Life in the Villages (Chinandega, Nicaragua)

Young kids dressed in school uniforms make their way toward school… Moms balance plastic buckets of corn on their heads as they walk to the mill… Old men sit in the shade of trees chatting with others…  Young men wield machetes with precision as they clear grasses out of drainage ditches…  It’s life in rural Nicaragua.

We hit the road at 5:30 this morning and enjoyed a couple hours of watching Nicaragua wake up as we cycled in the relative cool.  What a delight!

When we finally pulled into Chinandega around noon and started wandering around looking for a hotel, we saw a few backpackers wandering around – and I felt a moment of pity for them.  Don’t get me wrong – I’m sure they are having the time of their lives.  I know I did when I backpacked through this area 22 years ago.  But I can’t help but feel they are missing the best part of Nicaragua – the rural part.

I remember way back in the dark ages when I went to India for the first time.  I traveled around the country by train and remember gazing out the train window at all those small villages and the multitude of daily activities that whizzed past before my eyes.  I got a split second glimpse of rural life, but when the train finally stopped and I got off in the city, life was very different.  That’s when I made the decision to go back – with a bicycle.

My love affair with life in rural villages around the globe has never faded and I still love watching life unfold in front of my eyes.  I love slowly pedaling through remote towns and seeing people go through their daily routines.  There’s something special about it, and I don’t think I’ll ever tire of watching it all.

Kilometers today:  76
Kilometers to date: 13,325


A beautiful start to the day

A beautiful start to the day

We had beautiful views of the San Cristobel volcano all day!

We had beautiful views of the San Cristobel volcano all day!

After the beautiful ride to town, arriving into Chinandega was a bummer!

After the beautiful ride to town, arriving into Chinandega was a bummer!


books by Nancy Sathre-Vogel

About Nancy Sathre-Vogel

After 21 years as a classroom teacher, Nancy Sathre-Vogel finally woke up and realized that life was too short to spend it all with other people's kids. She and her husband quit their jobs and, together with their twin sons, climbed aboard bicycles to see the world. They enjoyed four years cycling as a family - three of them riding from Alaska to Argentina and one exploring the USA and Mexico. Now they are back in Idaho, putting down roots, enjoying life at home, and living a different type of adventure. It's a fairly sure bet that you'll find her either writing on her computer or creating fantastical pieces with the beads she's collected all over the world.

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2 Responses to Life in the Villages (Chinandega, Nicaragua)

  1. Ellie June 3, 2009 at 4:04 pm #

    I absolutely share your love to rural villages… The first picture is a masterpiece ;D It looks like a painting..

  2. nancy June 3, 2009 at 4:07 pm #

    I think that pic might very well be the best one we’ve gotten on our trip! John saw that as we pulled out of town first thing in the morning. I’m glad he saw it, cuz I blasted right by it and didn’t see it at all!

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