San Juan Del Sur, back on TV. Discovery Channel & ESPN
Discovery Channel’s Cyril Chauquet picks San Juan del Sur for Adventure Show
Cyril Chauquet, the “Fishing Adventurer” (his show airs on Discovery Channel and ESPN) picked the San Juan del Sur area as a playground for one of his adventures that will be shown during the 2012 season. The Fishing and Travel show is an entertaining one hour program where Chauquet gets involved in some of the most unusual activities, meets some locals, and of course goes fishing.
His SJdS adventure started on the beach front in the bay of SJdS photographing some local surfers. Right after that he jumped on a local bus heading to Playa El Coco. He made “La Veranera” guest house his base camp and did a little surfing and fishing with Jim Henderson and Ina Fusko, the proprietors of the lodge.
Some of the highlights of the show will be “River Shrimping” with Douglas and Luis in the bush about 10kms behind Tortuga. The most unusual segment was casting into the surf off of one of Rancho Chilamate’s trusty steeds called “Colorado”, 16 hands and not afraid of the water. Chauquet rode him in with rod in hand until a wave broke over the saddle and the horse didn’t even flinch. At one point, Chauquet got off the horse in neck deep water, started surf-casting and let the horse walk up the beach on his own! Afterwards it was back to El Yunque Ironworks, at Rancho Chilamate where Jamie helped Chauquet forge his own fishing lure.
Chauquet did some crazy fishing off one of the small rocky islands in front of La Flor where he was almost swept into the sea by a large wave. He caught many Jack Crevalle, Spanish Mackerel, and Bonitos off one of the two ‘Fishing- Nicaragua’ pangas but the big Rooster Fish he had hoped for eluded him. However, to his surprise he saw and caught an 80lb sailfish inshore in Ostional when out to dive for octopus on local Elmar’s panga. Some other exciting shots will be the beach launches at Playa El Coco, as the swell was the biggest it had been in months and Chauquet was really impressed with the boating skills of the Fishing-Nicaragua’s Captain and crew; Eduardo, Adolfo and Darwin.
Parkour in Nicaragua - AMAZING!
Stephane Vigroux, Dan Edwardes, Chris 'Blane' Rowat (from Parkour Generations) and Johnny 'Sticky' Budden, went to Managua Nicaragua for Yota to run introductory parkour workshops to a city that had never heard of the art and discipline before. In addition to the workshops, they did photo and video shoots . A film by Julie Angel, music by Perception Records, special thanks to Andy 'Kiell' Day.
Small balls of ice fell in Managua. Small balls of ice Fell in Managua. Journalist Tania Montenegro sent a picture of the hail that took up this afternoon. Journalist Tania Montenegro sat a picture of the hail That Took up this afternoon.
Vehicular traffic jams were reported also in the area of Hilton Princess hotel, Carretera a Masaya and Plaza El Sol sector because all the lights were off duty. Vehicular traffic jams Were Also Reported in the area of Hilton Princess Hotel, Carretera a Masaya and Plaza El Sol sector Because Were all the lights off duty.
Four minutes later, at 6:07 pm the seismographs recorded a second movement a little more intense: 2.9 on the Richter scale and the same depth. Four Minutes Later, the seismographs at 6:07 pm Recorded a Second Movement a little more intense: 2.9 on the Richter scale and the Same depth.
It was unclear if any local fault caused the earthquake, which caused no damage or casualties. It Was Unclear if local and Stock Caused the earthquake fault, Which Caused Casualties or no damage.
The Ineter offer a press conference to give details about the natural phenomena that later spilled into the capital. The Ineter offer a press conference to Give details about the natural phenomena Later That Spilled Into the capital.
On 13 March, an earthquake of 2.8 degrees caused alarm in the capital. On 13 March, an earthquake of 2.8 degrees cause alarm in the capital. That quake was caused by the failure of Tiscapa, it was activated in 1972 and destroyed the city of Managua. That quake WAS Caused by the failure of Tiscapa, it WAS activated in 1972 and destroy the city of Managua.
The Nicaraguan Institute of Territorial Studies (Ineter) considered, however, that due to the small size of the event is not triggered the other major faults that traverse the city (Chico hairless, and Banks' Stadium). The Nicaraguan Institute of Territorial Studies (Ineter) consider, However, That due to the small size of the event triggered is Not That The Other major faults traverse the city (Chico hairless, and Banks' Stadium).
