Ever Consider Honduras?

Not Honduras proper, but the border region? I was curious about towns near the northern border, dug out my Moon Honduras. Had a bit of an Eureka! moment. There's a town just over the border from Somoto, San Marcos de Colon, that the author calls the best kept secret in southern Honduras. Says it may be the cleanest town in the country. About 9000 people, and 980 meters elevation. Has some motels and restaurants. Don't know much about it beyond that, just curious, with the C-4 agreement what it might be like to live near the border and go back and forth?

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Thanks Everyone

Looking so closely at Nicaragua for the last few months really fine tuned what I was looking for. Got me to look at places in Central America that I had never considered before. And surprisingly what I've found that is for me the best combination of weather, scenery, access to an international airport, movie theaters, great beaches, numerous beautiful, colonial towns is El Salvador. The size of the country means great variety in a fairly compact area. It's not perfect, but just seems to have the most of what I want. Thank you for your advice and comments. It's been a great help and I wish you the best!

Regards, Wade K.

Crime?

My only time in El Salvador has been in the airport changing planes but I certainly have read a lot about it -- since the 1980s. My impression is that crime in Nicaragua tends to be mostly crime of convenience whereas there is a significant gang presence in El Salvador.

US efforts to rid itself of Central American gangs (with Los Angeles being a hotspot) have resulted in some gang members moving home. Again, no first hand knowledge here but many sources seem to be saying the same thing.

The closest to first-hand knowledge is that our niece has family there. Ana has been there a few times and finds San Salvador to be much scarier than Managua. Where the relatives live, you don't go to the pulpuria two doors away after dark.

Keep us posted. I am anxious to have more regional information here. If El Salvador is the right choice for some of the people who are considering Nicaragua, great. We need to share that information.

Like everything down here, crime and gangs in El Salvador

...are likely to change over time.

El Salvador's left party of converted revolutionaries seems to be settled in as part of a multi-party system and one of them is the mayor of one of the tourist cities, and other one is or has been the President of the country (a journalist).

A lot can happen in five to ten years.

Rebecca Brown

Yes, things change

I also saw that, too

If the gangs have decided that killing each other over turf is a lose/lose situation, this doesn't necessarily mean that the boys have decided to get out of their illegal businesses. They could have decided that killing each other was bad for those businesses, and being hated by most El Salvadorans was leading to a return of death squads.

In the yet longer run, people in illegal businesses generally invest in legal businesses so it's wealth transfer from the dumb who buy the drugs to the smartest of those who sell them. The phenomenon has revived some neighborhoods in US cities. Problems arise when the tactics used in the illegal businesses are transferred to the legal businesses. Most prudent businessmen want their money in situations where it's protected by law, and most of the guys who are good at illegal businesses are smart (people sent some of their children to medical school on liquor money where I used to live).

Extortion, still nasty.

The truce and the reduction in murders between gangs is a hopeful sign.

Interesting president: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mauricio_Funes

Rebecca Brown

It's Overall Worse than Nicaragua

From everything I've read here Nicaragua is fairly safe outside of Managua violence wise. I've read enough blogs and forum posts to know that the bigger cities in El Salvador are pretty dodgy after dark and there are neighborhoods you should never go into. On the other hand commercial areas during the day are well guarded, and the government goes to great lengths to keep popular tourist areas very safe with special tourism police. An expat in Suchitoto who has lived there for 7 years says he walks around at all hours and never feels unsafe. Didn't see that he was promoting real estate or a hostel. The Ruta de las Flores towns in Western El Salvador are very popular and safe. There's a suburb of San Salvador where the U.S. embassy is that has an average household income in the mid $60k's, the richest area of the country and appears to have everything you'd find in the States. Santa Ana has a very nice large mall with a Cinemark multiplex. San Salvador has several including the largest mall in Central America. But almost half the population is impoverished so I guess for every nice thing you'll see there you'll see plenty of bad too. It's not completely urban or suburban, but you're never really far from a population center. If you consider where most of Nicaragua's population lives, you could carve out a similar sized area that is similar in population density. But Nicaragua is definitely superior in rural areas. El Salvador also has a lot of volcanoes.

el Salvador has long been a

el Salvador has long been a cultural and economic leader in the area and finally seems to be making a good-faith effort at democracy. It`s on my list of places to visit. so far I have just been thru their on the bus and don`t have much of an opinion. I here it is comparatively pricey compared to Nic., but sometimes you get what you pay for.

go visit

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

I'd definitely look first.

