Julio Flores - Guide

Julio is from Managua and, before becoming a guide in 2001, worked as an English teacher in Nicaragua's public schools as well as a mechanic in his father's radiator repair shop. He tells his clients not to worry about the bus breaking down, as he is an expert mechanic, "with an advanced degree in radiators." Julio also has a BA in English from the National University of Antonoma (2000).

Julio, 27, grew up in a large, old house left in his father's care by its former owners who fled when the Sandinistas came to power. The house happened to be in front of Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega's home. "I used to climb the tree in our front yard to look down into Ortega's compound. Pretty soon the guards would be pointing at me and shouting for me to get down. Believe me, I didn't waste time getting out of there!"

After some 30 years, the former owners of the house returned to Nicaragua to reclaim their property. Julio is proud that his father did not hesitate to give it back, perhaps a little worse for the wear, but now in the hands of its rightful owners.

Julio is the oldest of six children and is helping his siblings financially to get through school. He was born on April 29, 1978; is married and has a 6-year-old son, Osman. In his spare time he likes to go to the movies and watch TV programs on National Geographic and the Travel Channel. He also enjoys riding around Managua in his father's 1968 Toyota Corona.

David Miranda - Driver

David, 26, was born in Costa Rica during the civil war. He and his mother moved back to Nicaragua in the 1980s and two years ago he entered the law program at the Universidad Hispano Americana.

“I’m on leave right now, but look forward to going back to school when I have saved enough money,” he says. “Ideally I’d like to be able to continue working in tourism and go to school at the same time.” Presently he is working full time as a driver and especially enjoys meeting people from other countries and being able to show them Nicaragua.

David’s father and twin brothers live outside San José, Costa Rica, and he lives with his mother in Granada. He was born on Oct. 4, 1980.

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