Tag Archives: History

National Treasures – The 50 Córdoba Bill

This is a post in our series On Culture and Currency: History Lessons in the Palms of our Hands.

Cañón de Somoto

Cañón de Somoto
Cañón de Somoto

The Somoto Canyon is one of the true treasures of Nicaragua. Only recently has this natural wonder been utilized as an eco-tourism destination, so it still feels off the beaten path. In the department of Madríz, in the northern most section of the country, the Rio Coco has formed this beautiful feature. When my sister, Kari, came to visit last year, Continue reading National Treasures – The 50 Córdoba Bill

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Small but Mighty – The History of the 10 Córdoba Bill

This is a post in our series On Culture and Currency: History Lessons in the Palms of our Hands.

While Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America, it is barely half the size of Oregon, my home state.  My concept of country size has been challenged many times, including when I unknowingly befriended the godson of the Vice President of Nicaragua. What Nicaragua lacks in geographical presence it makes up for in a plucky, underdog spirit that is woven into its historical narrative.  Two such examples are displayed on the (fittingly) smallest bill: 10 Córdobas. Continue reading Small but Mighty – The History of the 10 Córdoba Bill

On Jack-o’-Lanterns and History: Cultural Exchange Chasing Away the Darkness

November 2015 Guidepost to Wholehearted Living
Cultivating Gratitude and Joy: Letting Go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

–Max Ehrmann, from Desiderata (1924)

As Emily mentioned in her last post on chikungunya, we’ve had a bit of a rough spell these last two months.  We’ve had some great successes and high moments (among them a great site visit and class observation from our Peace Corps boss, facilitating trainings for trainees and Estelí teachers, and seeing tangible counterpart improvement), but we couldn’t quite shake these dark feelings that’d creep up on us during our down time.

This Saturday, Halloween, was a good example.  Despite a wonderful Friday spending the morning with our community of practice, eating lunch with four trainees from Nica 66 who will be in our region, and chatting away the afternoon catching up with multiple Nicaraguan friends, our joy from the day before evaporated and we found ourselves stuck, focusing on what we were lacking: pumpkin carving with family, pumpkin patching with friends, the comfort of tradition.

We ended the day with a plan of action to make the most out of our Sunday.  We’d reach out to relationships we are cultivating here, bring our traditions to Nicaragua, and snuggle with some babies in the process 🙂 Continue reading On Jack-o’-Lanterns and History: Cultural Exchange Chasing Away the Darkness

On Currency and Culture: History Lessons in the Palms of our Hands

Upon arriving to a new country, one of the first experiences of culture is placed right in our hands – money.  You need to exchange it, need to know how much it is worth in comparison with your own currency, and need some time before it no longer feels like Monopoly money.  What we sometimes miss as guests in a foreign land is the importance of what is on that currency.  The images and symbols chosen to represent a culture and people say a lot about the values and history of the country itself.

Over our time here, we’ve learned a bit more about the symbols and historic places on Nicaraguan currency.  And if you will permit us to be a little nerdy, a few history lessons are in store for you, dear readers.  Each of these colorful and beautiful bills has a story (or two) to tell.


Exchange rates

When we arrived in Nicaragua  (August 13, 2014):

  • 1 Córdoba = 0.0386 US Dollars
  • 26.015 Córdobas = 1 US Dollar

When this post was originally written (May 21, 2015):

  • 1 Córdoba = 0.0369 US Dollars
  • 27.133 Córdobas = 1 US Dollar

Now-ish (as of April 10, 2017):

  • 1 Córdoba = 0.03 US Dollars
  • 29.72 Córdobas = 1 US Dollar

Symbols and Places on the Nicaraguan Córdoba:

With the time we have left in our service we hope to visit and/or learn about each of the places on the bills and share their stories with you.