Raise a family poll.

I thank Phil for this poll.

It made me think long and hard about my children. Life is pretty good here in Nicaragua and the pleasure of growing old with 2 small children is a positive experience.

I am Norwegian and my children was born with the rights of my generous country, so they have Norwegian passports and social security numbers however to get all the benefits they have to stay in Norway for 6 months and can then return, now.. there is a catch to this ( recent changes ) their mother have to stay for 5 years to get permanent residency, so I am twisted by this but have made my decision, they have to go.

I can just wait until I am 67 ( pretty close ) to get my check, haven't paid taxes there for 30 years, but are born before 1956 so I am safe. Not easy, but for the children it is the best, I hope. The fear of a sudden heart attack and the mentality of most natives here which is to live today and don't worry, makes me worry about the next generation more than anything.

There is other people that I have met that has the same issues and the majority is of the same opinion, it all depends on what nationality they have, born in Iraq and you have a different opinion.

I voted no.

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Technicality of Citizenship

Isn't that what rogertrolls post is about?

If it wasn't for that requirement of obtaining that back stop for them (and his wife), raising kids in Nicaragua would not have come up.

It highlights the fact that we can all make that choice, they can't.

So its not so much "live today and don't worry" for the other Nica's, it's that they don't have your decision to make.

Yes you are right

I hope they just return later with some knowledge and being good humans, following the news today this one came up.


I did't know, to busy with my nica life that I love and the justice system that I hate.

Not that simple

To me, it seems much more about Socialism vs. Libertarianism. While Nicaragua is billed as being Socialist, its level of Socialism is really pretty much equal to Libertarianism. That is, there are minimal levels of services supplied to people in Nicaragua by the state. The fact that those services exist is generally good but they do not equal the levels you see in Europe or the US.

While some of we will rely on Socialism from back home, others will not. And, yes, while we have that choice, in general, we had paid for it. A Nicaraguan did not pay that cost of a backup but they do have a choice. That is, they can pick a backup plan (working in a country that offers it, jobs with foreign companies, ...) whereas Roger, you and I were obligated to pay for what the government thought was best for us.

First, thank Susan

She picked this poll (and virtually all the recent ones).

I do have some comments I want to make. I had been waiting for the poll to be over but you started the discussion so it seems like a good time.

I am actually surprised by the number of people who said no. Your comment makes me think the reason for many is much like what you are saying. Basically, that developed countries tend to offer more of a safety net. In many cases (that is, many countries) you are correct.

When I first saw the question I was thinking about a quite different side. In particular, about how Nicaragua is full of kids and a lot less discrimination that at least what I grew up with. In addition, a lot more cultural experience that I saw growing up. This is not just a US vs. Nicaragua thing. I see the same differences between Nicaragua and Costa Rica -- particularly in the Central Valley -- where any hint of local culture seems to have been replaced with trips for pizza or to the mall.

A few years ago I was talking to a friend who lived in Boulder Colorado. She mentioned how she needed to arrange play dates for her daughter (about six years old at the time) at least a week in advance. While I tend to be the person who plans things, the idea that a six year old needed to have parents arrange what she would be doing with other six year olds a week in advance struck me as totally out of line. I told my friend how absurd that seemed where my niece could walk out of the house and just play with other kids that happened to be nearby.

My feeling is that this is a lot more than a yes/no question. Clearly, I missed Roger's concerns but for someone who comes to Nicaragua with their own safety net, I think Nicaragua is a great place to raise kids.


It depends entirely on what you're looking for, and with a whole world of people, there will be a whole world of perspectives.

e.g: Poor Somali family http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=what+country+has+the+lowest+per+cap... With the world's lowest per capita GDP, a Somali family might significantly benefit from the free healthcare provided in Nicaragua. I'm just spitballing, though, so feel free to pick a better example.

Personally, I've no confidence in the education sector in Nicaragua. My SO's mother is a principal and teacher in Esteli, and my SO is a sometimes teacher at a (different) private school in Esteli. I've helped with grading.

Let's go down the list of daily struggles that immediately come to mind from my extremely limited experience:



Abusive parents

Extreme neglect

Few role models

Low standards

Large classes

Low governmental priority beyond literacy

Good comment

This is not a post of critique of Nicaragua, Nicas is wonderful people and their family is strong.

There is obvious parts that is missing, one that strikes me most is the sanitary section. We all like privacy and our own time, it doesn't exist in the miserable schools here in Nicaragua, children comes to school with a paper napkin just i case, and the line between male and female is to blurred.

I just made a mini study of a school of 311 students, what hit you right in your hearth was the sanitary conditions, a real horror.

FYI I donated computers to the same school in 2007 and now there is none !!! I know where they have gone but will not write about it here. I will try to scrape up enough to make some new bath rooms, very little actually.


I fully agree with you and I am not good at getting my points out.

My observations regarding children and family here in Nicaragua is very positive, I see the Nicaraguan woman as strong and in many cases surpasses mothers from my own country who often doesn't have time to deal with their children.

The Nicaraguan family life is great, bigger children helping with smaller ones and so on, one mother giving breast milk to another baby because the real mother doesn't have enough, I am all positive.

There is issues however on the economical side of this, what is missing, generally speaking is planing for tomorrow which is understandable taking some living conditions in to consideration and a husband that might be a drunk or just left them all together.

My safety net is not in place Phil, I never planed for this and must arrange for this new citizens of my country, my fear is will I do it before something happens, have a court case in supreme court that has lasted 5 years and I cannot just leave, but they must go, need to do some creating thinking.

Happy new year

Cheer up, it will get worse

I had an amazing conversation the other day with a Nicaraguan who seemed to be seeing the same things I see. He sees the remittance kids being the local hotshots and trouble makers because they have money to burn and no parental supervision. Obviously, people have free will-- I know 2 remittance kids fairly well. the girl is going to medical school and the boy has a drinking problem, 2 kids, and has never worked a day in his life. It reminds me of the classic comment of the female lead in a Clint Eastwood movie of a few years ago ``Hmong girls go to the university and Hmong boys go to prison``

The canal will make it infineately worse in the cow towns of the north-- the good workers and all the female college grads working as store clerks will move for the canal jobs, leaving the drunks and derelicts in the communities. The north will be an area of internal remittance kids, old people, aging cattlemen, and vacation homes. The price of progress.

``Socialism works fine until you run out of other peoples` money``

Margaret Thatcher

The movie was Gran Torino

Clint Eastwood reluctantly made friends with his Hmong neighbours and took their teenage boy under his wing. Too bad the remittance kids don't have Eastwood as a neighbour.