Our big hope this year
As most of you know 2018 was a year of challenges, deep pain and powerful lessons for Nicaraguans. What we thought was old history became our new today. The young generations are re-living the pain that we only knew from stories our grandparents and parents would tell us.
And though the situation is completely undesirable, we acknowledge some positive elements in this experience----we have been forced to embrace unity, generosity and humbleness. We have felt, in close proximity, deep pain which has ultimately taught us to value the important things in life. Today our biggest challenge overall, besides overcoming, is to learn and never forget (again). As Nicaragua continues to struggle, we open a new year with the big hope that as a complex society with different needs and outlooks, we may find the best way to achieve the ultimate end for all-----happiness (in its broadest form).
For those of you who are wondering what Nicaragua is like at this moment, may I mention that public unrest has greatly diminished which allows one to experience most cities as prior to the crisis (with less visitors). Though public unrest has mostly subsided, political and social tensions are still there and many, many people continue to suffer-----things have not yet been sorted in Nicaragua.
What's happening in Granada?
Plenty of businesses have reopened their doors. We are all pushing really hard to keep offering quality experiences to Nicaraguans and foreigners and pushing really hard to keep employing our teams, people who for many of us, are chosen family. In the last 6 months, particularly November and December we have seen tourists, though in smaller numbers, visiting León, Granada and the Pacific Coast, mainly tourists who know and understand there is a crises, but have strong ties to Nicaragua or are first-time visitors who simply take the risk and trust.
At The Garden Cafe we have re-established our hours. We are now open every day from 7:00 AM - 9:00 PM, with breakfast, lunch and dinner menus.
Our gift shop is also open and collaborating with over 40 artisans.
We have been able to employ 16 out of 35 team members again, we know 2019 will be a tough year but will certainly do everything we can to continue guaranteeing jobs for these families
Throughout the last 7 months, we have also been hosting and will continue to host digital and art workshops and events in partnership with other entrepreneurs; we are committed to creating and promoting events that strengthen our city and our country.
Though we don't yet have plans to host concerts as we can't find it within us to do anything on a celebratory note, we do wish to and find it necessary to provide the space and atmosphere for friends to gather.
Nicaragua and the world
Friends, Nicaragua is greatly suffering, no doubt about that...and honestly when we look around the world, we see societies in flux everywhere. Though at different levels, most nations are facing BIG, complex challenges, things are shifting and there is no stopping or postponing that shift. But let none of this define or freeze us.
We hear a call to meditate, observe, participate and from our places in society, contribute to the construction of a good society every day and through every action.
May 2019 bring you and your family more opportunities to contribute to a better society!