The quake occurred two weeks ago to five miles north of the Malecón de Managua, at a depth of 4.7 kilometers. Occurred The quake two weeks ago to five thousand north of the Malecón de Managua, at a depth of 4.7 kilometers. The Ineter said then that it had no records of earthquakes on the fault Tiscapa from the swarm of December 1972 and which took place in early 1973. Then the Ineter Said That It Had No records of Earthquakes on the fault Tiscapa from the swarm of December 1972 and Which Took Place in early 1973.
Managua was destroyed by a terrremoto of 6.2 degrees on the Richter scale at 0:35 pm on Saturday, December 23, 1972. Managua WAS Destroyed by a terrremoto of 6.2 degrees on the Richter scale at 0:35 pm on Saturday, December 23, 1972. The tragedy left an official toll of 10 000 dead. The tragedy left an official toll of 10 000 dead.
Family Photos: Jason Puracal with his wife Scarleth and son Jabu. Courtesy of Scarleth Puracal
RIVAS – A government investigation into an alleged international criminal organization involving a U.S. real estate agent and several politicos from San Juan del Sur could be part of a Sandinista plot to neutralize the local opposition and steal land from foreigners, according to several of the accused.
Former U.S. Peace Corps volunteer Jason Puracal, the 33-year-old owner of the RE/MAX real estate franchise in San Juan del Sur, was one of 11 people arrested Nov. 11 and charged with international drug trafficking, money laundering and organized crime. The charges were made official in a preliminary hearing held in Rivas last week. A trial date has been set for Feb. 2.
Puracal, a native of Washington State, claims he has not committed any crimes and suspects his arrest is part of an attempted Sandinista “land grab” of properties where he has invested money in San Juan del Sur and Jinotega. The majority owner of the two properties, U.S. citizen Christopher Robertson, is downplaying those concerns, saying he has no reason to believe anyone in the government is using Puracal to come after his farms.
Jason Puracal and son Jabu. Courtesy of Puracal family
Still, Puracal insists something strange is going on. He says he doesn’t know any of the other Nicaraguan suspects with whom he was allegedly conspiring to launder money or traffic drugs. And the state prosecutor’s office has been unable to present any evidence of wrongdoing or proof that links Puracal to the other defendants, his lawyer says.
Puracal’s defense attorney Telma Vanegas claims her client’s only apparent “crime” was to sell real estate to foreigners – an accusation that could have very negative implications for the local real-estate market.
“Lots of North American investors in San Juan del Sur are going to stop doing international money transactions to purchase real estate,” Vanegas told The Nica Times. “This is worrisome for the investment climate.”
Indeed, according to the evidence presented by the prosecutor Dec. 6, the money laundering charges against Puracal appear to be based on copies of property titles he sold to foreigners and receipts of land transactions he helped facilitate. In the case file, the prosecutor notes that Puracal was involved in “national and international transactions using a great amount of money without justification to buy and sell property, especially in the departments of Rivas and Granada.”
While that may sound villainous if read aloud in a sinister voice, it’s really just a basic description of how the real-estate market works.
“Imagine how absurd this case is: Practically the entire proof against Jason is based on property titles from his office and receipts of property sales to foreigners in San Juan del Sur,” Vanegas said. “The function of a real estate business is help others buy and sell property. But It appears that the prosecutor thinks this is a crime.”
Roger Núñez claims the case against him is political.
Some of other evidence presented against Puracal – including 14 confiscated folders with “information in English” – also suggests that San Juan del Sur isn’t quite ready for its own “CSI” series.
When the police raided Puracal’s home, they found $75 in U.S. currency, 2,270 Nicaraguan córdobas ($108) and one 1,000-colones note from Costa Rica ($2). Though the total amount of cash in Puracal’s possession was less than $200, the police apparently think it’s suspicious to leave that kind of money lying around the house – in three types of currency, no less.
“(Puracal) kept cash money from different countries, which is the modus operandi of someone with knowledge about the international and national finances involved in money laundering and organized crime,” reads the criminal accusation against Puracal.
The Nica Times attempted to interview state prosecutor Rodrigo Zambrana, sub-director of the Public Ministry’s Special Unit Against Organized Crime, who is handling the case. But Zambrana did not respond by press time.
Jason’s sister Janice Puracal, an attorney in Tacoma, Washington, thinks her brother is being “arbitrarily detained.” Ms. Puracal told The Nica Times in a phone interview this week that she is working with other lawyers to file an “emergency injunction” before the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights seeking immediate intervention to free her brother.
Ms. Puracal said the injunction will argue that the State of Nicaragua has violated her brother’s human rights by detaining him without due cause and allegedly mistreating him in custody.
