanks in SJdS while I was down there, so there must be at least one propane delivery truck in Nicaragua.

Ready Mix Truck -- very exciting! There must be a plant in Estelí; Managua is too far.

Ring, ring .. . "Estelí Ready Mix?"

"I need 4 yards at 10Am tomorrow morning"?

Nicaragua dreamin, on such a winter's day . . .

long time coming

Esteli is a terrible place to live and this is for wealthy people from the surrounding area who drive in do business and leave. Is a hub for agriculture business in the region and this will cater to the wealthy as 95% of Nicas in Esteli cannot afford to lay down $50 for a blouse or pair of jeans.

Hopefully will bring some decent jobs.

The definition of 'mall' is changing a bit as time has gone on. Mall in NE USA had 5 anchors stores, Macys, Sterns, Sears, etc. With 150+ other stores climate controlled so you could shop in winter in a t-shirt.

San Pedro in Costa Rica was the first "Mall" in Central America and also the first escalator in CA if I remember. So there were Costa Ricans who would come just to ride that so much that they had security gaurd to stop kids from going up and down.

Now a Mall is on just 2 acres of land? Anyone seeing this can see too little parking and the width of the spaces if true in the animation would not be wide enough for a Helix-which will be mostly the people who will shop there.

What`s good for General Motors is good for the USA

Esteli doesn`t need parking. It is not a hub for surrounding agriculture, it is the spiritual capital for the Nicaraguan welfare state and a voting machine for the ruling party. Bring em in, pile them up, keep them voting the party line! Yes, historically the Cuban cigar industry saved Esteli from the economic destruction of the Sandinista revolution, but bigger and better has come. The money comes from the govmint, foreign aid, remittances, and money laundering. It has to be spent or it will go away. Open the mall and Western Union will provide the customers.

But you bring up a funny point. Watching country people ride an escalator for the first time is a gas. jejeje And the second time, and the third time...

"You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality." Ayn Rand


Esteli reminds me of smaller version Tegu, unplanned origins and sprawl. Unlike Managua and Leon that were planned cities. Esteli, Tegu, even Rome were cities that rose up because of geography and surrounding populations. Caracas was beautiful city from the photos from the 1920s I see. The valley like many towns you see is the first to get used up and then up to the hills. Only thing the hills in this case are not for the rich with the great views but shanty towns for the poor.

Esteli is the defacto "Capital" of Northern Nicaragua not-withstanding Adam Smith's invisibles hands...

When was Managua a planned city?

Post earthquake, it appears to be rather amazingly ad hoc.

Esteli is a bit more planned than it might look now. There's actually a street plan and house numbering.

Apparently, in many European places, the hills are for the poor. Depends on availability of public trans of any kind, I suppose. San Francisco hills are for the rich, but that wasn't always the case.

I think both Esteli and Matagalpa are more shopping cities than Jinotega -- people here go to Matagalpa for shopping quite a lot. Or just on to Managua.

Rebecca Brown

reality check

ask anyone in Esteli, except maybe a guidebook writer, about these street names and house numbering and be prepared for the blank stare. Probably they are the result of corruption, or the pet project of some public employee who got pushed aside. And it also has a grand plan to move the city to the northwest for disaster prevention. But, paper plans don`t pay for roads, bridges, and infrastructure.

Yes, the business of Esteli is business--and Govmint. If your are looking for a farm town, you are 40 years too late.

As far as managua goes, one of the great failures of all post-Somoza governments has been the failure to move the capital away from Managua. Everything including the airport is a disaster zone waiting to happen. The prefered site according to one thing I read was on the Panam near Sebaco.

"You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality." Ayn Rand

Esteli is laid out on a grid

...at least around the park. You want unplanned, try Charlotte, NC, where Queens Road crosses Queens Road East and where the roads look like they were laid out by spiders on acid. Only straight lines are in a four block area around Trade and Tryon.

Jinotega has some house numbers on the houses on the street I'm on, only nobody, at least not at the Post Office, knows what the name of the street is.

Kinda hard, really to just up and move a capital, though I would like it a bit closer.

Rebecca Brown

beauty and ugly..

is in the eyes of the beholder..but all them people that bad mouth managua..come here..when they need something..i wish a lot of these guys would look at nica..as it is..its not the states or canada..so why not sit back and enjoy it..instead of bad mouthing everything..then to u could also say there not too bright to live in a place..thats ugly..unsafe and they dont like it

We have the guy who is going to move away from Jinotega

...any day now. He's now moved away three times. He says that Jinotega is magic. Perhaps it's like The Hotel California, you can check out but you can never leave.

I get the impression that Managua is like any number of really big cities -- there are good part, bad parts, and places where if you know what you're doing, you're going to be okay. I suspect that I could get used to it, but I don't like driving and the cabs are more expensive than in Jinotega. I suspect there are walking neighborhoods where people can buy most of what they need close to their homes, just haven't spent that much time there.

Rebecca Brown

It's a Roberto Sánchez Headline, not mine...

