The 6 Things I Miss Most About Nicaragua

Posted by Angela Smetana on Mar 21, 2019 5:04:07 PM

Nicaragua will always have a special place in my heart. It’s a place I called home for 12 years. It is where I met my Nicaraguan husband and where we chose to raise our two boys.

In 2018, we made the very tough decision to leave Nicaragua and head to Belize, and then to the US.
There are a few things that I did not like so much. But my love for the country is far greater than any of them!

So here are The Top 6 Things I Miss Most About Nicaragua.

The 6 Things I Miss Most About NicaraguaMy friend Melissa (left) and I at a road side fruit stand

Back-to-the-Basics: What does back-to-the-basics mean, you might ask? To me, it means taking a step back in time. When technology was not a part of our everyday lives and when time and money were not measured with such importance. It means spending time with family and friends, reminiscing about memories and laughing for hours until your face hurts. It’s “pushing pause” and not being tangled in the web of the fast pace of life that most North Americans are used to. Nicaragua allows you to focus on what is truly most important in life.

IMG_5385Fresh fruit from the market

Fresh Food: Nicaragua IS the Land of Lakes and Volcanoes. The earth here is very rich, with many natural resources. The Spanish Conquistadors learned that first-hand when they arrived shortly after the country was discovered in the early 1500’s.

Fruits that we might consider exotic in North America, such as pineapples, mangos, avocados, dragonfruit, and passionfruit all grow in abundance here. There are many rivers that provide fish, and oceans that offer a wide variety of seafood. It’s not uncommon to see locals fishing for a living, or to complement their diet.

My husband and I would go fishing on occasion, catching mackerel, red snapper, snook, or amberjack. The Sea Salt Restaurant at Gran Pacifica, they offer to cook the fish for you if you’d rather not cook it yourself. It comes as no surprise that my diet and overall health is much better in Nicaragua than when compared with the processed and fast foods we are used to in developed countries.

The 6 Things I Miss Most About NicaraguaA family and friends gathering at Gran Pacifica

Family First: It’s not uncommon to see multiple generations living under one roof, or family members such as brothers, sisters, cousins, etc. living in multiple homes next to each other. The “It Takes a Community to Raise a Child" really applies to Nicaraguans as children typically have multiple family members at home to watch them if a parent must work. Grandparents and great-grandparents who are no longer physically able to work are taken care of just as much as the children are. Everyone contributes in some form or another, and no family member is left behind.

The 6 Things I Miss Most About NicaraguaEnjoying home made "pico de gallo", plantain chips, and fresh fruit

Help with Household Chores: For the past 8 + years, I have spent almost zero time doing household chores or cooking, and more time with my family. Imagine coming home and not ever having to sweep or mop the floors, wash dishes, clean the bathrooms, or wash and fold laundry. Imagine heading straight to the beach to collect seashells or go body/surfboarding. Or going to visit friends with their kids to hang out. Or going out for a ride in a golf cart to explore around the property. That was my life for 8+ years while living at Gran Pacifica. It. Was. Wonderful!

20160619_130034Grilling "carne asada" at our home

It would not have been possible had hiring someone to help us around the house not been an affordable option. We hired a local woman who we trusted with our kids and home and we were able to provide her a great job with benefits (medical, vacation, bonuses, etc), and a warm meal each day. Same goes with gardening, pool, and maintenance help. Very affordable.

Weather/Climate: Nicaragua has basically two seasons: Dry, and wet (green). The green season runs from May to November. And dry is from December to April. Temperatures almost never dip below 75°F.

GranPacifica SunSetBeautiful sunset at Gran Pacifica

GranPacifica SunSetThere can never be too many sunset pictures

I love being warm and being able to spend time outdoors with my family. I enjoy being able to work in the garden year round, and BBQ as often as possible. I also love the green/rainy season. The rainfall typically is short-lived and then the sun is out shining again. And the lighting/thunderstorms that they bring are amazing. It only takes a rain or two for the landscape to turn green and lush again after many months of almost no rain. It’s a tropical paradise!

The 6 Things I Miss Most About NicaraguaAmazing colors of a Nicaragua sunset

The People: There’s a reason I save this for last 😊. Nicaraguans are naturally kind-hearted people. They are willing to go the extra mile to make you feel comfortable and at home in their country and are resourceful, compassionate, and hardworking. The kind of people that are hard not to like and be around!

The 6 Things I Miss Most About NicaraguaMy husband, Osman after catching dinner, (amber jack) from the shoreline at Gran Pacifica Resort

Have you been to Nicaragua before? Comment below, I’d love to hear your reasons as to why you love Nicaragua!

Never been, but you’d like to learn more? Click here to request our Nicaragua Handbook. Feel free to contact me if you're interested in exploring the country, or would like to check out what’s available for rent or to own at our Gran Pacifica Community.

Hasta Pronto!


 ECI Development delivers affordable luxury residence and resort communities in Central America, providing our clients with various premier lifestyle options from the Caribbean to the Pacific. ECI delivers inspired residences for adventurous souls.

Coupled with over 20 years of inherent corporate social responsibility in the communities where we work, ECI Development is building a sustainable business that is going to be around for the next 100+ years.

Angela Smetana

Written by Angela Smetana

Born and raised in a small town in Idaho, after completing high school, Angela traveled to Washington State on a volleyball scholarship, where she earned her AA degree. She then continued on with her athletic scholarship and studies to Colorado. During that time, she worked for several hotels and restaurants with Spanish speaking co-workers, which motivated her to venture out, see the world, and learn a new language! In 2005, after earning her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, she applied to the Peace Corps. She eventually was invited to complete a 2-year stint as a Business Administration Volunteer in Nicaraguan. From 2006-2008, she was stationed in a small town called Telica, where she was the only English speaker! It was sink or swim, as she quickly started to pick up Spanish! During her service, she worked in a few local high schools alongside Nicaraguan counterparts, teaching “Productivity” classes, which showed them how to start and manage a small business. She also completed many secondary projects, including starting a recycling project, painting world maps, appling for small grants, and beginning multiple community banks, that are still running to date. In 2006, after completing her Peace Corps service and earning the “most integrated volunteer” award, she decided she wanted to continue on the path-less-traveled, and stay in country. She helped a friend start-up a surf tour company, where she frequently visited and stayed at Gran Pacifica while with clients on all-inclusive luxury packages. After a year, she decided to move on and applied to be an administrative volunteer in a Private Wildlife Reserve, where she met her now husband, Osman. After hearing of opportunities at Gran Pacifica in the rental and property management company, they made the move in 2010.

Topics: Gran Pacifica in Nicaragua, moving to Nicaragua, Food in Nicaragua, Living in Latin America, Nicaraguan Culture, Living In Nicaragua