El Salvador's history is about as bloody as Nicaragua's, with their civil war pretty much fought to a draw (treaty negotiated in Mexico). Their revolutionaries turned into a political party.

It's got the population of Nicaragua on roughly a quarter the land area (Nicaragua is a bit bigger than NY State or Virginia: El Salvador is a bit smaller than Massachusetts), and it's a higher percentage Mestizo and lower percentage indigenous than Nicaragua.

The murders seem to be between gang rivals, so not likely to affect you. If there are people doing armed robberies of buses, that could be a problem.

http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/country-health-profile/el-salvador might be worth taking a look at. You can plug in Nicaragua to compare.

As Juano said, in five years, things can change.

Rebecca Brown

Thanks

What strikes me about El Salvador is they have a sizeable city, Santa Ana, that has excellent amenities and a reasonable climate. There's no reason to venture into the big city, except for the airport, which is only about 42 miles away. There are popular small towns that are thriving and close enough to Santa Ana for quick trips in. One, Juayua, has a weekend food fair every weekend where thousands come to sample food from restaurants from all over the country. Another, Atoca, is an artist community that gets a lot of tourists. There's Suchitoto, a colonial town on a beautiful reservoir that's getting expat attention. It's about 30 miles from San Salvador. Then there's La Palma, near Honduras at 3500', next to highest mountain in the country, just shy of 9000'. Spectacular views and the town is at the center of the naïf art movement founded by Fernando Llort. It's said 75% of the town is involved in art production. Murals are everywhere, and between the tourists and traffic to Honduras the town supports a lot of restaurants. And while I'm not really a beach person it appears the coast is becoming very popular with some of the world's best surfing. I'm very interested in La Palma, which is 52 miles from San Salvador but most likely will end up near Santa Ana. La Palma, Suchitoto and other popular towns have tourism police. The serious violence is primarily in poor neighborhoods of the biggest cities.

Culture, architecture,

Culture, architecture, education, etc, follow money, although there is certainly a ``coincidence`` factor in such things. I suspect there is also a lot more English spoken in Salvador than in some of the other countries here. Cd Guate also has much to offer, once you get used to the crime and the traffic, both of which make Los Angeles look good.

Read books, chat, think, but also work on your 1/4 mil so you can get comfy.

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

Read that many of the MS13

Read that many of the MS13 gang members grew up in L.A. and will often strike up a conversation in English with American visitors. Supposedly 1/3rd of El Salvador's population lives in or had lived in the U.S. and you'll meet many English speakers.

There's a good rule here

If someone at random strikes up a conversation with you in English (not house guests of your neighbor, not a shopkeeper where you're buying something and have been doing business, not someone you've been introduced to by friends who have good judgment about people), fifty percent of the time, it's going to be a hustle of some kind, from the benign "give me a peso" on up to the "Let's share a cab when we get to Managua."

"Hi, I think I'll move to a country where the US has deported a lot of English-speaking gang members, so I won't have to learn Spanish." Okay, and I'll pop some popcorn.

Aside from the climate and local year round crop production (knock a quarter to a third off the COL because of those factors), the main reason places are cheaper is that they're poorer and people get by with less stuff. Safe, lots of amenities -- money required. You can have cheap and relatively safe, or safe as US suburbia, amenities, and expensive.

Something is paying for the tourist polices -- maybe sales taxes or local hotel and property taxes. If that's the case, the tourist areas will have higher prices to pay for the extra policing, not just because tourists and expats are stupid about money and will pay $9.41 for a small steak dinner with a juice and a beer (C$220 -- and the cook came out to try to up-sell me on the C$300 bigger steak and I had to finger wag him).

Rebecca Brown

You are a bit Cynical...

...and I suppose you have cause to be. :). I lived nearly 6 years on the Mexican border and can attest to the scams. Interestingly though was how my Cherokee heritage convinced people I was Hispanic and was usually spoken to in Spanish first on the Mexican side, and often on the American side too. A little grandmother was surprised I didn't speak Spanish and said "but you look so Mexican!".

Read a travel blog last night of a couple in La Palma who ate a fried chicken breast dinner at a restaurant there with tortilla, salad, and beans for $2.50. El Salvador uses the U.S. Dollar by the way. Their beer was 50 cents a bottle. I'm betting things are paid for through sales taxes as billions in remittances come from the U.S..

