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Jennifer Dispatch

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America in Nicaragua


Jen and her friend Kerri try out some Nicaraguan food

Do you know where Nicaragua is? Take a look on the map and you'll see that it is in Central America. Nicaragua and other countries in Central America were not very important to the United States during a period in our history called "isolationism." This means that we ignored what other countries did and minded our own beeswax. But things changed once the US realized that they could gain power and money from other countries. The US felt that it should be like a father to other countries, and should be rewarded with favors. This was called the "Monroe Doctrine," and it was created in 1823. By helping people in other countries, the US wanted them to like it. Then the US could influence those countries to help us out.

The US acted like a father to countries like Nicaragua. US Marines arrived and helped Nicaragua hold "free" elections in order to overthrow the people that were in power. The marines guarded all of the polling places, but this was scary for people. The elections were not as "free" as the US said they were. The marines stayed in Nicaragua for 13 years in order to make sure that the people in power were friendly to the US. The real reason for all of this was not to make life better for Nicaragua. It was really to make life easier for the American businesses that operated in Nicaragua. The US was really protecting the interests of companies that wanted to make a profit. Money and power were important things to these companies and to the US.

We finally find an open Nicaraguan restaurant. Que bien! (How great!)
I wanted to find out more about Nicaragua today, but I couldn't just get on a plane and go there. Instead, I came to San Francisco's Mission District. This neighborhood is full of people from all parts of Latin America. There are many murals that show how Latinos are a part of American life. There are a ton of wonderful restaurants with delicious Central and South American foods. And lots of people speak SPANISH! You can see different parts of the neighborhood I explored. Are there any Latin American neighborhoods near you?

I also got to interview my new friend, Orlando Murillo. He was born and spent his childhood in Nicaragua. He told me how it was to live there when there was a war going on. His grandma sent him to America so that he would not have to fight in that war. Check out the video of our interview!


Please email me at: Jennifer1@ustrek.org


Links to Other Dispatches

Stephanie - A state for Puerto Rico?
Neda - A little taste of the Philippines - at the mall food court
Stephen - The Great Panama Canal Grab.
Stephen - Cuba Libre! The sweet taste of freedom