If you research the location of the Nicaraguan Consulate office in Miami, you get three addresses and dozens of phone numbers. None of the phone numbers work, so it’s a crap shoot as to which address will lead you to the office. Tomas, the owner of the Miami Guest House, graciously offered to drive us to the Nicaraguan Consulate. The first address was non-existent, the second address led us to an empty room. Fortunately, we hit the jackpot with the third address. Located in a section of Miami called Little Havana, a string of waving Nicaraguan flags welcomed us to the pink and blue Consular’s office.
We felt as if we were back in Nicaragua. Long lines of people, a waiting room full of crying babies, a couple of people grilling chicken outside the office doors, posters of Granada and Ometepe Island, and one overworked receptionist greeted us. “Proximo,” the receptionist repeated. (Next) After a half-hour wait, we presented our papers and were told to take them next door to copy the packet. We returned to another long line and a half-hour later we submitted our packets, paid $50 in cash only, and were told to return between 1 and 3 pm to pick up our packet.
Starving, we searched the streets of Little Havana, hoping to find a good Cuban restaurant. Tomas told us that the area was called Little Havana, but we wouldn’t find any Cubans in Little Havana. Apparently they all lived in another neighborhood. He was right. We ended up in a funky Chinese restaurant where the menu was in Spanish and Chop Suey came with a tortilla, rice and red beans.
Wandering the streets on two hours of sleep, with bellies full of Spanish Chop Suey, we decided to return to the Nicaraguan Consulate and wait for the authentication of our documents. Two hours later, the receptionist wagged her finger for us to come to her desk. “They should be finished with your papers,” she said. “Let me see if I can find them.” She must have felt sorry for us because I’m sure we looked frazzled and stressed.
Our packet of documents was authenticated. We both looked at each other in amazement. “This was too easy”, we said simultaneously. I suspect that all we had to do was to take our original documents next door to have them notarized, certified, and then copied. Florida does understand Latin logic! After three long, frustrating months our documents are authenticated and we can return to Nicaragua for the next step in getting our pensionado visas.
We fly back to Nicaragua tomorrow. I am so ready to return home. Like Paul Harvey used to say….” and that’s the rest of the story.”