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Paul Daemen of Aurora Granada – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Guadalupe Church, Granada, Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingWhat are expats like in Granada? Well, they are retirees, investors or seasonal tourists or people that live year round in and around Granada. Some have a tourist visa and others are either pensionado (retired) or inversionista (investor) and yet others are perpetual tourists leaving the country every 90 days to get a new visa for 90 days. Some speak fluent Spanish yet others have learned to make due without really learning the language, but picking up a few words here and there. 
 
Some might own a home and or business and others rent. We have been here since 2015, and full time in 2016 after we purchased a home outside of Granada. Some expats love to live in Granada with its great colonial architecture, history, tourism, entertainment and ability to meet with other expats, and maybe to a degree people feel safer in Granada than in the smaller communities. Some expats are also involved in the arts, animal shelter, schools teaching English and more. But yet others like us live in smaller communities around Granada. We feel totally comfortable in Diria, very safe and quiet relative to Granada. But the quiet period is over in December or during other holidays. We feel that we have more opportunities to integrate with the local community than being in Granada. But as the saying goes, "different strokes for different folks".
 
We have a great mix of expats that are: French, German, Brits, Danish,  Dutch, Italian, Canadian, American, Chile, and more.....
 
There are expats here that have lived in Nicaragua for over 20 years and others for over ten years, which is the great majority. We have lived as expats in many countries in Latin America and other places. To us, Nicaragua is what the 80's was like in such countries as Venezuela and Colombia or even Mexico. Again, that's our view.
 
One thing you the reader needs to understand is that we all have different backgrounds and views on how we perceive Nicaragua and life in general in Granada. I would suggest don't take our opinion at face value but talk, listen, read and make up your own mind where to live and how to experience Granada and its surrounding areas.  
 
Come and visit. Some of you may decide to stay like we did!
 
(Pictured: Guadalupe church, Granada, Nicaragua.)
Miguel Moran – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Handcraft market, Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingExpats in Granada, Nicaragua are mainly older people who come here to try to get a house, get their lives in order, or find a hobby. You see them coming to the bank to do regular transactions, while others make some investments.
 
They're retired and really just want to get served and get someone to help them with daily activities in the house and prepare their meals. 
 
Most people who come to retire to Nicaragua are from the US. There are some Europeans, especially Danish people. Some Canadians are also coming in. However, 60% to 70% are from the States.  
 
(Handcraft market, Nicaragua, pictured.)
Esmerelda Vargas of Schuvar Tours – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Granada, Nicaragua, arial view of plaza – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingRelative to tourists in Granada, Nicaragua, you will find young people who want to come and have a little fun and have a learning encounter. These people can include graduates from universities up to 30 year olds. Then there are some who I would say are retired people, who spend lots of time in Granada.  During high season or vacation time, you will see a combination of every type of people. 
 
The expats who live in Granada, Nicaragua are a combination.  There are Americans but you would also see Europeans, Germans, and British. I’ve seen some French people who are owners of restaurants. There appear to be more Europeans than Americans. Most expats have their own businesses. Some restaurants and hotels are owned by Europeans. I don’t know too many Canadians but I would say Europeans, Americans, and then Canadians are the majority of the expats living in Granada. 
 
Expats in Granada mingle with locals. Most expats speak Spanish and many of them have also married Granadinos (local from Granada). 
 
Many expats have their own business so they are busy with their businesses. They have hotels, restaurants, etc. The people who come for vacation engage in nighttime activities such as going to bars, and discotheques.  Their daily activities would be horseback riding, boating, hiking at Mombacho Volcano, or just going to restaurants and sampling different types of food that are local to Granada. They have a lot of activities that they enjoy doing. 
 
Retired expats are usually just relaxing. They go walking and they have some hobbies like bird watching, going to the lake, or going fishing. 
 
(Pictured: Granada, Nicaragua, arial view of plaza.)
Carmen Sequeira of Avenicaraguita Spanish School – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Calle Calzada, Granada, Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingI thought it would be fun to answer this question from the perspective of a native of Granada, which we call “a Granadino”, and which includes me.

Most of the expats in Granada are not as tan as we, the native Granadinos. The expats here in Granada do, however, like to walk a lot. While we Nicaraguans use the shade-side of the street, the expats like to use the sunny-side of the street, which I find really fun. The expats are looking for the sun and the native Granadinos are always looking for the shade.

Many expats here in Granada walk around with their cameras and they speak some other language that is not Spanish.

The expats here in Granada are very nice people. They always have a ready smile for you and they are very friendly. I am the kind of person who also smiles back so that they feel welcome in my city. When I see an expat in the corner with a map and they look a little bit confused, I always try to help. The expats here in Granada are adventurous people. They live in a city that’s totally different from where they came from and they like doing a lot of risky and fun things.

You can also tell the expats apart by the way they dress. They usually wear shorts, they bring backpacks and they wear different kinds of sandals. The usually stay with themselves but there are a few here who really mix with the locals. 
 
(Tree-lined Calle Calzada, Granada, Nicaragua, pictured.)
Carlos Roman Gutierrez Solis of Casa Granada Properties – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account

More often than not, expats come to Granada to retire. Single men usually hang around, go to bars, drink beer, talk to other expats, and relax. Expats sometimes buy a house here in Granada and fix it, then live there the whole time. They connect with other people and look into potential businesses. Other expats come down here to do business, such as buying a piece of property and putting it back in the market. Others buy houses, renovate and they rent it out. Some expats buy houses by the lake or by the ocean. They use it for maybe 3 or 4 months to relax and then they go back home and work.

