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Mike Cobb of ECI Development – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Making friends in Nicaragua is easy. Who your neighbors are depends on where you live. Peers are a critical part of making friends and finding a peer group is the first step. Some people want to stay away from people from their home country and focus on Nicaraguan friends. We’ve simply not allowed nationality to influence our friend selection and we have Nicaraguan friends, US friends, and friends from all over the world. Other expats from around the world are a great peer group that most folks don’t think of right away.
Barry Oliver of Surfing Nahua – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Motor bike riding, Chinandega, Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingWhat your neighbors will be like in Nicaragua depends on where you’re living. There are some very nice developments coming up in the area in northern Nicaragua where there are a lot of people from all over the world – New Zealand, Australia, Israel, Europe, and the US all living in the same development. That makes it very interesting. Cultural challenges increase and you can expand on that quite a bit, and it definitely makes life much more interesting. Developments are where most expats live.
 
If you choose to live in or out of a development, you’re going to have all kinds of neighbors around you. In northern Nicaragua, there may be fairly wealthy farmers coming in from the city for the weekends, or local farmers who don’t have a car and ride around on a horse and are great, hardworking people. It’s amazing to watch how happy these people can be with the very minimal amount of money they make. This is mind-expanding, especially coming from San Diego where all people talk about is money.
 
I used to call it the 80-20 rule, but now I’m calling it the 90-10 rule. When I’m in San Diego at a stop light, if I’m turning left, I watch people turn in front of me and about 90% of them are either frowning or not happy, while 10% of them are happy and smiling. 90% of the people are driving very nice cars. And then I come to Nicaragua and it’s the exact opposite. 90% of the people turn and are happy with big smiles on their faces, and the cars they’re driving are way below the levels in San Diego. The happiness level is extremely high in Nicaragua, where the money level is much lower than in San Diego.
 
(Motor bike riding, Chinandega, Nicaragua, pictured.)
 
 
Daniel Snider of Snider's Realty Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Beachfront home, San Juan del Sur, NicaraguaWhat your neighbors would be like in Nicaragua completely depends on where you live. I live out here in Tola, which is on the coast of southern Nicaragua. I live inside a gated community called Hacienda Iguana and I have a good hundred expat neighbors who come from all over the world—Canada, Europe, South America, a lot of Venezuelans, a lot of Spaniards, and obviously a lot of Americans. It’s a mixed batch of people but we all get along.
 
If you live in a little bit more densely populated place like Managua what your neighbors would be like depends where you’re living, as well.  You could have Nicaraguan neighbors or you could have more of an expat community. The town of San Juan del Sur, on the southern Pacific coast would be a good example of a huge expat community mixed in with a lot of local Nicaraguans that have been living there their whole lives and for many generations.
 
I live in a gate-guarded community where close to 100% of the population is expats, but where expats live is a mixed bag. Many times expats do prefer to live within these gated communities just because they are very organized and people share certain resources like water and it gives you a sense of community, but definitely not all expats do this, and it is safe to live outside of these gate-guarded communities. Nicaragua is just beginning to have gated communities, as opposed to others countries such as Mexico, where for several decades people have been going down there from the States and have probably hundreds of gated communities. Here in Nicaragua, we have just a handful of gated communities and then the rest of the expats are wherever you choose to live, which could be just as nice. 
 
(Beachfront home, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, pictured.)
Marissa Gabrielle Lolk of Jireh Dental Care – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Meal in a backyard in Managua, Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingWho your neighbors would be in Nicaragua depends on where you live. My neighbors are pretty cool. Some of them speak English, and some of them actually went to school in the US and then came back. Some of my neighbors are Brazilian, so they speak Portuguese. There is a mix of everything so who your neighbors are would really depend on where you live.
 
If you’re an expat that has gotten it into your mind that you will live at the beach, then you’re probably going to run into a lot of foreigners.
 
If you’re an expat who’s thinking you would live up in the mountains up north then you will probably meet a lot of people that are country folk or simple folk. They are very sweet but they do not have much exposure to culture because they are up north.
 
People from Leon or those from the south are also really sweet. They do not look like they live in the city even if they are living in the city. They are just ordinary people who like to help you get around so if you ask for help, they will help you out and explain things to you. They will explain the white taxi to you, and where you get charged a little bit more if you look foreign. In Nicaragua, if you are gringo but you know the ropes, they would not charge you ”the gringo tax.” Just tell them, “No, I know that’s not what it costs.” You also haggle in the market.
 
My neighbors in Managua are different from the neighbors in South Pasadena, California, where I come from, in a sense that my neighbors here have this Latin American vibe. People here are more laidback. I live in a gated community so everybody knows everybody, which is something that you do not have in the States. In the States, I never got to know my neighbors. I wouldn’t go to their house and have a barbecue with them. But now, I’d go to my neighbor’s house, I’d have a glass of wine, have a barbecue, etc.
 
(Meal in a backyard in Managua, Nicaragua, pictured.)
Zachary Lunin of Aurora Beachfront Realty – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Expats researching a home in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingIn Nicaragua, who your neighbors are depends on where you decide to live. People here in Nicaragua are very open and your neighbors would probably invite you over and have a cocktail to get to know you. Wherever you are in Nicaragua your neighbors would always want to meet you.
 
Even though we have a huge group of foreigners such as we do here in San Juan Del Sur, it’s still far and away a Nicaraguan town, so the majority of people here are Nicaraguans. There are some residential developments and areas that are more foreigner-owned than not. But in San Juan Del Sur is still composed of towns and most of the people here are Nicas (Nicaraguans).  A lot of the tourists who come here are also Nicas, who come from Managua, Matagalpa, Leon, or from other parts of Nicaragua. They come here to San Juan Del Sur just for the weekend so they are tourists just like some of the foreigners who come.  
 
(Expats researching a home in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, pictured.)
 
Darrell Bushnell – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Door ro the cathedral in Granada, Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingOne of the names for the city of Granada, Nicaragua is “The City of Doors.” That is because the doors here are unique. They are very large, wooden, old doors that existed way back when the city was founded in the year 1523.
 
Another reason why it is the city of doors is because when you open a door to a home, you may see a beautifully restored home or you may see a common middle class home.
 
There is not much "grouping" of people here in Granada. There might be one street where there are more gringos living than in other places, but that is not generally the case. As an example, where I live, the house next to us is 600 square feet and has a Nicaraguan family of 11 living in it. On the other side is a a house occupied by a more well to do Nicaraguan who does graphic arts, and across the street from our house is a small hotel. So your neighbors here in Granada could be anybody. There are no homogenous neighborhoods here.

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