Lake Nicaragua is in the top five largest lakes in the world and has enough water to keep Central America hydrated for hundreds of years if the tap turns off.
Mario, our tour guide, brings out his map and shows us where the new Panama Canal is going to be built.
Looking at the map, he points.
The canal will go from the from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea cutting through the southern part of Nicaragua, using this lake and a new man made fresh water lake to feed water to canal locks. China is scheduled to start this new canal and the project will change this country forever.
” These islands, ” Mario continues, ” are for sale. He motions with his arm pointing at little islands we are gliding past in our tour boat. That one is owned by one of the wealthiest families in Nicaragua, the Pella family. They own the Tona beer company too…. ”
The good thing about owning an island is that neighbors are separated from you. The bad thing is some of your neighbors are living in galvanized sheet metal houses with boats dry docked in the yard and laundry hanging from makeshift clotheslines..
Men fishing in the river pause and watch us, then cast out their nets and pull them back in with tonight’s dinner.
When the sun goes down fires glow in the woods as day is put to bed and stories roll out of their bunks.
Most who live on this lake never want to see ocean going freighters crossing it and ruining their fishing.