My name is Julie-Marie, I am a French Canadian woman fluent in English and Spanish.  My 25 year-old son is half Nicaraguense on his dad's side but lives up here in Montréal, as does his (estranged) father.  I went down to Nica to spend the month of February.  Oh yes, I fell in love too. 

I am semi-retired and decided to live there.  To me it's not a huge culture shock, so getting around is not an issue.  However, I would like to partner up with someone and rent a home with some land around it and somehow open up an animal shelter.  I unfortunately have no fortune.

But money is not the priority here.  I can and want to live like a native.  I am just looking for someone to share a home with, maybe rent a third room to someone as most houses have 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. 

I expect to be leaving around November, just in time for the great Canadian Winter.

So no matter which country you are from, what age or gender you are:  if you like animals and nature and have a young mind, write me!


Boujour Julie Marie
I am also semio-retired and have been thinking about Nicaragua as a place to spend the next several years, but unfortunately, not this next year.  I have made a committment to work for CUSO in Guyana for this coming year.  During the course of my placement I will have 2-3 weeks off, and may do some travelling as well, when the placement is over.  During one of those opportunities I plan to go to Nicaragua and have a look around. 

I also have no fortune, but could just get by in Canada on my pension and savings.  However, if I should live abroad in Central or South America for some time, that would be an adventure and beneficial.   If internet access is excellent, then I could teach online to make a few extra dollars.  Could we keep in touch?  You can email me at l.elainemasur[at]

I have been an ESL teacher for much of my career (though am unfortunately, mono-lingual) and had a variety of experiences.  I recently returned from four years working in China.  I have spent the past 20 years in Manitoba.  I would love to stay in touch with you.  Where are you thinking of settling in Nicaragua? Do you know the cost of renting a 3 bedroom home, and other associated household costs in that community (electricity, A/C, internet, phone, food). 

I do love animals and was actually raised on a farm in Alberta. How are you thinking of sheltering these animals?  Will you need to build structures?  How will it be funded? What sorrts of animals?

I find it so interesting reading these posts and am hearing the same thing.  We, as Canadians can barely afford to live in our own country when we retire.  So sad.  But I look at it as a new opportunity and journey plus it's warm.  I think the three of us are like animals, can live a simpler life and give back to the community we would be living in.  I havw a good friend from El salvador so have learned to love rice and beans.  I think spices may be lacking there if you lije cumin etc.  I am planning a visit this October only to Granada and Big Corn Island if traveling alone.  If my girlfriend joins me we will venture to Managu.  I hope to retire January 2019.  I will be 60.  I hope we can all keep in touch.  I believe you can "friend" people on here so please do.  Kaayla

Julie Marie,

While I really love animals, especially the cat/dog/bird types, the considerations that leap to my mind with an animal shelter are costs associated with a) providing the shelter,  b) providing the food, c) providing vet and health care.  Those things have cost, and what does one do with the animals.  If they are injured or sick, they need medication and medical care.   If they have permanent injuries, can they be adopted?  I was raised on a farm and I can administer medication and cuddles, but I can't set a leg or do a neuter!

If one ends up with dozens of unadoptable animals, I imagine that can become infeasible relatively quickly without some sort of government or private funding.   The whole reason I would move to Nicaragua is that I can afford to live there while I could barely afford to retire in Canada.  That being said, if I could find a non-exploitative way to make a few dollars, and keep myself mentally stimulated, that would be welcome.  I would see building and providing shelters for various sorts of semi-permanent animal residents as sort of going the other way.  What are your thoughts?  Don't hesitate to pm me.  It is something to consider.

Hi Kaylaa,

Funny you mentioned Granada.  I spent my last week there in February and met some local people.  It's a very special city.  Beautiful yet still genuine.  My friend is supposed to look for a house or apt. for me.  He said there is a 2 bedroom house for 160 $/month.  I am awaiting the pictures.  Write me at my email: ***

We should definitely keep in touch and who knows...



p.s.:  The restaurant food in Nica is rather simple, but if you cook (I do!), you just buy stuff at the local market and make your own, spicy and all.  The fruit are wonderfully juicy, supermarkets sell imported fish (!!!) but there is fresh fish to be bought from fishermen.  I'm very good at getting around and finding the best deals thanks to my Spanish and also the fact that I feel and speak like a native lol.

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Hello Julie-Marie,

My name is Robert, and my wife Silvia and I live in Nindiri, Nicaragua. We have a plan for starting an animal shelter in our area sometime around the first of the year. My wife of 21 years is Nica, and we have family and friends all over the area.
We will be purchasing land (hopefully with a suitable house for remodeling), and would be happy to exchange emails with you. We will need someone with common interests and goals to work with us on what promises to be an exciting adventure. If you are interested, please send me a Private Message, and we will exchange emails, and we can all get to know each other.
Looking forward to your reply.


What a lovely idea! Myself I adopted a total number of 8 dogs right from the street, at present I have three - two I brought with me from Madagascar, and one I found here in Leon.

In Madagascar I was very impressed with a lady from South Africa who built up a combination of a shelter - medical care - security training - boarding - preparation of international dog transport with all the papers. She has 17 employees. As a shelter only costs money which has to be found somehow, this is a really good solution:

She offers boarding (food, medical care, dogwalking and - a swimming pool!) for the dogs of people who travel for several weeks to other countries and cannot take their dogs with them, for ex. embassy or NGO staff.

She takes in dogs from the street, cares for them until they are in a good physical condition, has them trained and then sells them with all the vaccinations and papers.

Some of these even made a career as security dogs:
As Madagascar has become very unsafe since a coup in 2009, security companies are one of the few businesses which develop very well. They need well-trained dogs who attack bandits and fix them. She has special security dog trainers who prepare the dogs of companies, police or former street dogs for their job.

As transport by plane is very complicated (I used 3 dog travel agencies to have mine transported from Madagascar via South Africa and the USA to Nicaragua...), she handles all the paperwork, permits, medical preparations, vaccinations and so on.

All this generates income - to finance the shelter.
Maybe these ideas are interesting for your shelter project - I wish you good luck!

Just stumbled upon this post.. Myself and partner have been thinking of buying a property in Nicaragua and potentially owning a shelter or mobile clinic. I am a veterinarian looking to do work abroad. Have you guys gotten any closer to this idea?

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