Bluefields, A City Slowly Striving

Bluefields, RAAS, 28Jul-Bluefields is truly the paradise of the Caribbean. This beautiful city may appear to be many centuries behind the rest of the world mostly because of the havoc left behind by hurricane Joan in 1988 and the dereliction of the central government.

The unemployment rate is approximately 85% and most people depend on money from abroad to survive. A large percentage of young people work on tourist ships to sustained their families. Bluefields is known as the Dollar capital of Nicaragua. Many merchants make the move from the Pacific to set up shops in this forgotten paradise to earn the dollars but reinvesting none of it in the community.

Bluefields, though centuries behind by some, is not really that far off from the rest of the world. The city has improved so much that you don't even realize it when you are visiting. Here are some of the few changes this city and the Caribbean coast has gone through.

The City has gone from:

1. Marine radio for communication purposes to telephone.
2. Radio to TV.
3. Type writers to computers.
4. Mailing letters to sending an email with the click of a mouse.
5. Watching the Costa Rican TV channels to having its own local cable TV.
6. Waiting for a check in the mail to having it wired, in most cases less than 24hours using money transfers services such as Money Gram, Western Union and SLC Money Link.
7. Donkey carts to almost 1,000 cars.
8. Primary schools to universities.
9. Eight hour combination of boat and bus ride to the capital to a 45:00 minute plane ride.

Really, the only thing that Bluefields does not have is a direct ground transportation link to the Capital.

Bluefields is truly an Eden in its own way. Its culture is very rich, its people are respectable and humble. Music is the main stay of the people, reggae and soca is what keep them going no matter how hard a situation may be. As most reggae lyrics identify with the everyday situation of life. It has been embraced since the early 1970's. Clearly the people have found their culture in the music. When reggae music first arrived on the coast it was not well received by most Spanish speaking Nicaraguans but like everything else in life a change must come one day. Reggae has now moved into almost every home including the nightclubs on the Pacific coast such as "Island Taste" and the "Reggae Mansion". These are two popular clubs where Ladinos dance to the rhythms every weekend. Island Taste is the people's choice on the Pacific coast.

The people from this Caribbean paradise are so friendly and inquisitive that when the Ladinos visit the coast they are always greeted with smiling faces. There is always someone willing to teach them the reggae and soca moves at the clubs and outdoor celebrations. Americans and Europeans are greeted in the same manner once they arrive to this entrancing city.

Bluefields is just a part of this amazing Caribbean Eden. It is surrounded by beautiful communities such as Haulover, Pearl Lagoon, Tasba Pauni, Karawala, Brown Bank, Orinoco, Rama Key etc. These communities are made up of Indians, Blacks and Garifunas of African decent. Then there is captivating Corn Island and Little Island. These are places one cannot miss when visiting this unspoiled Caribbean paradise.

Bluefields is a happy town. You can never tell if there is any hardship going on in the city. Music plays day and night as the warm summer breeze blow in from the nearby sea. To see how lively this city gets, you must visit on these dates:

January 1 (new year's day celebration)

April (Easter season) is the time the majority flock to their favorite bathing sites such as: (Kukra point, Corn Island, Little Island, and Awas).

The month of May is the celebration of May Pole. This is when the native dance to traditional may pole music as they gather around a pole to plait it with different color ribbons.

August is the month the emancipation of slavery is celebrated on Corn Island. A nightlong celebration goes on in which crab soup is served.

September 15 (Independence Day)

October is the month Bluefields birthday is celebrated. Here you can watch the natives dance in the carnival similar to but not as big as the carnival celebrated in Trinidad and Tobago, New York, Washington DC, Miami and Toronto. You see, the Institute of Tourism has never been interested in promoting the Caribbean coast culture of Nicaragua abroad.

Reliable sources have said that there are people currently working to change this situation. They are joining forces with the DC Carnival 2002 committee to bring the Carnival dancers from Bluefields to participate in the DC Carnival. The intention is to promote Bluefields and its culture to the world, especially to the Caribbean communities. The city is "slowly striving to catch up with rest of the world". (SLC, Inc. is one organization making sure it does as much it can to make this possible) Maybe one day Carnival will become as big as it is in the other Caribbean countries.

December 25, (Christmas Day).

If you are really looking for a relaxing place to vacation and to explore, Bluefields and its surrounding communities is the place for you.Bluefields welcome you with open arms.

gal

 


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