Don't know what the malls in Managua look like but many American communities would be proud to have the one in Santa Ana. It's what has me interested, having enough amenities but overall costs are less than the U.S.. If willing to live in a small town and travel a bit to enjoy a day in a bigger place means overall living costs drop considerably. And fairly close to if not less than second tier Nicaraguan cities like Esteli. And the Salvadorans are also noted for their friendliness. Not knocking Nicaragua, it has many terrific features. But due to the compactness of El Salvador you can literally have your cake and eat it too. Cool mountain towns with their own amenities, near large cities and terrific beaches, reasonably priced.

Check the minimum for pensions

I think it's $1,000 a month for one.

Rebecca Brown

Think I'll go the tourist

Think I'll go the tourist card rt until Social Security kicks in. And I may have to live in Nicaragua when all is said and done. Certainly not a sacrifice to do so, just noticed some options in El Salvador that would work very well.

Roatan

If you like Key West, Hawaii, Corn Island flavor check out Roatan. Used to be dirt cheap but prices have gone up so you will need probably 1500 US a month to live well. There are some home stay Spanish schools that are around $200 for the combo (weekly) so you can check out the island on the cheap. That includes 3 meals a day.

Clean air, great food and people-I can go on forever.

Remember the only thing 'fixed' in your retirement is your income. Move around a bit is best way to do it. A couple I know have been 'retired' for over 10 years and have lived in probably 15 places. They continue to return to Roatan, Lake Atitlan, and another place I swore I would not reveal.

Nice "little" place, but...

We own a small piece of land and extended family has a home just 3 or so miles outside there, in Comelito. Elevation is 900-1100m around there, depends where you are as you are in or on the edge of the mountains. Temps (cool nights) often very different from say Choluteca (real hot). Poor planning, actually the complete lack of it, has created serious road-ending, bring-the-house-down flooding in several outlying areas, following any greater rainfall (because of this and un-rebuilt Mitch destruction at least 5 tropical storms in recent history were far more dangerous than Hurricane Mitch – but this is a few miles outside of San Marcos, not the city proper).

The Nicaragua border run from here can be great or incredibly annoying, due to taxi and bus licensure on that route which is controlled by whoever is the San Marcos mayor (been annoying more than great the last many years). The good buses to Tegucigalpa and onwards are o.k. and at least 3 international bus companies have routes passing through here. There is a good bit of growth there as of recently. For example, a 10-year old travel guide would seem like another world – though the place is still pretty small and quite. Most stats you see are likely outdated, though the way they measure population makes small places sound a little bigger than they are if you lived elsewhere. It is not a terribly cheap place to be and food is varied and expensive compared to some other places (a lot of big-farm food goes direct out of country and isn't sold locally). Keep in mind that food, drink, transport, and telecomm, cost a little more in Honduras than in Nicaragua – as does the Residencia process, all things being equal. And, you are a good trip from any decent airport out here, if that matters.

Renting might be complicated as there could be only a handful of decent options not counting pension houses, underused newer hotels, and pricier homes. Owning hard to say city proper as I doubt it is properly title-mapped (much of the country is not). I suspect much of the land is priced 3-4x what it was just 12-15 years ago, but I haven't bought any in ages so only a guess. Many way outlying places are just now receiving electrical connections (we are one such place). No real decent schools or hospitals, except for a few evangelical outfits - and they only seem good in comparison to what the Honduran government offers. Even Choluteca sort of fails to this end, so if it gets serious it is an all-out race to a private place in Tegus, and not the best road to be racing on, either. Being the cleanest city in Honduras might not be as impressive as it might sound (if true), and much of smaller-city Nicaragua is cleaner than places of size I have been in Honduras. This place has a nice laid back feel though.

If one was interested in really living there and running some little business or farming-ranching that would be different, but I would not consider it a great just-over-the-border place to hang out or live (getting from San Marcos to Esteli, let alone further South, takes some real time as due to roads, companies, and depart times, this route is often not as fast as via Danli, even though it looks like it on the map). If I was interested in Nicaragua, at least per this part of the region, I would live in Nicaragua (I have commitments that prevent me from doing what I am advising, but I still think it good advice). The best way to find out is next time you are in Esteli or, better, Somoto, go there for a day or two. It would not be a pricey trip if already up toward the border.

