Traveling to Nicaragua with TV Equipment


When I traveled to Nicaragua for HD Net’s World Report as a Cameraman shooting a documentary on Free Trade Coffee with Correspondent Greg Dobbs  several years ago, it was relatively easy to get production equipment into the country. Not so this time!

Upon our entry into Nicaragua on October 30th, 2012, I was told that I could enter the country with my camera pack (which luckily included batteries, recording media and a couple of wireless microphones) but that my support equipment consisting of lights, tripods, audio mixer, microphones and assorted cables, stands, and other accessories would stay in customs until I left the country. No amount of pleading changed the fact that I was looking at a fourteen day production schedule sans most of my stuff.

Luckily for me there was a beacon of hope in the darkness that surrounded me. Radio Shack! Their forty dollar special on a tripod rated at two pounds was a far cry from my Gitzo legs and Sachtler head languishing in customs, however it wasn’t time to be choosy. Armed with my shiny, new aluminum support system we made good TV anyway.

We’re currently nearing the mid-point of a seven week production trip exploring the lives of North American expatriates living in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Columbia and Ecuador. (It was much easier to enter Costa Rica with gear and we’ve checked to make sure we’ll have no trouble entering Columbia and Ecuador.) The pilot programs, Expat’s Paradise, Discovering Panama 1 and 2 were shot in 2011. The entire first season of Expat’s Paradise should be ready for air in May, 2013

We’ve met some wonderful people in Panama, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, both Expats and locals, and we’re looking forward to making more new friends in Columbia and Ecuador. We’ll be posting new videos soon so come back and check it out as we share with all of you what we’ve learned about living the Expat life in Latin America. We’ll show you the good, the bad, the beautiful and the not so beautiful facts about expat living on Expat’s Paradise.

We’re learning that Paradise isn’t where you find it, it’s where you make it! Nothing really great happens without your commitment to be part of the community but the rewards are worth the effort.

Brian Gill

P.S. We’re not the only ones having trouble with customs in Nicaragua. They held up ten of seventeen boxes of children’s books (for several months) for a  bi-lingual school pre-kinder  through 4th grade  run by expatriates.

For help importing your stuff you may want to contact  Murphy O’Brien Public Relations an agency located in southern California that helps smooth the way with customs in Nicaragua.

The website is and the phone numbers are (310) 586-7120 or (619) 370-7008.  The Account Executive we dealt with is:  MJ Salcido.  Her e mail is:

or you may Contact INTUR (Nicaragua’s tourism bureau) for more information. Copy and paste this to get to the English version of their website.

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