I'm not necessarily into cigars but I know some of the best is the world are made right here in Esteli so a tour of a cigar factory was on the agenda. We used a socially responsible tour company (Treehuggers) that pays fair wages, tours places where workers are treated well (not sweatshops), and which uses profits to put into the community projects it supports, for example a library bus or micro lending programs.
The cigar making process is pretty cool from the box making, to drying, to the rolling.
Using a flyer I saw posted in town I contacted Highland Tours to take me on a walking city tour. I will tell you that I have never paid for anything like that preferring to figure it out myself. This time though I am so glad that I did. The guide was just starting his tour business and it was very very good. I was mostly interested in a mural tour of Esteli, which is covered in murals and is well known for them. I like street art and these were some of the best ones...
Like many Latin American cities Esteli is block after block of cell phone shops, jewelry stores, and used clothing stores. In fact second hand stores are everywhere here. Where do all these used clothings come from? The US and Canada....from charities that ship it down here in giant bales of clothes that are then sold to small shops to resell to the public.
I also met some artists who make mosaics out of pieces of colored corn husks, pretty unique material.
Maya was still in bed when I returned but the boys were ready to go out. I took them to the cafe I have been frequenting for granitas.
Then a little street food snack which was outstanding.
Eating the food and meeting people are some of the best parts of traveling.
Tomorrow we have an early bus to Somoto to stay for 2 nights and a 4 hour rock scrambling, boulder jumping, river floating adventure!