Thanks

That was as good a summation as I could have hoped for, appreciate it. Looks like I'll stick to the Nica side of the border. The town does sound interesting though. You're right, the population stat I saw was from 2003.

Honduras is a gorgeous country.

I considered it for a while after visiting Copan Ruinas. That was before I knew any better. Read la gringas blogicito on line a while to get an idea. Part of the schtick of sandinismo is pretending to be honest and transparent. As long as they can keep this schtick up Nicaragua will be the better choice. Also, the border area on either side tends to be a long way from various services, such as modern hospitals--and, no, they don`t medevac.

I don`t know San Marcos. I went thru there by bus one time and didn`t see it. I have spend time in Danli and Paraiso and they are as dirty or worse than the typical northern Nic towns.

Want some semblance of clean-- try David, Panama. The Pueblos Blancos neart Masaya didn`t look bad, either. Most of the higher elevation towns in CR that I have seen are pretty clean,too.

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

Siguatepeque

I talked to some Americans there. Decent size town between Tegus and SPS that has some elevation and is very affordable. American teachers work at the bilingual schools there. Theft there sounded worse than just about anywhere I've read about, and the town is just butt ugly. But the cost of living got me to exploring the region more and led me here. The only town I've found through research in either Panama or CR that I'd consider, purely for cost reasons, is San Isidro de General in CR. When SS kicks in I'll have more options, but maybe by then northern Nicaragua will be firmly home.

Was a nice little place...

Siguat was a nice little place, really. You will see little articles about it in old gringo newsletters, cheap living blurbs, etc. Spent some measurable time there in mid to late 1990's and stay a bit here and there every few years since. Between the two main cities, a mile or so off the main highway, near Yojoa and route options (which now host a microbrewery among other things rarely found elsewhere in the country), great climate in the mountains there, the town was decently kept, had two central parks, two movie theaters, o.k. schools and hospital, some specialized advanced educational opportunities, great food as a collectivo away at the places serving transit crowds, etc. Then is grew and grew fast as they happened to also removed laws regarding enterprise inner city and signage/advertising. It is nothing much like the old Siguat now. Would be a decent place to operate a business catering to the new-found wealth there, or perhaps something tied to education, etc., but much of what made it appealing years ago died with the growth. It depends how "small" a place you want, and what services you deem essential. What you often find is that the places that have grown grew in an unappealing way and the places that are still small just don't have enough to offer to make you want to stay long term. A big factor is if you want to own land and/or if you want to work land, etc. If you are "retired" from everything you likely look at it in a different way and might measure things by different priorities.

How Would You Compare Siguatepeque...

...with Esteli for quality of life? Several here have said Esteli has gotten pretty bad. Sigua is situated nicely for visiting the big cities and SPS has Spirit Airlines flying into it. I hear so much about violence in Honduras that it makes Nicaragua sound like Minnesota safety wise. Esteli is in a fairly large region of mild temps while it looks like it gets hot shortly after leaving Sigua. Would be nice to take day trips from Esteli or Matagalpa. I guess when I'm not hanging out and reading I'll be exploring the area. I agree with your statement about growth. I like the idea of a small town but really want a large selection of restaurants with cheap set lunches, something different to try daily. Just don't want to feel like I'm risking my neck every time I go out.

Compare

Hard to say for me. I no longer spend a week or more in Esteli/Leon/Grenada on much of a regular basis, and use Esteli as a stopping point – and the stops are less often and the stays shorter. Partly this is due to the border hop no longer working for tourist visa renewals, and partly as many of the people I knew in Nicaragua moved to Panama or Colombia.

While Honduras is just plain dangerous, being able to interpret crime data (per any country) is important in understanding what is really going on and what the statistical dangers means to the average person (especially if you clearly are or are not an "average person", say in Honduras). In Honduras, most violent crime happens in four fairly small, distinct locales. Also, in most cases the victims of violent crime live in those places (as opposed to visit there). On top of that, the age of the victim is critical, as so few people over 50 are victims (most are less than 26), especially of violent crime. Odd as it may sound, the most common "deaths" for gringos I am aware of here include: total liver failure, suicide, bootleg viagra-induced heart-attacks (while with a new "girlfriend"), poisonings (likely the girlfriend), drownings (likely not attributed to the girlfriend, but the alcohol that would have killed the live any month soon anyway), traffic accidents (girlfriend may or may not have been the driver; if not the girlfriend, likely the girlfriend's husband), botched surgeries, etc. – you get the idea.

