Whatever happened to Nicaragua? A few years ago the country was front-page news in the New York Times every other week, for all the wrong reasons. Chances are your impression is of a volatile banana republic plagued by natural disasters and rumbling civil war between Marxists and US-backed counter-revolutionaries. Yet the reality is very different, as 6 HBSers discovered for themselves when we traveled to this beautiful and enchanting country for Spring Break.
Since Daniel Ortega’s Sandinista Party was defeated in democratic elections in 1990, Nicaragua has been making quiet progress in rebuilding its economy, shattered by the convulsions of the Contra War during the 1980s. Though still desperately poor – GDP is little more than $2 bn – the nation is beginning to benefit from the economic restructuring and infrastructural investment programs put in place by the governments of Violetta Chamorro and Arnoldo Aleman, the current President.
Tourism is one of the sectors targeted for further development, and its potential is rich. Nicaragua is blessed with a spectacular landscape, a rich, vibrant culture, and a people who radiate Latin warmth and welcome.
Don’t miss next week’s issue for a full report on this once-in-a-lifetime trip.