What's happening in Venezuela?

While what is happening in Venezuela is important to Nicaragua -- both in terms of imporrts of petroleum and exports of food -- I have hesitated to say anything until now because information sources have been far from clear. I have seen a big Twitter storm but it has been almost exclusively about two sides saying the the other side was full of caca.

Duty Free Golfito

My block is getting sewage work done.

My block is getting sewage work done.

The Alcaldia ticketed my landlord and gave him 48 hours to come to terms with it over replacing concrete pipe to the sewer (fortunately pipe inside the house is PVC). Took the ticket up to him yesterday and saw him here today working out the details. The guy next door was in town from Leon to deal with the change, too.

Living With Solar

Living With Solar

The solar panels have to be washed weekly. There is a huge amount of dust in Niaragua, and it settles on everything.

Purify your own water

I just saw an article that might be of interest to someone living in rural Nicaragua (or in a US city where they put chlorine and fluorine in the water). The article is titled How to build a solar-powered still to purify drinking water. It appears in OffTheGridNews which probably has some other interesting articles.

Free Sandinista sponsored fair

For the last week a fair has been open here in Matagalpa. It is free. I think that is pretty cool, as some people are so poor they would never have the chance to go otherwise. I am sure this gives the Sandinistas more popular support, but so be it.I think it is a good idea both socially and politically.

Unfortunately, there have been a couple of issues regarding safety and security

There was a cable car that fell to the ground injuring a few people, no one was killed thankfully.

Baggage inspection at MGA

Arrived at MGA on Tuesday. Found that there is a new secondary inspection at a separate counter for anything deemed suspicious by the X-Ray. I had a 15 year old stereo receiver in my suitcase, so I was flagged. Long line of gringos and Nicas for secondary inspection, and they were retaining lots of stuff. I got to keep the old receiver, but they retained a small renewable energy monitor that I made the mistake of packing in the original box and not having a receipt for it.

Bancentro charged me $30 to deposit a check!

Yesterday I deposited a check made out to me (in US funds) from my Canadian account into my Bancentro account. Today someone from hq in Managua told me they would charge me $30 for doing so.

Has this ever happened to anyone else?

It's still lower that a wire transfer and a lot less work but what the hell!

I was also told that the funds would be released into my Nica account in 30 days but I'm told that's par for the course.

Web Master Needed

I have asked around SJDS and Rivas for a web master that can deal in english based web sites, but have come up empty. Some of us that don't do this themselves must be using one? Any leads greatly appreiated.


House or two apartment for rent in Jinotega

My old house in Jinotega on the corner of Calle Yucapuca and the next block from where I am now is for rent again, both sides. Reasonably middle class Nicaraguan neighborhood, has a shared nice backyard between the two houses. Rent per side was $100 US a month when I was living there, but I suspect that they'd be willing to rent the whole house for circa $175 to someone who'd be there for a while. One upgraded power circuit with a true ground and a new sink on the side I used to live on. Closets and two bedrooms on the other side.

Internet Tower Completed

Internet Tower Completed

Franklin and Jayro pose next to the complete tower. This will serve as support for a variety of antennas, and also the weather station components. If you look behind Franklin's hand you can see the wind velocity / direction indicator.

The components have a WiFi link to a computer program that samples the sensor outputs and collects a weather history. There is not much weather information available for the north of the country.

Larrynaga hydro plant 95% complete

Larrynaga, another hydro plant in Jinotetega is expected to bring the percentage of renewable energy in Nicaragua up to 53-55%. A Fox Latino article tells the story.

The Larreynaga plant in the northern province of Jinotega will start generating electricity "in some four or five months," Emilio Rappaccioli said in a written statement after touring the plant with the CEO of state utility ENEL, Ernesto Martinez Tiffer.

A look at the elections in El Salvador and Honduras

The election in Honduras is a done deal whereas there will be a runoff in El Salvador. A video on TruthOut looks at what is happening and has happened as the beginning of a historic shift.

Cryptocurrencies for social change

A couple of recent events/news stories have inspired this post. The idea I am exploring is if a cryptocurrency (like bitcoin and I mean like in the sense "similar to", not "such as" -- bitcoin might not be a way to address poverty in Nicaragua. First, the two events that got me thinking.

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