Set off the Caribbean Nicaraguan coast, there are two beautiful islands which very few people know about. They are rugged, rustic and oh so real. One is called ‘Big’ and the other ‘Little’ Corn. ‘Big’ has roads. ‘Little’ does not. We visited ‘Big’ and had a wonderful escape for a few days.

Boys in faded t-shirts and girls in torn dresses, all with earnest eyes, play on upturned boats lying on the hump of the beach under the tall palms. The girls have a game where they prance up and down the length of the boat, pretending to be on a catwalk. The boys play cricket nearby, running with arms flailing wildly and shouting at each other. This is a snapshot of life for the children of the Corn Islands…

The islands are naturally beautiful but raw, with a mix of Mosquito and Creole people. Many of the people are very poor. Reason being there are no industries except tourism (which is a nascent industry) and fishing. Lobster stocks are depleted but still provide a healthy income for some. Walking along the western beaches, not far from the port you see the numerous wooden fishing boats plying the waters. As they near the shore, boys leap out with their catch in ripped plastic bags. Sitting on the boulder rocks, they take one lobster at a time and bash it to remove the legs and tentacles – ready for sale to the local restaurants.

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