Mistakes expats make in Nicaragua

Hello everyone,

Did you make any mistakes when you first moved to Nicaragua? What were they?

How did you address your mistakes? Did you learn anything from them?

With hindsight, what would you do differently?

Are there any tips you could give future expats in Nicaragua to help them avoid these kinds of mistakes?

We look forward to hearing from you!


Mistakes are part of the wonderful gift of life, so I tend not to fret over them too much. 

However, I would tell a new comer to rent first for a while before buying property (as I did actually); you may also want to question business props which sound too good to be true, even trustworthy people here tend to exaggerate how "Fulano" made a bundle doing XYZ.
Also, SUV and more specifically pick-ups tend to hold their value better than passenger cars...

Well, I tried to cover the three areas where unrecoverable miscues tend to occur...hope it helps someone.

As a bonus: here, to lend and to give are pretty much the same verb while the universal "possession is 9/10th of the law" also forewarned

Hope this helps someone...

Forgot to mention this, sorry!

If you are planning to hire someone on a full time permanent basis: the following might/will apply:
     On November tenth every year, you will owe a 13th month of salary called "aguinaldo"
     Provisions should be made for Social security payments worth 15% of the salary amount
     Your friendly assistant will invariably quit after 3 years or so, why? Because, they likely want access to that savings account they have at your bank, defined as 1 month of salary for every year worked plus vacation days not taken.

The above have been seen by some (old school Nicas here quite often, though not the only offenders ) as unfair demands but it is always a good policy to treat others the way we'd like to be treated ourselves, local prevailing wages not withstanding. Who wants to work without vacations? Or hit the streets, whatever the reason for leaving , penniless and unemployed? ...exactly...

So before any hiring decisions, I suggest you grab your spreadsheet and do evaluate all the angles/ramifications/expectations. If not, once the person comes to you after five years of service and demands his/her dues, you are unlikely to "naturally" channel  through this reasoning. Betrayal and greed will be your only thoughts...That's why it pays to think things thoroughly beforehand.

Have a nice day everyone,

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