The Quaint Town of El Rama
Today, El Rama is quiet and peaceful and is one of the lesser known destinations in Nicaragua. However, just a few years ago it was a road less traveled due to the danger and fear that surrounded this little tropical paradise. Unfortunately, it became a target of war efforts because of its strategic location between rivers. It was also conveniently situated on the fastest route to the South Atlantic. Troops would move through Bluefields to the El Rama Port, with the result that passenger ships and innocent travelers would often come under fire. It was also the most important port to re-supply troops and often gunfire would be exchanged when a shipment entered the port. This also places El Rama amongst the destinations in Nicaragua that has a rich cultural history.
El Rama's population consists of approximately 50 000 individuals. These are mainly farm workers, peasants and inhabitants that were left behind after the war. The town's location between the South Atlantic and the Nicaraguan capital of Managua would make one think that El Rama is a highly populated area - especially when one also takes into account its proximity to the Escondido, Siquai and Rama Rivers. But as many locals will be able to tell you, El Rama is the end of the road - literally. After reaching El Rama, you will only be able to continue your journey on horseback, by boat or on your own two feet. The land is also hard to work with due to its high rainfall and extremely humid weather conditions. Many farmers grow rice, corn and sometimes beans, but the rains often wash away the soil, fertilizer and plants all in one downpour.
It is a very interesting village to visit if you are interested in the cultural history of the Miskitos and Sumos and the Spanish that have basically divided the village in two. Accommodation in the village is not exactly five-star as not all the houses in El Rama are connected to the electricity grid and those that are suffer blackouts every now and then. Running water is available for a few hours a day, but rainwater is usually collected and used in the homes. Bathrooms often have buckets for toilets and diseases are a health concern. Passing through or spending the day in El Rama is an interesting and educational opportunity and many voluntary organizations and funded groups are working on establishing a healthy and safe environment for El Rama residents.