He was walking through the streets of Granada, Nicaragua with no shoes. The pavement was burning hot as the sun beams down on the city of about 130,000 residents. He was asking locals for money and many obliged handing him several córdoba’s or dollars.
Granada was founded in 1524 and is one of the oldest settlements among Latin American countries. Granada is located along the coast of the Lake Nicaragua. In the early days of formation it was the location of huge battles as English, French and Dutch pirates tried to take control of Nicaragua.
While the economy is better in Granada compared to other cities in Nicaragua, the U.S. Government warns American’s to use caution when traveling in the city. Political unrest often leads to demonstrations in cities like Granada as the next Presidential and National Assembly election will take place in November of 2016. Sometimes political demonstrations turn violent as tempers escalate quickly.
Due to political unrest in Nicaragua and high crime, all U.S. Government personnel who travel to the area must be pre-approved because of safety concerns. Off duty government workers are not allowed to enter certain outdoor market areas due to increasing crime.
The U.S. Bureau of Diplomatic Security announced in 2015, “The number of reports of burglary increased 63 percent from 2013 to 2014. The most frequent locations where non-violent crimes were reported to occur were restaurants, hotels (60 percent increase), roadways (700 percent increase), and on buses. There were also significant increases in reports from beaches and tourist areas. The majority of non-violent crimes were reported to occur during the day.” The U.S. also reported, “The municipalities with the highest rates of criminal complaints per 10,000 inhabitants were Bluefields, Granada, Puerto Cabezas, Managua, and Diriamba.”