Esteli Post Office Hours

Maybe they are 7:30-11AM. Maybe 8:00 to 11AM. Or, who knows. In any case, I am not a happy customer.

The post office used to be open from 8AM-4PM. You used to pay customs duty there and pick up your package. Well, having to pick up paperwork, take it to BANCENTRO to pay and return to the post office was an old change. And the new "government hours" of 7AM-1PM suck but, ok, accepted. But, apparently the Estelí post office has its own special rules. (Or maybe this is how it works everywhere—let me know).

After picking up paperwork for a package two days ago, I saw no reason to go to the bank that day as the post office would be closed. So, I sent Ana yesterday. She got to the post office a bit after 11AM. Mr. Bigote (the package guy) explained that you can only pick up your packages until 11AM as he has to prepare outgoing stuff after that. It sucks but he said "we are open at 7AM tomorrow.

I went there today at 7:10. A person waiting for them to open the front door but nothing else. Ok, except for an apparently Managua guy loading packages into a Correos de Nicaragua truck. A bit later one employee entered the building. Some time between 7:20 and 7:30, after lots of other people had decided not to wait, I left. So, I am not sure when the day there starts but I have been there around 8:30AM and they were open—with a line out the door as there is only one customer service person these days.

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1PM update

So, Ana (who has picked up packages for me before) goes there around 9AM. Well, Mr. Bigote wasn't there. She was told:

  1. She can't pick up things for me unless I have signed the permission (which I was not given with this package paperwork)
  2. If Mr. Bigote isn't there you can't pick it up because others don't know how to do the paperwork.
  3. Mr. Bigote was there at 7AM—I should have beat on the door.

Flat broke

The government is currently broke. Like a drug addict the current government eschewed all donors or lenders with conditions and now only has Chavez who gave with no conditions. I am historian not political but pride here has hurt the Nicaraguan people. So much money was turned away and donors insulted as the price of oil saw no bounds.

But Chavez oil is only worth 1/3 than just 5 months ago. Then the election issues occurred and many donors who were left pulled the plug. Whatever really happened with the elections is moot-Outside the country most believe they were a sham.

I have heard that Ortega had to go to the IMF and they gave him a paltry 5 million US loan just 2 weeks ago. A few months ago he was excoriating them in speeches. I also hear that they are moving money earmarked for roads just to keep the bills paid. Nica Government is praying that the 3 month suspension on the Millenium Challenge account will be restored. Interesting to see if the new US government lets Ortega dip into the 66 million dollars in the account.

As bad as things are going in Nicaragua, Venezuela has got much bigger problems to face in the coming months-probably worthy of another post.

"FLAT BROKE" yes they are

The Government indicated to us yesterday that they will purchase about 40% less of our product than last year and they want more credit (time to pay invoices) than before. 30 days to 90 days... This is a scary situation....Most of the items they are canceling on our road equipment, medications and building materials for updating ministries. The old Tightening of the belt.

Jorge Giraldez-Benard Latin American Advisors Company Ltd Texaco El Cortijo 1/2 C al Sur Casa 300 Res. El Cortijo, Managua, Nicaragua C.A.. e-mail JGiraldezB@yahoo.com

Sounds better than California

California is so broke they decided to give people IOUs for their tax refunds.