“This is an emergency; Jason is being held without bail and with no evidence against him,” Ms. Puracal said. “They have frozen his accounts and seized his property.”
Ms. Puracal said her family is in contact with the U.S. Embassy, which she says is “being helpful to the extent they can.” Still, she says it’s hard for her family – none of whom speak any Spanish – to get information about what’s going on, or to communicate with their Nicaraguan defense attorney, who doesn’t speak English.
From Peace Corps to Big House
Raised in Tacoma, Washington by parents of East Indian descent, Puracal went to the University of Washington and graduated with a double major in Zoology and Economics. He then joined the Peace Corps and came to Nicaragua in 2002 as part of the organization’s agricultural program. After leaving the Peace Corps, Puracal moved to San Juan del Sur and got involved in the real estate market, eventually becoming a partner and then majority owner of the RE/MAX Horizons franchise.
Puracal married a Nicaraguan woman, Scarleth, and had a son, Jabu, who’s now three years old.
When San Juan del Sur’s real estate market was booming in 2005, Puracal starting making big bucks. And when the market crashed around 2007, he started to spin his commissions into property purchases of his own.
“I’m a realtor and I am buying property for myself,” Puracal told The Nica Times in a 2007 interview. “Everyone I know who lives here is buying now; they see this as a great opportunity.” (NT, May 2, 2007).
As the father of a young family and head of his own real estate franchise on the beach in Nicaragua, Puracal professed on the RE/MAX website that he was “living the American dream in a tropical paradise!!”
But as the real estate market continued to slump, Puracal’s economic lifestyle became cramped. Despite having some property investments, a business and a stylish Mercedes Benz G-Wagon, which he bought second-hand off the former owner of RE/MAX, Puracal started to struggle to make ends meet this year.
“I have to give the perception of success for clients to have confidence in me as a real estate salesman, but I have less than $200 in the bank and I’m $20,000 in debt,” Puracal told The Nica Times this week in a phone interview from jail. “I have a three year old son with Down syndrome and a wife in law school; I’m just barely getting by.”
He said he’s also having a hard time keeping the doors open on his RE/MAX office, and suspects he will have to close it soon since he no longer has any source of income.
To the police, however, Puracal appeared to be rolling in money. When officers raided his home and office last month, they eagerly reported finding “26 bank cards” in Puracal’s possession – further evidence, they thought, that the young realtor was up to mischief.
But Puracal says what the police took were just cardboard bank receipts of transactions made from the same two accounts. He said the police have mistaken the different transaction codes for individual bank accounts. But when he tried to explain to them how the banking system and real estate market works, he said their eyes glazed over.
“They don’t understand anything that I am talking about,” Puracal said.
For reasons unclear to Puracal, the police started investigating his alleged involvement in an international criminal network as early as 2007 (though a different part of the same police report says the investigation started in 2010).
Attorney Telma Vanegas.
The accusation suggests that Puracal was acting as a “real-estate advisor” for alleged cartel kingpin Manuel Ponce, a Nicaraguan fisherman from San Juan del Sur who apparently raised suspicions when he started to accumulate money and purchase his own boats.
Puracal allegedly used RE/MAX to launder drug money for Ponce, according to the prosecutor’s accusation. But so far no evidence has been presented to back the allegations or link Puracal to Ponce, Vane-gas says.
“They can’t prove any link between Jason and the other suspects,” the lawyer said. “There were no phone calls to them, no video of them together, no economic or banking transactions linking Jason to the others, which would be important evidence to prove money laundering. There are no public documents showing (Puracal) has made any sales to Ponce or sales for him.”
The drug charge, however, is slightly stickier. Literally.
A police drug particle test found traces of cocaine on Puracal’s clothes and on the steering wheel of his vehicle. But Vanegas says that evidence is also questionable, considering the police took Puracal’s clothes away from him for 24 hours before allegedly telling him to put them back on to conduct the drug tests.
Puracal insists he’s “never touched cocaine.” Regardless, his lawyer said, particle traces are not enough to charge someone with international drug trafficking.
“They could probably also find particle traces of cocaine on the bills that are circulating in town, especially in San Juan del Sur where many foreigners visit and consume cocaine,” Vanegas said.
Political Interests Involved?
Among those detained with Puracal are two local opposition political leaders, including Roger Núñez, San Juan del Sur’s former mayoral candidate who claims he was robbed of victory in 2008 by the Sandinista Front.
