This is Walter- my incredible new friend. Walter is an idea innovator, he hopes to one day open a an idea shop and sell his ideas for $5 a piece. Currently though, he owns a hostel which I was lucky enough to have the chance to stay at this last weekend upon my arrival in Estelí, Nicaragua.

Growing up in Nicaragua, his father owned the largest plantation in the entire country in northern Nicaragua along the border of Honduras. He lived very well off in a house on the plantation as well as the nicest house in the town of Estelí. His family was very well known for the work they provided to hundreds of coffee farmers in the country. As a teenager, Walter noticed coffee pickers bringing their infants and children to work with them, hanging them in sheets from trees while they picked coffee beans along side. He went to his father asking him to build a school and daycare for the families that came with their parents to work. They did just that. Hired nannies, built a playground and provided a safe environment for their workers families to stay. 

During this time, the Nicaraguan revolution was in full force. The young teenage political rebels in power were unaware of their real power, using it to do what they thought was right with their 5th grade education they inhabited. Knowing that Walter's family was prevalent in the region, they came in and confiscated their entire plantation, house, and every single penny they had ever obtained. They barreled through the plantation over the border with guns, using it as a place for war, tore down every tree and used it to start growing the valuable government corn crop. The beautiful Estelí house was now the Sandinista headquarters holding some of the highest positions in power. Abusing their money and what became of the house, bullet holes and fire-burnt beams haunt the houses past to this day.

Walter and his family fled the country to Miami where most Nicaraguans hopped a flight to during this time. He lived in the states for years, followed his father to Germany and finally returned to Nicaragua to get back what he lost. His father was writing of his experience with the Nicaraguan government from his childhood to present as a story for generations to never forget. When the Sandinista government discovered what he was doing, they killed him. They didn't even bother to take his writing, just went to the source and took him out.

Walter and the town of Estelí in distress and outrage came together and begged and pleaded the government for justice. They helped Walter return back to his father's home where he has been living ever since. He loves his home, tells everyone he can to come visit. He is transitioning his historic Nicaraguan mansion of a home into a hostel for a younger generation that he can share his stories with.

As an idea innovator, his elaborate plans are all incredible works in progress. He relishes his progress in every way and will give you hour long tours of the image he wants to create. He has an infinite heart of a twenty-something. We talked for hours about philosophy, spirituality, history and plans for both of our ambitious motivated futures. 

"I keep my eyes on the front of my head because I'd rather look forward to things that get upset about the past." 

His daughter always tells him to find a companion or wife to spend time with but she's not allowed at her house if she isn't over the age of fifty. 

He was featured on Anthony Bourdain's: No Reservations Nicaragua episode- you can watch him about 23 minutes into the episode posted below. 

Walter is my by far one of the greatest people I've had the chance to meet on this trip and deserves the entire world. I'm glad to be spending the next month in Estelí.
 


Comments

Dad...
02/09/2013 11:21am

Wow! I think I'd really like to meet Walter some day! The rest of your blog is sooo interesting!! Thanks for keeping this up and we are so proud of you Kelsey! We had fun with the skype last night and lets make sure we're abel to do it again next Friday evening. I should be home around 7:30PM our time so I hope that works for you. DON'T FORGET TO SEND ME THE OFFICE MAILING ADDRESS!! Love Ya!!

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    Kelsey

    Novice spanish translator, adventurer, student, passionate life lover

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