I’m here in the poorest, safest country in Central America right now where the USA state department warns against travel because of the Ortega government. On my way from Managua to my little farm town by the beach we got pulled over twice by police, who didn’t mind I, riding shotgun, was drinking beers. It was pretty calm and routine but I found it both interesting here in a country which has maximally banned abortion (and where the church still advertises anti abortion messages anyway) half the police were women. Many of the police are carrying AKs and shotguns. The president here has black masked paramilitary goons who assinated like 500 students (I think over 2000 people) last year when a protest broke out against the government burning part of a protected nature preserve to help facilitate the building a canal right through the country (and connecting this giant lake in the middle of the country with the ocean... wtf). Ortega was known for giving up power peacefully in the past but people are worried they are going the way of Venezuela. I’m in Sandinista territory which is nominally his stronghold and while no one here is part of the fight, this tourist town and farm town feels pretty disaffected. Ortega’s wife is the VP, there’s no right to free speech, no due process, and people are concerned he won’t transition power. The economy here is in its 3rd or 4th year of deep recession due to the loss of tourism among other things. Prices here are about a third of the USA and the exchange rate is partially fixed (say, terraced) so you can spend dollars without a haircut. But thanks to I think Reagan era policy no banks operate directly so atms and credit cards are fine but your debit card does not work at shops. Few people speak English but enough people know a little bit that if you know some Spanish it’ll work. I’m a little surprised by the ethnodemographics here not sure exactly as I haven’t asked or looked it up but people look pretty distinctly Nicaraguan here and I wonder if it’s because with so much time in such a small country everyone been had mixed up. But I dunno, it’s not the rainbow diversity I expected in an American country. Speaking of America, with a per capita GDP 3% USA (9% PPP) completely different laws, visually non diverse, different language, and so on I feel more like I’m the USA than my time in Europe. It’s a vibe thing. It’s like chill but yolo here.