Faces of Granada, Nicaragua

 

Faces of Granada, Nicaragua

Outside of a fabric store on Calle Xalteva, a main street in Granada, a mother was walking with her timid daughter.

The juxtaposition of the hot pink dress against the blue crumbling wall along with the girl’s darling shy expression and pouty lips begged for the image to be captured.

“Con Permiso?”  With your permission I ask the toddler’s mother, but this adorable toddler was not happy about having her picture taken.

As a picturesque colonial city, Granda is one of the top destinations for not only tourists but expats who want to live abroad, experience a foreign culture and enjoy living in a a gracious society.

 

Because there is so much seasonal employment when agricultural crops require harvesting, as well as unemployment, it’s hard to make ends meet.    Even in households with a father employed, perhaps as a security guard, the wife may still bake tortillas filled with cheese and meats to sell in the streets or in Central Park, with her children alongside, or she may take in ironing or sewing to help with supporting the family.

Families, while poor, typically have a large support network of aunts, uncles, grandmothers, cousins, siblings and even their children that help contribute financially to the household.  Family relationships are extremely important, not just for survival, but for providing tons of love and affection and a lot of attention to babies, toddlers, young children and teenagers.  It takes a village to raise a family and Granada’s culture and lifestyle provides that village for their own family as well as keeping an eye out for their neighbor’s children.

 Be Merry in a Street Parade

Fireworks popping, horns playing, people marching and it’s a merry street parade.  Parades are a popular and common event on the streets of Granada.

What is everyone celebrating?

Usually the anniversary of the accession of a saint’s soul into heaven,  which is always a great excuse to fill the streets with merry making, carry flowers, put bows in girls hair, play music, sell snacks and be in a lively parade which occurs on just about weekly basis.

Variation on the Pink Theme:  Here is Ivania in a fushia folkloric dress.
She is a dance instructor, student, beauty contestant.  She is pictured here on top of one of the isletas or islands in Lake Nicaragua, formerly known as Lake Cocibolca.
It is a huge lake similar in size to the Great Lakes and has 365 tiny islands where some indigenous people live.  The islands are also sites for second residences of the affluent from Managua who want to escape the city on the weekends and enjoy boating and socializing with family and friends.
Nicaragua has strong folklore, music and religious traditions, deeply influenced by the Iberian culture but enriched with Amerindian sounds and flavors.
Tourism has been gradually growing in Granada as people come to understand that Nicaragua is now a relatively peaceful country full of natural beauty.  The people of Nicaragua are especially gracious, warm and fun loving.

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