10. Rain. Enough of the dusty dirt roads and brown, burnt landscapes; enough of the baking heat that makes our hangovers twice as painful; enough with the sky-high electricity bills from running the a/c all night. We want fresh (if humid) air, green jungle scenery, and beds with blankets (ok, maybe we’re getting a bit carried away). Bring on “winter” and the rainy season, ASAP.
9. Mafiafunk. The gang – Bayardo Martinez (electric guitar), Christopher Arauz (acoustic and electric guitars), Aris Rodriguez (bass), Kervin Rodriguez (sax and flute), Ozman Delgado (violin), Yandi Frajela and Ernesto “Matute” Lopez (who alternate on drums and percussion) – came together at a spontaneous jam session at Cultura Quilombo, with a sound that facilitates and generates the desire to boogie. The crowd loved it, the players were feeling it, and the band was formed. They’ve hit all of Managua’s indie venues, playing five sell-out concerts with their infective fusion of funk, rock, reggae and jazz. Catch them next month at the Festival Ecológico 2013, where they’ll be sharing the stage with Nica talent such as Clara Grun (see #3).
8. Palo de Mayo, Bluefields. Street parties, Caribbean rhythms, and booty-shaking play just a small part of the celebrations that stem from this colonial-era tradition. You will see maypole dancing, although a lot of the movement here is decidedly sexier than it was in ye olden days. Get a taste of Costeña culture at several street fairs that celebrate local traditions, food and arts, watch the crowning of Miss May, and join in the Tulululu parade at the end of the month; check out the rightsideguide for this year’s celebration schedule. G’wan boi!
7. Howler Bar . Calling all jungle VIPs: San Juan’s newest venue, with a prime central location and the usual herd of sun-burned surfers and flesh-flashing chelas, is currently the hottest ticket in this small town. The cocktails are an undoubtable hit- try the jalapeño-infused rum – and the grub, which favors local produce, is tasty. Stay tuned for a review in the next edition of Hecho, out in June.
6. Erdmann’s. First it was the black gold (coffee) and now it’s something even better. Foodie-heaven Espressonista in Granada has provided beer lovers in Nicaragua with the happiest alternative since the seasonal Maestro beer was launched! The artisanal, German-inspired home brew – named after the brewer/inventor, Falk Erdmann – comes in small quantities of ales and stouts, and rates highly on our yumometer. Erdmann’s is only available in limited edition batches, so you may have to sit tight, but believe us – it’s worth a road trip AND a wait. Cheers!
5. Morley. Not the first time pasting has made our list. LA-based artist Morley packed in a whirlwind trip to Nicaragua, pasting a series of thought-provoking prints in the streets of San Juan del Sur, Granada and Managua. Morley also taught a wheatpasting workshop with children from San Juan del Sur through the collaborative Volverá project. More on this exchange, and future projects, coming soon.
4. Quesillo Loco. We’ve been playing the “what I’d add to a quesillo” game in the office since day one of Hecho, and someone has finally gone and done it. While the result – a combination of classic tortilla, cheese, cream and onion with a bonus addition of mashed beans and diced Criollo sausage – could be mistaken for regurgitated lunch in a bag, it’s actually pretty damn tasty! Head to Mi Viejo Ranchito, in Catarina or Carretera Masaya, to try out this mutant edition of a Nica classic.
3. Solo Soy. Singer-songwriter Clara Grun, the only woman to grace a cover of Hecho (so far), has just released a video for Solo Soy with Rockafilms. The live recording, filmed in one of El Crucero’s kind-of-creepy abandoned buildings, was impressively recorded in just one take. We’ve also heard a sneak preview of Clara’s latest collaboration – Beautiful Reactions, with Evan Rhodes, Rodrigo Castro and guests – and all we can say is: can’t wait to give you that scoop! We’ll keep you posted…
2. Bosawás Biosphere Reserve. The second largest rainforest in the Americas, known as the lung of Central America, has shrunk by hundreds of thousands of hectares in the last ten years. In urgent need of fiercer protection against encroaching colonist squatters, the region is finally making waves, (with international press) in part due to recent protesting by the resident Mayangna population. Awareness has also been raised in Hecho’s circle through Misión Bosawás and environmental frontman/percussionist Ernesto “Matute” Lopez (see #9). More on how to visit the area responsibly, and in what way you can make a positive contribution, will be coming from us sometime soon.
1. The ISA Junior World Surf Champs at Playa Jiquiliste (AKA Santana). The big names, bustling beach, and banging parade in Rivas for last year’s ISAs only provoked half the excitement of this year’s competition. For 2013′s junior edition, Nicaragua’s actually in line to do some serious riding with a bright young lineup. Rising rippers like Jackson “Chele” Obando, Oscar Espinoza, Kevin Cortez, and Alex Alvarado should be representing at the ISA Junior World Champs in June -let’s support the next wave!