The expats in San Juan Del Sur are a cast of characters. I always get a kick out of them!
San Juan Del Sur definitely draws a unique kind of expat; someone who likes a little adventure and someone who is looking at life to not be so predictable and easy. You definitely have to have some persistence here and a lot of patience because things are done differently. We still go days without water and days without electricity. Setting up a business is interesting, too. There is no direct roadmap for setting up a business here so you have to know some people and determine who you need to help you to get things done. But after you’re here for a while, then it works.
For example, in the US, you have AAA car service but here in San Juan Del Sur, you don’t need it. If your car breaks down, you call any of your friends and they will help you change a tire, or the first passerby will stop and help you.
Because so many of us expats have emigrated here to San Juan Del Sur, we really watch out for each other. We have a strong support system for one another, especially for young mothers. There is a growing group of mothers of young children here called San Juan Moms. We have meetings and we have a Facebook page where we ask each other questions and provide each other support.
There are now a lot more kids in San Juan Del Sur than there were seven years ago, when we came here. Seven years ago, there were only around six expat children who are living in San Juan Del Sur but now I have 60 children enrolled in our school and over half of them are expat kids. It has changed a lot in the last seven years and there are a lot of women who are here in San Juan Del Sur who organize activities such as play dates, group activities, and things like Santa Sittings.
There is also a new place in town called Mums and Bums, which is a play space for kids and family that was started by a mom from Botswana and another American lady. It is a nice play space for kids ages 2 to 10. It has a nice porch where you could get some coffee. You can sit there while your kids are inside playing. They have higher end, little knick-knacks and organic snacks. They also offer special classes like baby yoga, doing acrylic painting with your child, or making ceramics. They offer special events, too. Mums and Bums is doing really well and it is nice to see that a business like that can happen nowadays, whereas seven years ago, there wouldn’t have been any clients. We are getting more expat families with kids and some of the businesses are starting to emerge and grow along with the newly arriving families.
(Making footprint keepsakes at Mums and Bums, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, pictured.)