By Scott Walker - Nicaragua
The man who appeared to be in his late 70’s, peddled his three wheeled bike down the streets of Masaya, Nicaragua selling ice cream out of a large cooler attached to the back of his bike. When he saw a crowd of people he would stop and hold up different flavors in hopes of selling a few treats.
The United States Government reports that Nicaragua has one of the poorest economies in the hemisphere. They also report that U.S. residents are often targets of crime when they visit the country. Furthermore, the Nicaraguan government works hard at suggesting Americans are not to be trusted, according to the U.S. Department of State.
When help is needed, the National Police Force of Nicaragua is scarce. One local resident told me that police are corrupt and some officers get paid only $2 per day. I later found that the average Nicaraguan police officer receives $120 per month for their services, which is the lowest pay among nearly all Central American countries. In other words, $2 per day would be on the low end of the spectrum for a new officer while $120 per month is the average of all officers.
Ronald Reagan once stated, "Violence has been Nicaragua's most important export to the world."