The Caribbean Coast And The Media

Gregory Lewin

June 21-How unfortunate it would be for the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua if any foreigner read the national newspapers of Nicaragua in the past month? The Caribbean coast of Nicaragua, especially the city of Bluefields, was portrayed as one of the worst places to visit because of illegal drugs and corruption. The reporters wrote about how scary it is to walk the streets of barrio Beholden. This is where the Ghetto, as they call it, is located. It seems the media in our country enjoy publicizing anything negative about the Caribbean coast when indeed there also are many good things happening on a daily basis. There are students graduating from schools. There are citizens helping each other with different things. There are teachers working hard to keep kids away from drugs and alcohol, but we see hardly any articles about this.

It is sad to see our home publicized for all the wrong reasons to the entire world. I am not blaming the reporters for doing their jobs. I wonder if perhaps they wrote any positive articles that just got buried by their editors. On December 24, 2002 SLC INC held their second annual Christmas dinner for the poor at the Moravian Sunday School hall in barrio Central― thanks to Mr. Allan Budier. Reporters were invited to the dinner but none showed. SLC fed almost 500 hundred less fortunate people from Barrio Pobre, as it is called. Not one article was written about this.

They talk about promoting tourism on the Caribbean coast but at the same time they are trying to scare away the tourist. How can you promote something and kill it at the same time?  As Lord Laro says “They are trying their best to stop our progress with bad propaganda in the foreign press, bad things are blown out of proportion and spread all around but the good things of the city they would never mention.”

Bluefields is a melting pot of different ethnicity, but if you notice, only the blacks using drugs were portrayed in the media reports. The Mestizos used drugs just as much as the blacks, maybe more, but you don't see them portrayed in any of the reports. A drug problem such as the one facing our communities did not come about overnight. For every action there is a reaction. In this case, unemployment is the biggest cause of our problems, and no one wants to take responsibility. Those in leadership position are distancing themselves from the situation. It is very sad when there are mayors from other communities making statements such as "my community is not as bad as Bluefields" instead of them coming together to work out a plan to fight the drug plagued. This attitude will not solve anything. Bluefields is the problem now, and if nothing is done about it, God help us all because the drug problems will spread like computers viruses.

There are organizations in Bluefields receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars (free) for the development of the indigenous people, but none to help the drugs addicts. How can this be when the people running these organizations are natives of Bluefields themselves? I would like to see what development has been done so far. We need to take back our streets and try to make Bluefields a safe place to live and raise our children. I have heard many people talking about retiring to live in Bluefields. I say to you, before you do, make sure you help to find a solution to the situation facing our youths; unless of course, you want to live in a drug infested city for the rest of your life.



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