Celebrating the Best of San Juan Live 2015

Favorite posts from 2015As the new year approaches, we wanted to celebrate the highlights of the one about to pass.

It’s been a big year here at San Juan Live. Our traffic has doubled compared to the previous year, we’ve added hundreds of new subscribers to our email lists, we launched the San Juan Live Real Estate Marketplace, completely overhauled our learning centers, and hosted our first funding flash mob to support local non-profits.

We also published a wide range of content to help our readers get the most out of San Juan del Sur and Nicaragua. We feel fortunate that so many people are turning to us to learn about the experiences and lifestyles on offer in this sunny part of the world.

And so, without further ado, here are our favorite posts of 2015: [Read more…]

The Season of Hope

Holiday Hope in Nicaragua || A compilation of photos from Jessica Gildersleeve, Joel Johnson and Blue.

A compilation of photos from Jessica Gildersleeve, Joel Johnson and Blue.

What gift is greater than hope?  

Hope that the days to come will be better than the season that past.  Hope that compassion will eclipse cruelty. Hope that abundance will win out over poverty. Hope that health will heal. Hope that a better education will ultimately result in an improved living condition.  

Hope changes everything. 

Through our recent holiday fundraising campaign we were able to donate $1,515 dollars to various non-profits in San Juan del Sur with your help.  

Together we bought 11 Christmas buckets filled with food and household essentials for the Rancho Chilamate food drive, school books for Escuela Adelante, kindle tablets for access to higher education for the San Juan Day School, library supplies for the Biblioteca Mobile, and much needed classroom essentials for the Manos Unidas co-op of people with disabilities.  

Thanks for helping us give the gift of hope this holiday season.  We couldn’t have done it without your generosity.  

P.S. Even though our holiday fundraising campaign is officially over, it’s never too late to give.  You can donate to these non-profits year round here. 

Festive Funding Flash Mob

FESTIVE FUNDING FLASH MOB POSTHere at San Juan Live we’re conscious of the magnitude of need in Nicaragua.  The good news is that there’s a group of wonderful non-profits and socially conscious businesses that try very hard to support the local community and make a real difference to local lives.  From supplemental education for youth and programs for people with disabilities, to environmental awareness and animal care, you’ll find a program with a heart for just about every need in San Juan del Sur. 

But while their missions may be different, they all have one thing in common… the need for additional funding. 

The work that these programs do is vital to the wellbeing and development of the local community.   Which is why this holiday season San Juan Live is hosting a “Flash Mob” of festive fundraising and everyone is invited to join! 

Here’s how it works:

[Read more…]

Giving Thanks

Giving ThanksWriting a post for things we’re thankful for in San Juan del Sur has become a Thanksgiving tradition at San Juan Live.  It reminds us to feel grateful not only for the warm waves and beautiful sunsets that Nicaragua consistently delivers, but also for the day-to-day dedication of people that often goes unnoticed, for the silver lining in experiences that didn’t quite go as planned and for the changes in town that we can reflect upon as signs of positive progress.

So as is customary at Thanksgiving, we’d like to keep the thanks alive in San Juan del Sur.  Here are 5 more things we’re grateful for: [Read more…]

Are you missing out on the best ways to experience San Juan’s stunning coastline?

Sailing

After visiting San Juan del Sur for more than a decade, I’ve learned that there’s no better way to experience this stunning coastline than from the ocean.

I find that sitting on a boat, feeling the wind in my hair and gazing at the unfolding shoreline is enough to renew my love for San Juan del Sur. But you can kick your experience up a notch by adding something extra. Here are three ideas: [Read more…]

Learn 8 Tips on Property Management in San Juan del Sur (You’ll Definitely Want to Read #6)

San Juan del Sur attracts all types of travelers.  Some come to escape cold winters.  Others in search of an endless summer.  Surfers come for waves.  Backpackers for parties. Volunteers visit to offer service. Nature enthusiasts are attracted by the uninterrupted wildlife. Retirees seek a new chapter in life.

