So I figure that before I dive into Guatemala, I’d better finish up with Nicaragua. Ha! As if I can divide my experiences.

My last trip is Nicaragua was to Masaya, a small town south of Managua (the capitol) famed for its shopping, particularly hammocks. And I bought one. Because when you’ve got no space in your backpack and 1.5 more months of foot-travel, naturally you must acquire a hammock!

A family-owned hammock factory.
A family-owned hammock factory. Men in Nicaragua have something against shirts.
Selling hammocks on the street.
Selling hammocks on the street.

Hammocks are just so Nicaraguan. I think, though I haven’t been in every country, that they’re very Latin American. Laid-back and easy. Unroll them when the sun’s out, roll them back up when the rain comes.

Also, it was Masaya’s saint day, and so there was a group of niños performing a masquerade in the streets. They were dressed up as little devils: scary costumes or animals for the boys, and brightly colored Spanish-influenced costumes and devil tails for the girls.

Un diablito y una diablita.
Un diablito y una diablita.
A boy in a lion costume.
A boy in a lion costume.
Una diablita, preparing to head home.
Una diablita, preparing to head home.

After the little celebration, I wandered around town and chatted to a bunch of locals. My favorite thing about travelling is talking to locals. Usually people are just so happy that I want to learn about their culture that they open right up.

Moms love when I complement their kids. Grandmas love when I tell them I like their outfits. Kids love it when I take an interest in their toys. Fathers love when I talk politics. It’s such a simple thing to do – start a conversation. And yet it can result in such powerful interactions.

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Watching the celebration.
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Two sisters.
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weird-ass looking baby.
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Riding a bike, Nica-style.
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A musician from the kids’ celebration.
Relámpagos! Literally: lightnings. Sweet fried rolls filled with atol (maize and sugar pudding). I asked the seller why they are called "lightnings" and she responded, "because that's what they're called."
Relámpagos! Literally: lightnings. Sweet fried rolls filled with atol (maize and sugar pudding). I asked the seller why they are called “lightnings” and she responded, “because that’s what they’re called.”
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Wall art. “The key that opens more doors: Education.”
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