Since the elections, Núñez, a former boxing champ and popular political figure, has been working to unite the opposition against President Daniel Ortega’s reelection bid next year. He says the criminal charges against him are part of a Sandinista plot to remove him from the political scene and prevent him from running again for mayor in 2012.
Now, as Puracal’s cellmate in the La Modelo maximum security prison in Tipitapa, Núñez argues that the case against him and the others is a political setup by the Sandinista Front.
“This is 100 percent political – they have no case against us,” Núñez told The Nica Times this week in a phone interview from jail.
Núñez’s arrest also has a strange echo of history repeating itself. In 2008, Núñez told The Nica Times that his mayoral candidacy was in part motivated by a desire to “punish” the Sandinistas to avenge his father, Abelardo Núñez, who he says was blamed by the Sandinistas for a 2005 property scandal that landed him behind bars and tarnished the family name (NT, Oct. 24, 2008).
Attempted Land Grab?
Puracal, however, thinks a property land grab is the motive behind his arrest.
Though Puracal is only a minority owner – less than 5 % – in “Finca Las Nubes,” a sustainable farm and intentional community outside of San Juan del Sur, and “Finca Petén,” a farm in Jinotega, his name was listed as a company officer for the two farms.
Puracal told The Nica Times that the police have been repeatedly asking him about his connection to the two farms, leading him to suspect that a pre-electoral land grab is in the works.
But Christopher Robertson, the owner of the two farms and a 10-year resident of Nicaragua, says he has absolutely no reason to suspect anyone is trying to steal his properties. If the government were truly interested in taking his farms, Robertson said, “They would arrest me instead.”
Robertson says he has a very positive and transparent relationship with the Sandinista administration, and they are very familiar with his sustainable agricultural projects.
In fact, President Ortega and his wife Rosario Murillo visited Robertson’s Petén farm in 2009 and hailed it as a leading model of sustainable, organic food production. Ortega hailed the work that Robertson was doing on his farm and jokingly called him a “good yanqui.”
Robertson said he thinks the government is “100 percent against confiscations.”
Trying to Stay Centered
Back in La Modelo Prison, Puracal says he’s trying to piece his case together as he waits for his trial in February.
He said he’s also spending his days distracting his mind with books brought by his wife, and trying to stay centered through meditation and yoga.
Puracal says he’s lost a lot of weight. His normal diet has been replaced by small portions of rice and beans, washed down reluctantly with tap water.
“I’m trying not to be negative towards Nicaragua. I still love the people and the culture, but I don’t understand why this is happening to me,” he said. “This has been very trying to say the least.”
A lack of lifeguards at Xiloá, last Friday a police officer jumped into the water to try to save the vacationer to china, but this unfortunately drowned.
The work done by Institutions like the National Police and relief agencies like the Fire Department and the Nicaraguan Red Cross this year allowed the Easter holidays left to lower death toll Compared to Earlier dates. At least 57 people died of various causes during the holidays. At least 57 people Died of Various Causes DURING the holidays.
Last year during this period, the balance was 95 dead, 41 died from drowning, another 28 in traffic accidents and 26 homicides. DURING last year this newspaper, The balance WAS 95 dead, 41 Died from drowning, Another 28 in traffic accidents and 26 homicide.
Up to noon yesterday the Fire Department (DGB) recorded the deaths of 20 people drowned in the different resorts in the country.
Up to noon yesterday the Fire Department (DGB) recalled the Deaths of 20 people Drowned in The Different resorts in the country. Meanwhile, the National Police in a preliminary report accounted for another 23 deaths in violent and 14 as a result of traffic accidents. Meanwhile, the National Police in a preliminary report account for Another 23 Deaths in violent and 14 as a result of traffic accidents.
Unlike what happened in the same period last year, deaths from traffic accidents decreased. What Happened unlikable in the Same Period Last Year, Deaths from traffic accidents decreased. Until last night the police accounted for that cause about 14 deaths, confirmed the head of Public Relations of the Police Commissioner Major Fernando Borge. Until last night the police account for about 14 Deaths That cause, to confirm the head of Public Relations of the Police Commissioner Major Fernando Borge.
The head of the DGB, Michael German brigade commander, said of the 20 drowned, 11 died Friday. The head of the DGB, Michael German brigade commander, Said of the 20 Drowned, 11 Died Friday. At this institution to provide care accounted for the occurrence of five cases. At this institution Provide care to account for the Occurrence of five cases.