Whatever the reason, people are arriving daily.  Some stay only a few days. Others weeks.  Many stay longer than planned.

What does this mean for property owners?  It means there’s a strong rental market – especially for long term rentals. In San Juan del Sur “long term” generally means anything over a month.

So if you’ve got a vacation home in San Juan del Sur that you are not currently living in, it makes sense to get your property management strategy right. To help you get the most out of your Nicaragua vacation home and ensure that your investment is being looked after we interviewed a few reputable property managers for advice.

We had 8 questions. The answers the local experts gave provide valuable insight:

[Read more…]

The Ultimate Nicaragua Packing List

The Ultimate Nicaragua Packing ListSo you’re coming to Nicaragua and you’re trying to decide what to pack. Your suitcase or backpack is filled to the brim and still you feel like you’re forgetting something. We understand. 

Maybe you’re unsure of the difference between the rainy and dry season.  Or you just want to make sure that you’re being culturally sensitive and causally comfortable at the same.  Don’t worry, regardless of when you plan to visit or whether you’re traveling for 7 days or 7 weeks, this list has you covered.

We’ve created a specific Nicaragua packing list for you to ease your mind.  You can print it out and check-it off, save it as a pdf on your computer or e-mail it to a friend.

[Read more…]

What are you afraid of?

What are you afraid of? | Travel, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua | photo credit // Jessica Gildersleeve

photo credit // Jessica Gildersleeve

Almost every time I meet a new person, sooner or later I hear these words: I’ve always wanted to live in another country, but ____ (fill in the blank).  

Once they learn that I’ve spent the majority of the last decade living overseas, their minds seem to fantasize about what it would be like to quit their job, detach from their routine, sell their belongings and travel without an agenda. 

The dream: meeting new people from difficult cultures, background and ethnicities, carving out a new career path, learning a new language, exploring new horizons and finding (or remembering to value) your true passions and relationships.  

The fear: being alone, running out of money, not having a job to return to, not speaking a foreign language, getting lost, or even being forgotten.

On top of each of our fears, we add many layers of excuses to why we can’t take the leap of faith, but the biggest obstacle always comes down to fear. 

So what’s stopping you? 

San Juan del Sur’s Most Magical Sunsets

Sunset San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua // photo credit: Sanjuandelsur.org

It’s the last hour of daylight. Locals carry their wooden rocking chairs onto the sidewalk, whole families come out for a leisurely stroll along the beachfront, and people gather in their favorite watering holes for a sun-downer.

For a long glorious moment everything glows with fiery shades of pink, yellow and orange.

Yes, sunsets are a cliché. But, however clichéd, everyone seems to agree that the sunsets in San Juan del Sur are spectacular.

Maybe it’s the hazy silhouettes of the cliffs that bookmark the bay, or the way the boats bob about in the currents of lights, or perhaps how the evening clouds seem to arrive at exactly the right moment. Whatever it is, watching the sun slowly dip into the ocean makes for an addictive ritual.

You can’t go wrong with the sunset here, but there are some locations that are particularly good. Here are three of the best spots to savor it: [Read more…]

What’s the one thing that ex-pats living in San Juan del Sur have in common?

QUIT YOUR JOB AND TRAVEL, SAN JUAN DEL SUR, NICARAGUA They quit their jobs to travel.

All expats living here now lived somewhere else before they starting referring to San Juan del Sur as home. It’s the common thread among expats of course. And in some way, it creates a camaraderie among people living in a country that once felt foreign.

Some enjoy reflecting upon this ‘past life’ experience, while others would rather forget it. Either way, there was a calculated decision that weighed the loss of familiarity against the unknown. A decision that took courage, sacrifice, strength and faith. In most cases it was a choice in favor of a better quality of life, at the expense of higher income, job security and the closeness of family and friends. [Read more…]