This week they sent me to a place called Salvia which is in the department of Chinandega, and the municipality of El Viejo. It is on the peninsula that Volcano Cosiguina is on. I can’t find it on any map, but it is about one hour West, and another hour south of Potosi. The volcano is about 835 meters, and has a blue green crater lake inside. I climbed it a few years back, probably not the smartest thing for an overweight woman in her 60s, but it was worth the near death experience! You can sit on the edge of the crater, (or in my case, lay), hear and see wildlife of all different sorts. I wasn’t able to see a scarlet Macaw, but I was able to hear them, and see the monkeys in the trees, and what appeared to be a large cat. I learned at the national zoo that there were at one time Bengal Tigers in Nicaragua in the area of volcano Cosiguina, but the last sighting was over 8 years ago, and are thought to be extinct in Nicaragua now. When I first arrived in Nicaragua, in 1999, they were selling Ocelots, parrots, and Scarlet Macaws, on the street corners! Well, Salvia might be a bit out of the way, but the wildlife is incredible. I didn’t get to see them but the great cats of Nicaragua are there including pumas, jaguars, jaguarondi, margays and ocelots. I did get to see some bird life, including beautiful parrots, and at least 10 flocks of chcoyos, which are bright green parakeets, with 50 or so in each group. They have a distinctive sound you learn to hear quickly. They have wild groups of scarlet macaws here, and I got to visit with the family of a man who is a photographer, and works to protect them. I stood in the yard and watched for them with his brother. He said most days they show up around now. I didn’t get to see them, but I am coming back! I did see a collared peccary, a form of wild pig. I was served deer for lunch.
There is no electricity here, no bus you can bring food in with. The only transport is by boat, (in which case the nearest medical care is in El Salvador on the other side of the bay of Fonseca, that connects with Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador), or in a four wheel drive vehicle, or motor cycle. I have had the privilege of seeing the humpback whales that come down the pacific mostly from the San Diego area to give birth in our warm waters in February. I was able to go out with a local fisherman off the shores of La Salvia to visit with the dolphins, and in November to see the breeding giant sea turtles, and newly hatched baby turtles, where they are less molested. The area has no infrastructure, no hotels, or restaurants, but it is an outstanding place to see nature, and I felt blessed to be there!