Nicaragua's economic situation is no where near as rosy as it's neighbor Costa Rica. Inflation averaged 30% throughout the 1980s. After the United States imposed a trade embargo in 1985, Nicaragua's inflation rate rose dramatically. The 1985 annual rate of 220% tripled the following year and skyrocketed to more than 13,000% in 1988, the highest rate for any country in the Western Hemisphere in that year. Since the end of the war almost two decades ago, more than 350 state enterprises were privatized, reducing inflation from 13,500% to 9.6%, and cutting the foreign debt in half. The reduction in inflation, economic growth and privatization has not helped with Nicaragua's many social issues. 48% of the population in Nicaragua live below poverty, unemployment is 3.8%, and another 46.5% are underemployed
Although education is free and elementary education compulsory in Nicaragua, this is not strictly enforced, as many children are unable to attend due to lack of transportation or need to work to help provide for their families. As such, the city streets are crawling with children pedaling wares or begging.
This is Jorge, who followed me around after I gave him my apple (a rarity in Nicaragua). He *realllllllllllly* wanted me to take his picture so I would remember him.
I don't think I could ever forget him.