I also see interesting groups of Americans who bring their families here. Probably they are tired of living in the US and needs a new environment. They took their families to Nicaragua. A lot of expats are involved in social work, too. Others work for a church as a missionaries

 

We have a variety of expats in Granada, Rrestaurant in Granada, NIcaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingNicaragua, from different countries.  Mostly they are North American; Canadian and from different cities in the United States.  We have people from San Francisco, New York, Miami, surprisingly a lot of people from Arkansas, Los Angeles, and little by little we have people from other places in the US that I never anticipated would be part of the expat community—people from North and South Dakota, for example.  And then we have another group from Europe, mostly from Spain, England, Switzerland, Denmark, Holland, some people from Russia.

The expats in Granada have different levels of income.  We have middle class and middle-upper class.  We have some wealthier people who are looking to invest in a second home for rental income.  Also, we have people who are ready to retire and want to live full time in Granada.

Outside view of colonial home in Granada, Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe age of the expats in Granada will range mostly around the 50s to the 70s or so.  We have single expats and expats who come as a couple.  In the last two to three years, I have seen more families coming to live in Granada, trying to experience it, who bring their kids.  Now we have three bi-lingual schools in Granada that are filling that space where a family can bring their kids.

Also we have another group of Americans who perhaps work in Managua but who like to have a house in Granada, so they live in Granada.  These people commute from their home in Granada to their office in Managua.  The drive is a rather pleasant 45 minutes by car.  (I know this because I commute from my home in Managua to my office in Granada.)

About 6 out of the 10 expats who settle in Granada are people who have done a good amount of traveling prior to moving to Granada and people who have more experience with Latin countries.  Many have lived in another Latin country, so they don’t feel afraid or intimidated.  Generally, these expats are well educated.  Many are a bit bohemian or eclectic, have been working in different countries, and perhaps they are more familiar with Spanish.

The other 4 out of 10 expats who move to Nicaragua are a mix of people who:

  • perhaps saw Nicaragua on House Hunters International, on Survivor, read an article in the New York Post or one of the magazines about moving overseas;

  • married a Nicaraguan while in the States; or

  • traveled to another Central American country such as Costa Rica and then by accident or on purpose visited Nicaragua and decided that they liked it and wanted to settle here.

David Smith of Farmland Assets – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
I would estimate that 50% to 60% of the expats in Granada, Nicaragua are retirees.  We also have a lot of expats in Granada with small businesses, perhaps a restaurant or bed and breakfast.  We have a fair amount of people who are involved with non-governmental organizations (“NGOs”; charities).  As part of this group, we have a lot of people who are connected with medical charities in the United States who come here to Nicaragua to treat the populace for free. These organizations do a lot of operations and a lot of medical examinations.  Some years ago I was involved as a translator.
 
The vast majority of expats in Granada (maybe 75% or so) are Americans.  There are also Canadians, and a fair amount of Europeans—Italians, Dutch.
 
As far as the type of people who become expats in Granada, many are people who want to “live outside the box” a bit.  It’s a special kind of person who would live in Granada, especially an American who decides to live outside of the US.  Unlike Europeans, Americans tend not to be multi-lingual, while for the most part, Europeans are.
 
I’ve lived in Europe and Asia and of course Nicaragua, and my view is that the Americans who decide to live outside the US are a little bit different; more adventurous in some respects.
 
Here in Granada, unfortunately, depending on their age, many Americans are a little bit resistant to learning another language, but in other cases you see that, after a couple of years, many of them do pick up a basic understanding and try to interact with the Nicaraguans in their own language.
 
Many of the American expats in Granada don’t speak Spanish.  When I came here, that would have been a problem, because so few Nicaraguans spoke English that I had no choice but to learn Spanish.  Now, that’s no longer the case.  Over the years, as tourism has grown in Nicaragua and many American expats have moved in, many of the local Nicaraguans here speak English. Now, its easier to live here in Granada and not speak Spanish. 
John-Marc Gallagher of Granada Property Services – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
There’s been an interesting phenomenon happening in Granada, Nicaragua the last 2 to 3 years due to the opening of Sacuanjoche International School, started by my wife, Janice and I.  Before we opened the school, younger people who were traveling who would have liked to stay in Granada if there been an international bi-lingual school did not stay, and rather continued their travels to other parts of the world.
 
When the school opened, younger couples started to stay in Granada as opposed to just visiting for 3 – 6 months.  As they’ve stayed, they’ve opened businesses such as bars, restaurants and bakeries.  It turns out that the international school actually helped to attract younger families and enabled them to develop roots in Granada.  As a result, there’s a large and growing expat community in Nicaragua for 20 and 30-somethings.
Janice Gallagher of Granada Property Services – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
When I first moved to Granada, Nicaragua, there were about five of us ex-pats here. I opened a small restaurant which became the place to hang out and meet everyone. At that time, I did know everyone and just about everything going on (which was not much). Now, there are so many Americans, Canadians and Europeans living here that it is mind boggling. 
 
The ex-pat community is great and there are many things to keep us occupied like the Book Club, Dinner and a Movie Night, Friday night Mojitos on Calle La Calzada and more. Most ex-pats are very community minded and volunteer at community organizations. We help each other with problems and laugh at our silly mishaps. 
 
One of the most significant things taking place in Granada is the number of young families moving into our community. Now that we have a bilingual international school, they are bringing their families, starting businesses and enjoying life in a much more relaxed atmosphere. 

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