Dealing with Western Union
While I am documenting, I feel I have collected enough info on this one too. Yes, you can send money via Western Union. It costs too much I wouldn't do it but it is popular and I got involved in some transfers because "the other person" wanted to use it.
After four tests, my conclusion is that as long as you don't go to the Western Union office itself but, instead, to an agent, you get decent service. Besides being generally hostile in the WU office (in Estelí) they try to play games. For example, they very carefully look over any cash you bring them and reject it if it happens to have a dirt mark on it. Then, they try to give you market up and turn bills for your change or when you are receiving money.
My good experiences have been at Cruz Lorena. They have been friendly and professional. The money they give you looks like money, not used papel higenico.
The one non-problem I had with them was that I handed them a copy of my passport for ID. They didn't like it. But, they were totally happy with my Nicaraguan driver's license. This is particularly amusing because: * It has no address on it * It doesn't have my signature But, if they are happy, I'm happy.
Speaking of ID, when I picket up a package at DHL today, I was asked to write down the number of my ID. I was somewhat surprised as the woman there knows me and never asks. Of course, she just asked me to write down the number--she didn't actually ask to see it. I think you just have to make sure you get all the blanks filled in on the forms.