The Roads to the Beaches

roads-to-the-beaches

There are plenty of property developments along the Pacific coast of Nicaragua where potential retirees and investors can buy or build beachfront homes for a fraction of the cost they’d pay for coastal properties in other nations.  The views are spectacular, quality construction can be found and if the purchaser performs proper due diligence and  buys from a reputable developer, it can be a win-win situation.  Potential investors should always look at properties with  an established  infrastructure and will be secure in knowing they’ve lucked onto a great deal. There’s one drawback to purchasing property along the Pacific coastline of Nicaragua though.  It’s the roads to the beaches which can make the entire prospect of buying property in Nicaragua a little less than appealing.

Traversing these roads, whether you endure it in a local taxi or a four-wheel drive can be nothing less than something to write home about when experienced for the first time.  Did I mention –  you’re in for what might be called an extreme ride of unbelievable potholes, rocks and bumps making it necessary to almost zig zag on what should ordinarily be a straight road?  Try traveling these roads during the rainy season and it can be next to impossible. A ride that should normally take 30 to 45 minutes can end up taking an hour and a half or more in the dry season.  It can be fun for the novice, but drive the route enough times or need to get somewhere else in a hurry, the novelty can wear out pretty fast and be no laughing matter.

Although some property developments have worked continuously to make the roads passable in the rainy season, many cannot afford to keep up the high cost and effort of road development on their own.  Road maintenance and construction should be the responsibility of the municipal, local government.  If you’re located at the beach, you’ll have to stay put and wait out the worst of the season.  The same goes  if you’re a Nicaraguan citizen living along the roads.  Your children won’t be able to make it to school,  you won’t be able to make it to your job, move your cattle or make it to any other destination in the raining season.  During the rainy season, the broken roads of Nicaragua lead to the isolation of both nationals and foreigners.  One has to “stay put” until the roads are passable again.

Locals and foreigners alike often try to fix in the roads with rocks and materials they hope won’t wash away when the rain comes.  Working against these efforts is Mother Nature,  mighty powerful, erasing all the efforts of anyone trying to combat her power.  The roads become deeply gutted and, in a word, impassable.

By not fixing the roads to the beaches of Nicaragua, the Nicaraguan government is, metaphorically speaking, shooting itself in the foot.  Economic growth and development is one of the primary government objectives.  By ignoring the problem of the roads, it is hindering future investment in Nicaragua, slowing down the pace of growth Nicaragua so desperately needs and wants.

Why build roads for foreigners? some may ask.  Construction and development of the roads for foreigners not only benefits the foreigners who own property on the coast, but also Nicaraguan citizens and their children.  Children, the future of Nicaragua, need access to education.   During the rainy season, children are unable to get to their school because the roads can become washed out, thereby interrupting their education.  There can be no argument  it’s a two way street that benefits both locals and foreigners.   Taking a closer look at this situation, it’s not hard to see that road construction benefits both citizens and foreigners in Nicaragua and also fills government coffers which stimulates economic growth and development.

Not only is road construction going to benefit foreign property developers in Nicaragua – who, by any account bring massive amounts of money into the Nicaraguan economy, but if people aren’t buying those properties, the developers are placed in a  difficult situation.  Some hang on and others abandon their ambitious plans for community development.

Foreigners who buy these properties also experience the isolation that comes with the closing of the roads during the rainy season.  Some even leave their “dream homes” and abandon the whole concept of living/investing and retiring in Nicaragua.  Cash loss here for the Nicaraguan government.  Gossip travels fast and Nicaragua begins to look less appealing because of “lack of access” to both basic necessities and the difficulty of mobility within the country.

A project of road construction also benefits Nicaraguans with increases in employment which benefit both Nicaraguans with a decent living wage.  Construction is one of the higher paying job classifications in Nicaragua.  No need to explain further how increased employment opportunities benefit Nicaraguans here.  The construction industry is booming in Nicaragua.  In 2011, the Nicaraguan government sent out a call to Nicaraguans working in Costa Rica and Panama to return home to fill the need for more workers to fill the boom.

A closer examination of how road construction to the beaches benefits the government of Nicaragua is needed.  Although road construction will take an investment in infrastructure by the government, the return on investment is infinite and evident.  Tax revenues are legitimately increased.  The government could charge tolls at entrances to the roads to the beaches.  More properties would be developed along the beaches, more people would not hesitate to purchase these properties, thereby increased property tax receipts.  It all looks good so far.

The bottom line is that people who stay longer in Nicaragua spend more cash.  There will be more jobs for Nicaraguans.  Increased investment… more money…  higher rates of employment,  all result in economic development and progress.  Not a bad idea for both Nicaraguans and foreigners alike.