Thursday, 10 September 2009

Masaya and poverty

Masaya Crater
Double click on the pic

Today we saw another part of Nicaragua, the not so pretty one, away from the restored colonial glories of Granada and the tranquility of Ometepe.
Last night Sangita and I bumped into Heika and Stephan, the couple I had climbed the volcano with and we arranged to go down to Masaya for the day.
Me and the kids
Masaya is famous for two things, its markets and the volcano.
After a 45 minute ride in a bus we got to the town and hailed a cab to the volcano. It is not a trekking area, as you would only be able to walk on the road.
Once you get there it is spectacular, especially if you had never seen a proper active volcano crater before. When I got to the top of Concepcion it had been covered with clouds.
It is how I imagine Mars to be, the gases are overwhelming. It is like a Jules Verne novel.
Back in town, Masaya's markets, both the tourist market and the local one, are just mostly full of tat. I don't think this area is actually good for handicrafts.
This is the dress you buy your daughter to have nightmares
But some of it was upsetting. Turtles disecadas holding ashtrays or dried frogs holding small bottles of rum.
What has your wife done to deserve this? It is officially the worst dress in the world
Poverty is rife in this part of the world. Sangita and I ate in the market and when we had almost finished a kid approached us. He wanted us to leave him some food. We stayed behind to ensure that the plate was not taken from him by the people running the market restaurant.
It is so depressing to see these kids, their childhood drifting away, lost in this misery. There is no hope for any of them, yet he still thanked us for the food, and kept part of the chicken to take to his friend, a smaller kid standing a bit behind.
I got really upset in the tourist market. A mother stood in the blazing heat begging. In her arms a kid. The child, around 5 or 6, suffered from 'waterhead', not sure what the name of the deformation is. His head was deformed, maybe three times its size.
She played on our guilt, but what else could she do.
Masaya Bus Terminal

Leaving the town from the main bus terminal I kept thinking of India, everywhere was full of rubbish, the street vendors, the conductors shouting their destinations. Will this country be able to offer anything comparable to the immense human potentional of India?


  1. Poverty is a terrible thing - makes you realise how lucky we are in the developed world. The thought of those street kids brought a tear to me eye. I hope you get repaid with some good karma for your kindness to that boy x

  2. The bus terminal looks chaotic to say the least!! Is it my imagination or are the buses very long?

  3. I think Karma has already been given to me, I got some great friends that have avoided that I would have ever been in those situations

  4. I'll have one of those dresses in lime green, please. Although I better be careful near naked flames when I'm wearing it...

  5. I thought about you as soon as I saw the dresses, it would have been a b*itch fest!!!!