Fire Department chief said that among recent drowning reported are those that occurred on Easter Sunday, one in San Juan del Sur, one in Somotillo and a third in Tipitapa. Fire Department chief Said That Are Reported drowning Recent Among Those That Occurred on Easter Sunday, one in San Juan del Sur, one in Somotillo and a third in Tipitapa.
The number of GIP differs from data reported by the Nicaraguan Red Cross, which accounted for a preliminary eight drowned during the holy days and five in what they call preseason. The number of GIP differs from data reported by the Nicaraguan Red Cross s, which account for a preliminary eight Drowned During The holy days and five in What They call preseason.
In San Juan del Sur were five reported drowned. In San Juan del Sur five Were Reported Drowned. A German criteria for being "one of the best seas in Nicaragua, we imagine that each year brings more people and it seems that there are more parties (...); has been one of the most popular resorts nationwide" . A German criteria for being "one of the best you are in Nicaragua, we Imagine That Brings Each year more people and It Seems That There Are More parties (...); has-been one of the MOST popular resorts Nationwide."
Lissette Guido, head of communications for the Nicaraguan Red Cross, said that to date three people are missing, whose bodies have not been located. Lissette Guido, head of communications for the Nicaraguan Red Cross, Said That Are to date three people missing, Whose Bodies Have Not Been located.
Fire Department chief said the DGB has also provided other services during this period, which led them to make 460 starts. Said the Fire Department chief has DGB DURING Other Services Also Provided this Period, Which Led Them to make 460 starts.
The DGB served in 12 resorts, where they rescued 30 people. The DGB-served basis in 12 resorts, Where They rescued 30 people. Also attended 51 accidents. Also Attended 51 accidents.
Meanwhile, the Nicaraguan Red Cross reported 329 rescues life, which accounted for 95 made more than last year. Meanwhile, the Nicaraguan Red Cross Rescues Reported life 329 s, which account for more Than 95 made last year. In total relief organization reported that more than 4,500 services between the preseason and the week higher, among which 40 children lost and returned to their families, eight people from alcohol poisoning, food poisoning five, and six people with burns first, second and third grade. In total relief organization Reported That More Than 4.500 entre services the preseason and the week higher, Which Among 40 Children lost and returned to Their Families, eight people from alcohol poisoning, food poisoning five, and six people with burns first, second and third grade .
Yubelkis Salmerón Martínez, a native of Sutiaba, Leon, was rescued alive off the coast of Poneloya.
This all started being a journey or adventure seeing how things will take shape and turn out, but not anymore.. this has become an expedition, an expedition where we have been able to foreshadow and see exactly where things are taking us and so far so good! Since the last post we have accomplished alot! Finished and Sold the first bungalo, built a guard hut, added another septic, posted paintball billboards around the town and had such a funnn time running paintball meeting awesome people and having great times and memories with them!
Apr.6 /2011. Here is the most recent picture of the castle bungalo, taken today with sliding wood doors , window frames, also a door in the bathroom and one in the storage room in the back. We planted palm trees surrounding the bungalo, they will eventually grow to be bigger than the bungalo if the damn cows dont stop eating them!
Here we have added an outdoor shower upon the buyers request, this is an awesome feature to have, people from paintball have used it to wash off and the workers love it. Its better than sticking your head in a bucket full of paint water.... when the resort is all finished it will be perfect for people to walk down from sun tanning on the roof to cool off.
New lights are installed on all 4 corners, the view looks unreal standing in the roof and looks even better light up at night!
We had to add another septic tank near the bungalos since it was too far from the other septic near the house. There is a 4 inch tube connected straight into the septic from the bungalo that is permanent, when the other bungalos need to get hooked up, we will build a trap box where all the pipes from the bungalos are connected into one, with one 8 inch PVC connected to the septic tank.
This bungalo was designed as a cave theme! There are rocks on all the walls exept the bottom right section where there will be two bench seats and a table that is able to be converted into a bed, like you would see in RV trailers. Its a great concept , saves room and has more than 1 use! We are planning a unique type of ladder to get up to the bunk bed, any ideas?... rockclimbing holds perhaps..??? The fan and lights are now all wired up, all we need now is a couple windows and we're in business!
New guard hut/ registration booth, equiped with 4 lights on each corner, a bench seat facing the road out of the sun, and one light in the middle that looks amazing light up at night. Built it 5'x5' so Eric doesnt sleep in it! But I dunno I've seen Eric sleep in some strange places throughout the years, this could be luxury for him.. Still needs some touch ups.
This rockclimbing wall will be a new addition to the Surf Ranch. 40 feet high with 3 sides, beginner, intermediate, and expert.