Nestled away in the southern corner of Nicaragua lies San Juan del Sur, a picturesque town on the Pacific coast, just 85 miles from the capital city, Managua, and bordering with Costa Rica. A tiny colony of Americans and Europeans have found a new home here, attracted by the area’s natural beauty, security, and tranquility.
In a country plagued by political persecution of opposition by President Daniel Ortega, this little corner of paradise has managed to attract foreigners who seek an escape from the tumultuous situation in the country.
San Juan del Sur is an ideal place to retire or set up a business, with its stunning landscapes and favorable climate. Many expats first visited as tourists and decided to stay permanently, while others were recently attracted by lax COVID-19 vaccine rules. American Christina Alty, who came to surf 10 years ago, has since set up an estate agency.
She loves the lifestyle of Nicaragua and everything it has to offer, such as the beaches, hiking, and scenery. Her clients enjoy the different lifestyle change, and she is amazed at how it is a lot slower pace of life in Nicaragua than wherever they came from.
The town boasts two bilingual schools that combine formal education with open-air classes. Adelante school director Jaime Lynn Hunter says, “We are in a very natural environment, surrounded by mango, almond, and plum trees, and I think parents like to send their children here because they don’t feel enclosed.
They have the necessary space to stretch, run and be children.” The school, which was established in 2016 to teach English to local children with the cooperation of US and Japanese NGOs, has 170 preschool and primary pupils.
The students follow the Nicaraguan curriculum, but classes alternate between Spanish and English from one week to the next. Hunter says she is delighted that their children are safe in an outdoor setting, not enclosed by gates or closed doors, and they don’t need to be afraid of anything serious, such as shootings, which are common in US schools these days.
The other bilingual school, San Juan del Sur Day School, has 175 pupils, with 43 percent coming from 17 different foreign countries, including the US, Britain, and Russia. The schools’ existence speaks volumes about the kind of community that San Juan del Sur is building. Education is a top priority for parents who are looking for a safe and healthy environment for their children to grow up in.
San Juan del Sur is a beautiful country with an enchanting past. Every year, around 30 cruise ships from the US, Canada, and Europe dock at the port in San Juan del Sur, according to the tourism ministry. In the mid-19th century, thousands of east coast Americans passed through this small town during the US gold rush, on their way to California.
One of them was writer Mark Twain, who shares a monument with Nicaraguan poet Ruben Dario in a town square. It remains a popular destination for tourists today, with visitors flocking to enjoy the town’s bars, restaurants, whale watching, and landscapes.
San Juan del Sur is a town that offers everything from surfing and beaches to stunning scenery and outdoor activities. With its slow-paced lifestyle, it offers a unique experience that is hard to find in many other places. It’s no wonder that expats and tourists alike flock to San Juan del Sur. The people are friendly, and the environment is safe and healthy.
Despite the political turmoil in Nicaragua, San Juan del Sur remains a hidden gem that offers a tranquil and peaceful escape from the chaos of the world.