Bad Neighborhoods?

This post is inspired by http://www.nicaliving.com/node/19748 which is a photo of a house in Jinotega and the followup comments. A bad neighborhood in Jinotega?

While I am no Jinotega expert, I have spent some time there. I saw poor and not so poor neighborhoods. Maybe I missed it/didn't recognize it but I never saw what I would call a bad neighborhood. That is, one that felt dangerous.

When I first moved to Estelí I lived in El Rosario, I very poor neighborhood. But, poor in Estelí and dangerous are two very different things. I have an aunt who lives in a dangerous (because of the drug industry) barrio in Estelí which also happens to be poor.

Having grown up in Los Angeles, I am very aware of dangerous neighborhoods and they always seemed to be poor. But I don't think poor necessarily means dangerous, particularly in Nicaragua.

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I've walked on a couple of blocks that made me nervous

...mostly at night. Barrio German Pomares across the river from town is supposed to be dangerous as is the section of the road north of the Statue of the Virgin (I've walked down there a couple of times, once with a friend carrying mega bucks worth of Canon DSLR). I feel safer having a dog here and the neighbors in the other half of the house.

One guy was killed for his cell phone but not apparently in a particularly bad neighborhood (this is a small city and the bad guys seem to be most dangerous to their friends rather than strangers. One gringo was robbed at 1 p.m. in front of his house.

I wouldn't be comfortable in some of the parts of Barrio Centroamerica to the west of where I'm looking. I've had kids come over the wall for mangos this year (and saw the bag on the other side of the wall where they/he dropped them.

My sense of my feeling about people is that I'm pretty savvy -- and I took a chance with a kid who was trying to get into real estate until he hit me up for a loan and then didn't show up when he said he was going to (will give information about him by private message). The kid could do something useful here, be a go-between between gringos who don't speak Spanish yet and Nicaraguan landlords, but he's a bit too obvious about seeing the gringos as money sources.

I feel safer now that I have Lola, but hadn't realized that I'd felt a bit edgy (especially after the burglary) until she got some size on her (she's still a cocker spaniel but she's one utterly fearless bitch and a bit mouthy).

Jinotega, even in some of the really poorer barrios, still has some houses that are not poor people's houses and some very poor looking houses in neighborhoods that are generally middle class comfortable. My impression is that there are some dangerous people here, but not particularly dangerous neighborhoods.

And there are some people with significant money.

The lights just went back off. Apparently all over. See you later.

Rebecca Brown

bekie

bekie get a rotweiler or a bullmastiff, and a 12 gauge shotgun ,

If I had a gun,

I would pull out my fingernails before I posted about it here. It's one of the prime things to get stolen anywhere in the world, along with chainsaws and laptop computers (friend in Houston just got his laptop recovered).

Probably one of the first things I'll check out further is the restaurant across the street. If it's not the local all macho escape from las mujers, then I'll be eating there from time to time to practice my Spanish. My English students (who are going to buy me a white board) said they could come out there as easily as here). I know people who have kin in Barrio Centroamerica.

If I need more than Lola, I'd get a chow as they're bred locally. One of the things that having an expensive exotic dog signals is that I have money (and people have asked me what I paid for Lola even though cockers are fairly common here).

It's Rebecca, by the way, unless you don't know me.

Rebecca Brown