"Nicaragua is NOT the New Costa Rica"


Quote" Minister Salinas prefers to promote the diversity of Nicaragua rather than the commonality with Costa Rica".....

Kudos to Mario say I.

Call me cynical but I'm betting Frank Gallo, Retired Air Force Officer, Writer, and Real Estate Executive is selling his own Nicaragua property and looking at Panama.

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Nicaragua is NOT the new Costa Rica!

Gracias a Dios!

One of the books I read did a good analysis

...of the differences between Costa Rica's development and Nicaragua's. From what I've read, Costa Rica's prices are now as high as US prices, the GINI index is 60 (US is 45, Nicaragua is 40, and Sweden is something like 20), so with an average income of $15K a year and a US style economy, the income isn't well-distributed and the average Tico isn't really doing all that well, so yes, they have to hustle. I remember when the US tried to persuade them to drop the universal insurance program, too, which is one of the good things about Costa Rica.

One of the very pro-tourism Nicaraguans I've met said that he didn't want Nicaragua to become like one of the islands to the north, between Belize and Honduras if I'm remembering correctly, where it was all about the international tourist set, and any signs of local culture had been obliterated. He wanted people to come to Nicaragua for Nicaragua: eco-tourism, backpackers, people who liked Nicaraguan culture. Any USAnos who is really interested in a Nicaraguan tourism should look him up, not decide that he doesn't know what he's talking about.

I can understand the pleasure of having others love what you love and the pain of seeing them decide that your ways should be obliterated, not developed, and having the money to get their wish to force you out of your own country.

Rebecca Brown

Living in the shadow of

Living in the shadow of success isn`t always easy! But, realistically, Nicaragua has to promote what it has-- a beautiful rich land full of poor people. Take it and run with it as best you can.

The success of Costa Rica and Panama is very important to Nicaragua--they will provide jobs for Nicaraguans both in their countries and working here to grow food for export to affluent urban populations.

As far as investors, there are investors and there are investors. Some have the stomach for fishing in troubled waters; others will go where the normal indicators point to the greastest likelyhood of success.

It`s a funny qoute, but I can`t help but qoute Willie Horton. ``Go where the money is...and go often!``

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

Peace & Reconciliation

Came 20 years too late as Nic has lost 750K of its best and brightest to the USA. Costa Rica & Panama never had this upheaval. Plus the earthquake did not help.

Be like USA losing 50 million of its best and brightest.


This is old article but the growth of immigration from all the ALBA countries to USA has grown exponentially since this article was written. We have fairly good English speaking Bolivians here! Nic is bleeding maybe 20k a year to USA now and all the other ALBA countries increasing every year. Not much written about this but this is definitely a benefit for the USA for sure as most of the folks I am meeting have superior education and money than the average they have left behind. Plus the ability to take a risk cannot be discounted.

I expect this to continue. I think US should pass law that if a foreigner purchases a home in the US for over certain amount (say 200k) then they get US residency. This would speed up the process and help get the housing market moving here. We need these people!

For a century the US government served for the service of US multinationals who just wanted to keep selling their wares to Latin countries. Most all were dictatorships. Now US has different policy-one man one vote is the order of the day. So the 200+ years of US voting evolution from Africans, Woman's suffrage, Jim Crow, Literacy tests, etc. That is the starting point because that is how WE do it. So they elect Demagogues and Socialists. People of wealth and success are demonized and they are voting as well-with their feet...

Mark my words-this mass migration of human capital from Latin America to the USA will grow much larger than anyone can imagine. Will not be Ellis Island type numbers but I believe just as permanent nonetheless. Is easier to travel by air back to Venezuela for sure than a 2 week steam ship from Germany or Ireland. But once they have children here and they reach a certain age they are as disconnected from the parents country as can be. Most of these older kids do not want to even go back and visit.

These are the first wave from many of these Countries having not had any reason before to move to USA. Unlike Cuba and Nicaragua whose best left 50 and 30 years ago respectfully. We are told that when things change in their home countries (presumably back to normal) they will return and begin again.


Migration Facts?

I don't think the implied facts are correct about Nicaraguan emigration to the US. The big exodus was during the 1980s, when Uncle Sam handed out refugee status to Nicas divesting from their own country at rates second only to Cubans. Given the normal bureaucratic delays, Nicas were still be approved as refugees into the 1990s, but then that flood diminished to a trickle. In more recent years, while Nicas still emigrate, the rate is down and there is some reverse migration, especially of investment capital.

