One of the things you do not see much of in Central America is beggars. At least I have not until I arrived in Matagalapa.
Here you see the kids. The kids are the strings to the heart.
Remember, average wages in Nicaragua are about $5.00 per day – not per hour.
I saw the conditions in Casares, but there was nothing that was available for children to go to. Everyone that they came into contact with were as poor as them.
Here in Matagalpa, there are those that have, and those that do not have.
Similar to the contrast that is beginning to occur in the “Industrialized” nations. That is what the “Occupy Wall Street” crowd is protesting about. You have a small percentage of people doing real well, and a large percentage that are loosing their wealth. Statistics prove it, people experience it in their daily lives and see the favouritism by the government.
In Nicaragua it has always been the haves and the have-nots. So, are they going to complain about the way life has always been?
I do not believe in supporting beggars. I think there is a way to always make buck. But, kids who are 7 or 8 years old – what choices do they have?
I was having coffee and crepes at a place across from the hotel. The kids came in, asking for a cordoba – 22 cordoabas to $1.00. They were asking for less than a nickel. I told the kid, “No tiendo – I do not understand” The more I thought about what the kid said, I finally understood what he was asking for.
The waitress shooed him out of the café.
I thought to myself that it was not a whole heck of a lot to ask for. Why would i not give a kid a nickel? No matter how bad my finances are, a nickel is going to do what?
By giving a nickel, do I encourage a kid to beg?
I see kids lugging 10, 20 pieces of wood on their backs so they can take something to their parents (parent) so they can cook any food that they may have. (I know from eating at street places, the food for 30 or 40 cordobas ($1.50 to $2.00) aint a whole heck of a lot.
So, I wonder what these kids, carrying the wood back to their shacks, are going to.
I give in. I walk out of the café, now the kid has a brother and sister – it’s a gang! (Golly, I can be so funny at times!)
I give each a cordoaba (22.6 per US$) and they immediately go to their mother who is sell bananas and limes in front of the hotel I am staying at.
Helped out a whole family with a donation of about 15 cents.
Welcome to the real world of how most people survive – over 2 billion people live on less than $5.00 per day.
Now, don’t go wild and crazy donating tons of money or making loans through Kiva.
This is a racket set up for those that are touched by stories of the poor throughout the world. Kiva and other “lenders” are as bad or worse than the big banks – charging interest with rates up to 30%. These “loan sharks” interest is usury, and the goal is to keep the locals in revolving debt – amazing how people fall for this stuff.
Think lending to poor people is small potato’s?
Here is a list of registered websites just in Nicaragua. They usually have the nicest buildings in town, drive 4×4 vehicles (Which are taxed a to, so they are very expensive – bought with profits on those individual loans), have air conditioning (most do not have a/c in Central America – electricity costs are very high) and live above the standards of those they lend money too. The list, again, just for Nicaragua:
Does this kind of give you the idea that many companies are making a bit of money from ”loaning” money to the poor?
You want to give a loan to someone?
Contact the list of travel blogs, find someone who is actually traveling (like me), and make arrangements that way. The travellers who are actually traveling usually have a conscience, unlike the loan companies, and will help you help others.
Amazing what a little donation will do for people in 3rd world countries.
I do not condone begging, but when their ain’t much else for a person to do – I give when I can.
Cheers for now.