Corbin Hiebert first found her way to Nicaragua through her father, Patrick Hiebert, who is Vice President of Sales and Marketing with ECI Development, and owns the Vida Del Mar company that is located at the Gran Pacifica Resort. They are both native Canadians and came from Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Corbin has been a return visitor to Gran Pacifica Resort since childhood and has always enjoyed her time in Nicaragua.
Corbin and her partner, Dan Vandoormaal, joined us at Gran Pacifica in October of last year. They loved it so much here they stayed a little longer than planned! Corbin graduated college in 2014 with a degree in Early Childhood Education, which is not surprising, since her passion is working with children. Most residents and guests of the resort will recognize her as the Director of Resort Activities, however, she also excelled in her role with the Social Responsibility Committee by helping to acquire donations, visiting orphanages, and handling school assessments. She also organized some wonderful events for Gran Pacifica, such as bonfires by the beach, Easter activities, Christmas and New Year events, slip & slide pool parties, potluck dinners at Meatgrinder’s Bar, and even Salsa dancing!
Corbin recalled when she first arrived in Nicaragua, she “stuck out like a sore thumb”! Of course, back then tourism was not as developed as it is today. Nicaraguans are now used to seeing all the visitors and growing expat communities around them. She also was looking forward to improving her Spanish-speaking skills while she was here, but since many natives are now speaking English, she wasn’t able to learn much!
There is no doubt that Corbin is an adventurer. Moving to a new country is quite an adventure in itself, but there were lots of things she wanted to learn about Nicaragua and the people who lived here. Her first exploration was learning how to cook native dishes. She thinks it’s amazing to learn about different cultures through the way food is prepared. Improving her surfing skills was also on her list, but she had no idea how difficult it would be! Her favorite thing about living here were the community get togethers at Asauchillo Beach and the friendships she developed.
When we last talked about Nicaragua becoming a developed country, she had an interesting viewpoint on the subject. When you grow up in a country that’s already developed, your values become very different. She said, “My age group was exposed to social media and a lot of technology at a very early age. We were constantly being exposed to all of the ‘cool and amazing things’ that other people were doing, and we all wanted to get things done fast! I think that gave my age group unrealistic goals. Here in Nicaragua, people are very easy-going and their main concern is spending time with family. I think North Americans could learn a thing or two from Nicaraguans about slowing down and living in the present, and not always thinking about the future!”
Corbin said that her time here has gone by so quickly, she has not missed “home” very much. However, she is really looking forward to working with children again once she gets back to Canada. Corbin promised she’ll be back one day for a visit, so in the meantime…we’ll just push pause.