However, I agree that persuading Nicas abroad to invest in their own country remains Nicaragua's number one economic challenge. If Nicas won't invest, the only ones left to invest are the multinationals or guys like Chavez, and many of the Nicas in Florida are second generation now. Also, while I agree that the problem includes the loss of "human capital," I'd be inclined to emphasize the loss of regular capital.

"However, I agree that

"However, I agree that persuading Nicas abroad to invest in their own country remains Nicaragua's number one economic challenge. If Nicas won't invest, the only ones left to invest are the multinationals or guys like Chavez, and many of the Nicas in Florida are second generation now. Also, while I agree that the problem includes the loss of "human capital," I'd be inclined to emphasize the loss of regular capital."

One of the books I read said that during the 1980s, anyone willing to claim political refugee status in the US was accepted, even if the reason for leaving was purely economic and due in part to the US's own actions.

My impression is that a lot of the things expat see as potentially helpful to them, like Intur, are actually geared to developing locally-owned businesses. My little convention may get Intur help through one of my Nicaraguan connections. I have no doubt that if we do, we'll be staying at a Nicaraguan-owned hotel, not an ex-pat owned one.

Not all the Nicaraguans are going to come back. For someone who is simply a decent plant manager or computer programmer, not someone who can design a better plant or write a must have app, the US is probably the better place to be. The people who can do innovative things that aren't locked to raw material locations are the ones who will help Nicaraguan more. Because they know the culture, they'll be better at working with Nicaraguans. Because they chose to come home, they're less likely to leave because labor is yet cheaper somewhere else.

From what I've read, the FSLN government tried to prevent de-capitalization -- and the very attempts made people with money more frantic to get it out rather than re-invest it in their own companies.

The thing with multinationals is they have no connections or real concerns for the countries they've invested in. The people with capital and ideas who want to be in Nicaragua specifically are more likely to be in for the long term. The Pellas Family is an example here; also, the Chamorros.

Rebecca Brown

Check Online

for the numbers-I saw 18,000 came from Nicaragua in 2006 which was last great year Nicaragua had in terms of growth. The early Nicaraguans were of the middle and wealthier classes that came in short order just after 1979. They had visas and ability to come-refugee status came much later.

As far as the other countries,Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, etc. The migration can be more likened to the migration in the USA from the Cities to Surburbia that began in the 1960s. Whatever reasons they left for, better schools, not wanting to live around African Americans etc. they left and took the tax base with them. This led to the decline of many inner cities in USA that continues today-poorer schools, law enforcment, no employment, & poverty.

This is a danger these countries face if they don't find ways to keep this migration from steaming ahead.

Haiti, Cuba, Nicaragua, and even Colombia had spikes of refugees which were covered on mainstream news in the past but with Mexico as it is not much more time to cover whats going on in these countries.

Point is to see the trends-how this occurs...One comes and tells a relative who then comes. Then they tell others back home and more come. This cycle grows exponentially.


is very prone to fraud and chain immigration. Somebody buys a business to get residency, then sells his business to a relative with a dummy transaction and no money changing hands and the cycle continues.

I agree the US should be selecting for QUALITY in its immigrants, not poverty or race, but that is not what contemporary America is about.

Still Land Of

opportunity, and we will need these people going forward. It doesn't seem like it now, but things will change in the next 20 years to fund my social security check.

US is where I would come if I were young. As I travel back and forth I find Indians running motels in Hawthorne, Nv and Afganis running gas stations in Winnemucca. Boise is full of eastern Europeans and Somalis -absolutely NOT what you would expect.

The little town in California where I'm spending a lot of time has "gone Hispanic". They have integrated in a couple of generations, own businesses, have an unofficial mayor, with a weekly radio show and pics of his kids serving in the military proudly displayed in his restaurant.

Opportunity still exists in the US for those who want to succeed. I know a Mexican teacher (more accurately, a teacher from Mexico) who works in the fields when she can't find other work.

I admire and applaud these people. This is what the US used to be about.

Combining Some Measure

of investment with an interesting retirement seems to be what many ex-pats are doing in Nicaragua. If you make a buck, great; if not, it's a pleasant place to live, and some adventure to boot. For some it's also an opportunity to transfer some valuable skills and knowledge to new found Nicaraguan neighbors. For a retiree that is probably as good as it gets.

The investment has to be tempered with the sober realization that Nicaragua has some very real present and future challenges. I'll let readers decide what the biggest difference between Panama and Costa Rica, and Nicaragua, is at the moment. That difference speaks directly to the potential availability of funds to construct the Nicaraguan canal.