a new mall in Managua. People come from all over the country to
ogle at the escalator and take camorder videos of their mothers
riding up and down in amazement. I went there with some Peace Corps
Volunteers to see a movie in the air-conditioned multiplex. Before
the movie started, there were dramatic clips of somewhat recent
Nicaraguan natural disasters - a volcano explosion, a major earthquake,
Hurricane Mitch - put together in the style of a movie trailer.
At first, I was surprised that there would be such a high budget
movie about Nicaragua, then I realized that it was a commercial
for an insurance company.
disasters are all too common in Nicaragua. Nicaraguans have also
had to deal with decades of the brutal (U.S. supported) Somosa dictatorship,
civil war to overthrow Somosa and establish a
and then another civil war when the U.S. aided the Contras to try
to overthrow the Sandinistas. None of this has helped Nicaragua
escape pervasice poverty.
February, I spent three weeks visiting my brother, a Peace Corps
Volunteermet, and the fantastic murals that are still numerous in
cities like Estelí and Leon. Of Course, I brought my sketchbook
to record what I saw. I was inspired by Nicaragua's majestic landscapes,
the beautiful people I me, and the fantastic murals that are still
numerous in cities like Estelí and Leon. The Sandinistas
are fond of painting the walls of their country with their heroes
and with the history of Nicaragua. Sadly, the current (U.S.-backed)
Aleman administration has been painting over many of the murals.
The members of the Treasury Department no longer see huge portraits
of Che and Sandino when they enter their offices