Appalachia and Teustepe, Nicaragua

I’ve had cholera on my mind today. Fortunately, nowhere else.

Which of course reminds me of a 1992 visit to Nicaragua, when I contracted the bacteria somewhere near Guatemala City en route. It makes for an amusing story I enjoy sharing over and over again. An account is here, if you haven’t read it. 🙂

This image was taken two years earlier, in February 1990 during my first of five visits to Nicaragua, when isolated cases of cholera were sometimes reported. This is in a rural comarca, or township, in the countryside outside of Teustepe in the Department of Boaco, about 90 kilometers east of the capital Managua. (It’s an old scan of an even older print, so please excuse the dust, finger prints and push pin holes.)

I was sitting in the back of a small pick-up truck as we passed this house. The road was rocky and bumpy, forcing us to slow to a virtual crawl, which in turn allowed enough time for this entire family to gather, first to stare, then to wave hello.

What struck me most about the scene was how eerily similar it was to scenes I’d witnessed or driven through in some pockets of Appalachia in the eastern U.S.

Much of my work in the community was related directly to a sister city organization I helped co-found which linked Teustepe with Athens, Ohio, the southeast Ohio town where I lived for several years, which lead to several visits fro 1990 through 1999.

If you’re curious about the Nicaragua of the nineties, I posted a scrapbook of images here a little over a year ago.

And, while on the topic of snapshots, below is one of me with my Nicaraguan twin Carlos Fonseca, a co-founder of the Sandinsta revolutionary front and martyr of the revolution, taken in 1994.

There’s an eerie similarity there, too.


Today’s Pic du Jour, the site’s 761st straight, was snapped near Teustepe, Nicaragua, on 22 February 1990.



  1. I do love your original post on cholera. 🙂 When I was in Naples Italy many years ago, cholera broke out and it was not something we’d been vaccinated for in the U.S. But the wonderful U.S. Navy insisted on inoculating all foreigners and Italians in the area for free on base so luckily we didn’t get sick.

  2. Are you familiar with the Foxfire books about Appalachia? A wonderful series written by high school students.

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