It is also a country (perhaps not as surprising as it is in Nicaragua, where history might lead people to assume otherwise) the pretty much lacks any sort of anti-gringo sentiment. True, many people have problems, but these are tied to their choices, be they social, sexual, their business practices, drug use, etc., not to the fact that they are not Honduran (Honduras has huge Chinese-immigrant population, and a long history of accepting people from India, Middle East, U.S., Canada and the Netherlands). As an example, at a border checkpoint, on visa renewals, a police road block, etc. (all of which are post-coup things and not that common), I have never seen a representative look twice at a U.S./Canadian passport and often when they see the cover of it in your hand they don't even ask a question, make you stand in line, or even get off the bus or out of the car, etc.). Flaunting wealth greatly amplifies all risks. Owning a home, and especially owning land you do not live on, has all the same issues it would in Nicaragua, and they might be worse.

Best I can tell the happiest gringos are those renting and living frugally amidst the local population but in an area where there are a good number of other gringos, too (though the very happiest seem to be drunk whenever I see them). This is often not that hard as in Honduras there are many foreigners. Travel, in/out of country and local is comparable to other places but the future of the Tegus airport is unclear and if Comayagua or another locale ends up the new place, that is far from convenient to people in the southern part of the country – and depending on what they do, a nice facility might steal away lines currently going into SPS. Flights into SPS and Tegus have wildly fluctuating prices (family from Rapid City, SD to Tegus, this year have gotten the best then price at both $394 and $858).

Were I interested in Honduras and maybe Guatemala-Mexico, I would live in Honduras, but if I were interested in Honduras-Nicaragua, all things being equal I would likely live in Nicaragua. Depends how far you go when you "explore the area", and how long you are away has impact if you own land or a home there. It will get hot when you go up north, but there are a lot of other mountainous options in both countries. If you intend to read, a lot, this will likely need to be e-book based or will be real hit-and-miss for content and possibly expensive, too. Eating out, enjoying good food, and cheap prices, don’t always go together in C.A. – they can, but I wouldn’t plan for it as a routine. I suspect you will need more to do, once there. Even if you currently do or expect this, moving it to another culture-language, even with the exploring, the novelty might wear off in a year.

Very Interesting

If Comayagua gets the new airport and Spirit Airlines flies from there then I'd have to reconsider Sigua. Just too convenient to pass up. Good info about crime stats too, thanks.

Airport options

(Almost ) regardless of where I lived in C.A., or wanted to visit in the U.S., it is unlikely I would make a residencia choice based on current airline routes, not of a single carrier anyway (once bag fees are included, I rarely see Spirit undercutting Continental enough to matter all that much, from a Midwestern U.S. base, if advance purchase super economy is used). That said, Comayagua is closer to Singuatepeque than is San Pedro Sula, and it is a cheaper and much safer city, too.

Spirit Works Well...

...for me as it can put me a couple hours from family in North Carolina. You're right, shouldn't base where I live on that, but it would make it a much more attractive option.

A lot is going to change in 5 years

If you basing your location on a towns character and crime rates now, you could get a surprise in 5 years when you actually retire.

As a country, in 5 years, Nicaragua could be the darling of CA or the armpit, who knows.

But All I Can Do...

...is look at current stats and hope for the best. Are things changing that fast? Were Nicaraguans culturally shaped by decades of a brutal dictatorship to be less violent than their neighbors? Or is that wishful thinking? And if things change significantly in 5 years, what about 5 years after that? And yet another 5 years? Might as well not move there at all. Or place my bet and take my chances. If Nicaragua doesn't devolve into another civil war then I think it's my best bet in Central America. But I'm willing to be convinced otherwise.

As Correa Says ...

When Julian Assange interviewed Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa a few weeks ago (Youtube link), Correa's little joke was that the only country that would not have a revolution was the USA because there was no US embassy there. While some will immediately want to interject that what the Soviets did, ... in countries was the same, Correa does make an important point.

Few revolutions happen without external help and in many cases that help appears because the country who decides to help is doing it in their own interest. The classic, easy to understand example is the US overthrow of the Arbenz government in Guatemala in 1956.

