Let’s Get Real About Consumer Protection Rights in Nicaragua

                                  “Debt is the worst poverty.” -Thomas Fuller                                                                                       

When we were shopping for appliances in Nicaragua, I didn’t understand the prices that were displayed. All I wanted to know was the total cost of a refrigerator, but instead the prices were listed in monthly installments on stickers that must have been glued on the appliances with super glue because they were impossible to remove!


It didn’t take me long to figure out that the majority of Nicaraguans can’t afford to pay the total cost upfront. Not only is credit “king” in Nicaragua, but the lack of consumer protection, the outrageous interest charged to buy on credit, and the lack of education about consumer rights in Nicaragua combine to make the worst poverty.

So, Let’s Get Real About Consumer Protection Rights in Nicaragua. (or the lack of them)

The first Consumer Protection law for Nicaragua was passed in 2013. Below is the link for the law in Spanish.
Law 842: Law of the Protection of the Rights of the People who are Consumers and Clients

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Strange Bedfellows in Moyogalpa

The Weekly Photo Challenge is Juxtaposition. “A juxtaposition is “the act of placing things side by side, especially for the purpose of comparison or contrast.” The other day, I had two hours to kill because the ferry broke that was supposed to take us to the mainland for the baseball game. Its guts were splayed all over the port. So, I finally had a chance to walk around our port town, Moyogalpa, and take pictures of strange bedfellows in town.

                               Contrasting colors adorn every entrance.

IMG_1079                            JC Penney? Victoria’s Secret? Side by side?
IMG_1091                                         Laundry service AND a guide?

IMG_1109            Always smile if the volcano erupts because there is a BUNKER!
IMG_1112   Ron, we ran out of propane! Go to the Divine Baby Jesus Store to get another tank.
IMG_1107       A Mercedes convertible in Moyogalpa? Now, that is a real juxtaposition.
IMG_1092Finally, I have always admired this metal window in Hotel Aly. I snapped a shot of the window and continued to walk down the street. Suddenly, the owner pedals beside me on his bicycle. “Did you take a picture of my window?” he asks. “Yes,” I answered. “I’ve always liked your window.” “Please erase it, please, please,” he responded. At first I was puzzled, then he explained that a tourist had climbed the volcano and put his dirty socks and shoes in the window to dry. I hadn’t even noticed. I lied. I’m bad, I know. But don’t let that stop you from spending the night at a great hotel. The owner was very apologetic and wants to represent his beautiful hotel without dirty socks. Only in the “Land of the Not Quite Right.”

The Sky’s the Limit

“Do mistakes and you become a good learner.
Welcome ordeals and you become a good problem solver.”~ Riddhi Sharma

Our SKY satellite TV has been on the blink for a month. Poor Ron! He can’t watch the football games on Sunday and I really miss CNN. Playing detective is a necessary part of life on Ometepe Island. We cut branches of trees close to the satellite dish, checked the cable for tears or scrapes, jiggled the dish, wiggled the wires, and rewired the service box…all to no avail.
The only service technicians in the entire country are from Managua, so we called and put in a work order for them to come to Ometepe to fix our TV. Yesterday, they arrived with the SKY truck.
IMG_0611For two hours they jiggled the cable, repositioned the satellite dish, and checked the service box, while the annoying beeping from the TV indicated that there was no signal.
IMG_0612They moved the satellite dish to a wiggly garden post in the hopes of solving the mystery about why there was no signal.
IMG_0619Hmmm…suddenly the signal was strong and clear. It must be the Neem tree blocking the signal. Three years ago, when we installed the satellite dish, our Neem trees were only a foot tall. Now, they are 25 feet tall. I guess we have to take down the Neem tree. Ron to the rescue with his machete.
IMG_0616Meanwhile, as the sun was setting, Black Jack investigated the SKY truck.
IMG_0622With the tree down, the technicians put the dish back in its original location.
IMG_0623No worries. We still have five more Neem trees on our property.
IMG_0624He repositioned the dish for a strong, steady signal.
IMG_0625And voilà! A strong, steady signal…football games and CNN!
IMG_0627By this time, it was dark and the last ferry had already left for the mainland. “Where are you staying tonight?” I asked. “Can we stay here?” the boss asked. “No problemo!” I responded. I was a little embarrassed because the only problem with our satellite signal was the Neem tree. I felt bad that they had to travel a whole day from Managua, across on the ferry, to solve our problem. The boss wanted to know if there were other people on the island that would like SKY TV, since they were here. I quickly sent a notice to all the expats on the island and received 2 responses by the next morning.
IMG_0628What a great crew! They even offered me a job as the SKY representative for Ometepe Island. It was their first time on Ometepe Island. They slept in our casita, took a quick dip in the lake in the morning, and I gave them the phone numbers of the two expats that were interested in installing SKY in their homes.

The SKY’s the limit, as far as our satellite reception goes. Only in Nicaragua! Have I told you how much I love this country?