The crime rate in Nicaragua is the least in Central America. If you go the tourist places, you have some muggings—somebody will grab your purse, a wallet, a cellphone—you know, if you are going to walk around with your Galaxy 6 or flash jewelry, you’re asking for trouble. I left all my gold and all my jewelry at home because I don’t want to entice anyone to mug me.
Other than that, I feel really secure. For example, there’s a place called Guanica, which is by the sea. They tell me that there a lot of gangsters in that town but I’ve walked there with my flashy purse, and nobody’s ever bothered me. I think it’s your attitude, too. You know, if I see somebody walking by me and they stare at me, I’m going to stare them down. You have to have an attitude when you’re here.
I don’t exactly live in the tourist place. Matagalpa, where I live, is a mountain city, so the amount of crime here is very, very low in comparison to let’s say Granada or San Juan del Sur, where the tourists are. Wherever the tourists are, you’re going to have more crime. You know, they’ll open their wallet and flash all of their bills. You have to be careful with what you do. I know people who have been there for years and they never had a problem and then I hear horrible things happening to people there. Definitely, if you go to Honduras, the level of crime is very, very high. Nicaragua is known for having the lowest crime rate in Central America.
Comparing the crime here with where I used to live in Las Vegas is very good question. Las Vegas is actually very guarded. You walk into a 7/11 and there’s a guard. There are guards everywhere in Vegas. It’s a 24 hour a day town so Las Vegas is a pretty bad example, so a better example is an average city in America, where I would not go anywhere at night by myself, just like I won’t do it here. Overall, the crime rate here is definitely lower than in an average city in the US.
I speak the language so that really helps because they don’t look at me like a 100% gringo. They just can’t figure me out. So I have the advantage of speaking the language, which is a huge plus relative to my safety. I understand the culture. I’m very aware of my persona when I walk down the street.
My house doesn’t have burglar bars, dogs and lights. Where I live is a suburban community. It’s almost like a United States community. It’s not gate guarded, but we do have security guards on patrol 24 hours a day. As far as my safety for my life, I have no concerns about that. If I chose to, I could take a walk at night in my neighborhood without any safety concerns.