Personally, I feel that an important consideration for finding a desirable country is to look for one that has little to offer a big country who wants to help. For the most part, Nicaragua was pillaged under Somoza to the extent that there isn't much here of interest to the big players with the possiple exception of fresh water. It wouldl seem that the only real concern the US had with the Sandinista revolution was that a success could serve as a good example for other countries/peoples in the region.

Using this criteria, Colombia is a problem because it is the primarily supplier of cocaine for much of the world. Venezuela is a problem because of its oil reserves. Bolivia is likely to become a problem with its lithium reserves as world demand for lithium for new batteries increases.

Clearly, this is not the only criteria for picking a new home but I feel it really should be a consideration.

Let´s all move to Haiti

It´s only good for poverty pimps and missionaries.

Classic example of a revolution receiving foreign help is the US of A. In it´s own self-interest the French monarchy aided a floundering republican revolution just to spite its enemy, Britain. Glad they did.

If I were looking for a country to live, i would look for reasonable prosperity, social stability which often means a relative lack of ethnic issues, traditions of democracy, and largely free of natural disasters, especially ones that can bring the whole country to its knees at one time.

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

If you did as much research on current affairs...

...as you have on picking a place to move to... you still maybe no further forward but you will be more knowledgeable about current affairs here. Some of the stuff won't mean much to you and a lot of it will be sensational journalism, but if you start reading La Prensa and El Nuevo Diario on line, through google translate, you can speed read through a lot of stuff and get a good feel of the country.

http://www.nicaraguadispatch.com/ is a good English speaking resource. Read the comments after the articles as well.

The good thing for you is that you should have enough (based on today's economy) to live here, you won't own property and if you keep it to two fifty pound bags, you can pretty much enjoy an extended trip all over the place. 5 year segments may become 5 month or 5 week segments and you need never be stuck in a rut any place.

When you are picking a retirement spot on the basis of your limited pension, you can't rule out Nicaragua yet, but nearer the day you will have to decide if you can get the quality of life here that you think you need for that monthly income.

That's Pretty Easy Actually

Good tips on current affairs, thanks. Cost wise, I rarely drink. I won't have a car. I don't need a large residence or a maid. I may have a small house built if I think I'm staying which'll take care of rent. And eventually my income will double with Social Security. Biggest vice is eating out plus I enjoy going to the movies. Won't be chasing women, will wait until near SS before even thinking about meeting a lady and then will probably be a Filipina. I'm boring, and boring is pretty cheap. Not a clothes hound, a boater, or have expensive hobbies. Just enjoy reading, walking, dogs. If I can't afford Nicaragua I'm in a world of hurt! :)

One of my reflections

since being down here is i wish I had made more money when I was working. When you are working, if you are reasonably frugal in your travels, the limiting factor is time--you don`t have enough time to spend your money. When you are retired, you have 24/7-- the limiting factor is money. Something to think about. If I were heathier, I would move to Ft. Mcmurray, Canada, and get a real job.

Frugal and boring are good--they work anywhere! The hyperconsumerism common in the US is self-destructive, but still an individual option. I just read the ebook edition of The Millionaire Next Door--quite an eye-opener.

As far as restraurants, I would suggest Cd. Panama, with San Jose and Cd Guate also getting a mention , just don´t come to expect the uniform quality that you might get at Sizzler or Arby´s. San Salvador probably has a great restaurant scene, although I am not familiar with it.

As far as the future, it´s a crap shoot. I am always reminded of the stock broker thing about how past performance is no indicator of future performance. But people still look at past performance as a major indicator of what may come. I think any rational analysis of Mexico and the 7 C.A. countries would come up with the only potential winners being CR and Panama. One step south, Colombia is on the upswing, too.

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

It Would be Nice to be...

...a foodie, going to experience the latest offerings of well known chefs. If so I'd reside in Oaxaca or Penang, Malaysia. I may still try Oaxaca, but pretty certain I'll settle for cheap comida tipica. Apparently going to be alot of beans and rice in my future!

El Zamarano area was nice..

But other than the Ag college, not much else there. How would you handle the border runs until you got your residency, being as a quick trip to Nic wouldn't count?

That Was a Consideration...

...when I looked at Pueblos Blanco region. Quick trip to CR. I'll just have to deal with a long bus ride once in awhile, but looks like it'll start from within Nicaragua at least.