Words by Cameo Fucci.
Hola from Nicaragua, Central America!
On September 23, 2014, I left the cold east coast of Massachusetts and moved down to sunny Granada in hopes of creating a recreation program with the non-profit organization called Amped for Education. Amped creates educational opportunities for the underprivileged students of Pantanel (a small, impoverished community 5 minutes outside of Granada). We want to encourage students to continue learning and to help them understand that education is incredibly valuable, no matter where you are in the world.
Since making the trek down here two months ago, a lot has happened. I have made charming new friends, I have encouraged children to learn, my Spanish has improved and I even learned to surf! Although I am still a beginner, I have had the opportunity to learn at some pretty amazing surf spots. San Juan Del Sur is a popular surf spot in Nicaragua and is about a two hour “chicken” bus ride from my home base.
The town is lively, the beaches are beautiful, and the waves are perfect for beginners or experts. Playa Maderas is the beach we usually pick to surf. It’s a 25-minute rickety shuttle ride to get there from town but the waves are always worth it. If you have your board with you, you can strap it to the top of the shuttle or there are board rentals right on the beach.
If you’re looking for a more secluded spot to surf, Playa Gigante is the place to be. The town is quiet and there are beaches and beaches to choose from. If you’re lucky enough to come down during the low season, one particular beach has very few people at it. You can sometimes have the entire beach and the waves to yourself! Either way, whichever surf spot you choose, you will have an ear-to-ear smile across your face the whole ride.
My favorite things about Nicaragua are the foods, the prices and the 85 degree water. There are street vendors at every corner selling enchiladas, empanadas, tacos, and plantain chips. Any of those snacks will cost you 10-20 cordobas (about 50 cents – $1). The markets are an amazing place to be as well. You can buy pounds and pounds of fruits and veggies for under $10 in the market.
This place is a hidden gem and I am incredibly grateful to call it my current home. Never regret taking that leap of faith to move and experience something new, it will always be worth it! :)
To learn more about Amped for Education or to find out how you can join us on a trip, visit www.ampedforeducation.org.
X Cameo Fucci