I like Managua. I like the trip up, seems to go quick. Coming back, not so enjoyable.


is green. clean, and modern. I like passing a few days there. All of which has nothing to do with the fact that it is a bad place to have a capital and business/ transportation/everything center. The difference between the last earthquake and the next is that the population has doubled.

on the earthquake..

thing..i agree..like where there building the new court house..it was leveled in the last big one..it is sitting on a big fault

Odd comparison...

Caracas from 1920's photos versus Esteli today.


I was hoping it was going to be a Tim Hortons!!!


Surrounded by some of the finest coffee in the world and you want that putrid mess?? Eww. Oops hope they don't revoke my passport for that comment lol.


I drink a lot of coffee here and its fine!! But I LOVE Tim Hortons!! Maybe its not so much the coffee, but the CREAM!!!! One can not buy good actual coffee cream here!!

We maybe surrounded by it....

But try finding a good cup! It's not that easy.

I was wondering

what coffee they served at On The Run's there. In Canada, it's Timmy's coffee.


That's the only word I can think of right now. If it really happens, depressing may be more appropriate.

Why is it amusing?

  • The beginning of the video, the animation showing the sidewalk, grass along the side of the highway and such is cute. Yeah, the mall could pay for doing that/maintaing that but it sure is humor now.
  • The location itself is amusing. It is just north of the Transit Police. The neighborhood around the area, in all directions, are residential for the poor. Clearly not the intended customer base.
  • The first business you see there is La Curacao. Yeah, maybe but they have just finished their new building in the center of town.
  • The traffic there already sucks and building what appears to be a car-heavy place right on the highway doesn't make a lot of sense. Of course, maybe it will mean another traffic light on the Pan Am north of Managua.

If and when it gets close to completion, it is less likely to be amusing. The impact on traffic and the area near it. But, maybe it will inspire the New New Pan Am that was supposed to be constructed east of Estelí ages ago.

It mostly reminds me of when I lived in Olympia, Washington in the late-1970s. A new mall was constructed in the West end of Olympia. While Olympia itself was part of the intended audience it was clear that it intended to capture business from people living on the Olympia Peninsula. We got to watch downtown Olympia die. The good news is that, over time, downtown Olympia recovered and became a place where people who didn't want to go to the mall could find nice local businesses, coffee shops and such. So, thinking positive, maybe a project like this will get the uninteresting stuff all moved out of the middle of town and downtown can be revitalized with local stuff.

About time

Esteli is exploding with money with nowhere to go. Video looks kinda like Plaza Inter in Managua. It all has nothing to do with poor people--the land , 1 manzana, has already been purchased and is in the best of all the bad locations possible in Esteli. When the traffic situation goes from horrible to disatrous, the Muni can go look for emergency funding from abroad. !Onward to more Victories!

A new light signal would be good, if it is free. I sometimes wonder if the new semaforo at the new Sinsa doesn't work or if they turned if off because they couldn't program it right and it caused more problems than it solved.

"You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality." Ayn Rand


Estili's getting upscale, that's awesome!

The Ideal situation is how I Deal with the situation! La situación ideal es la forma en que frente a la situación!

I like...

The way it blends into the existing surroundings. They really put some thought into the subtle color scheme.

Fyl's gonna love it!

The exterior is UGLY

The Food Court looks nice, RostiPollo & Burger King should do well. Plus the restaurant El Churrasco should be a hit.

The main floor has that new car showroom look that turns me off about Metro Centro in Managua.

Is there no movie theater? Esteli has no movie theater, right?

Was Looking at it on...

...Skyscraper City and I believe it's supposed to have a 2 screen cinema. If Esteli is overall cheaper to live in than points further south then the movie theater would about cinch it for me.

Esteli real estate and construction

is among the most expensive in the country. And it is not because of quality or quality of life. Like Ronald Reagan said, poverty provides good paying jobs for a lot of people.

"You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality." Ayn Rand

OK but I'm...

...looking for a fairly easy transition into the country. That Cafe Luz and the attached hostel seems like a good start. Can explore Esteli and other cities in the region to see what I like while using the hostel for a base. I've mentioned the Pueblos Blanco/Carazo area due to it's proximity to Managua but I'd prefer the coolest climate possible with good amenities. I can always bus it to Managua for flights out. And I like what Fyl says about Somoto. Wouldn't mind a smaller place as long as there's fairly quick bus access to a bigger place if the small town is nice enough. Public transport seems very affordable and I'll have plenty of time. Just don't want a 2 hr slog over bad roads just to do something different once a week.

Check the page Juano posted about Claro 4G

I don't know about wired connections, but make sure you can get DSL or cable where you're thinking of moving.

Rebecca Brown

Looks Good

Available in Ocotal and Somoto! At the pace technology is expanding they should have most bugs worked out by the time I get there.

Just found out that FedEx is announcing major restructuring of the Express division(I'm an Express courier). Within three years most Express couriers will be part-time. So it looks more important than ever to find an affordable, liveable place I'd enjoy. The 4G will certainly narrow the field.