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Migration in the Americas: US retirees flock to Nicaragua

From Colombians fleeing war to North Americans retirees moving to Nicaragua, a photographer's journey from Chile to Alaska explores both the expected and unexpected patterns of migration in the Americas
From Colombians fleeing war to North Americans retirees moving to Nicaragua, a photographer's journey from Chile to Alaska explores both the expected and unexpected patterns of migration in the AmericasK. van Lohuizen / NOOR
\"In the US, money and beauty are the power, but I am looking for something else,\" said Kathy Aley, originally from Newport Beach, Calif., who moved to Nicaragua in 2001. \"I left because of the greed and the selfishness in that country. I worked as an aerobics instructor for the school district, but I tore my muscles. I have two daughters in the US … they are 40 and 32 years old. I live here with my eight dogs, 10 cats and my parrot. Every morning, I jog the beach up and down with my dogs and parrot. They need the exercise.\"
\"In the US, money and beauty are the power, but I am looking for something else,\" said Kathy Aley, originally from Newport Beach, Calif., who moved to Nicaragua in 2001. \"I left because of the greed and the selfishness in that country. I worked as an aerobics instructor for the school district, but I tore my muscles. I have two daughters in the US … they are 40 and 32 years old. I live here with my eight dogs, 10 cats and my parrot. Every morning, I jog the beach up and down with my dogs and parrot. They need the exercise.\"

Photojournalist Kadir van Lohuizen traveled from the southern tip of South America to the far reaches of Alaska on the North American continent to explore migration in the Americas. What he found both supported and defied stereotypes, which he reported on a website and an app for iPad called Via Panam.

 “I came (to Nicaragua) on holiday in October 2000 and while I was watching the sunset on the beach, I knew I had to move here,” said Kathy Aley, now 64, a transplant from Newport Beach, Calif. “I need the warmth and the slow life.”

Captain Zatara, 53, and Katy, 41:
Captain Zatara, 53, and Katy, 41:Kadir van Lohuizen / NOOR

Central America is a growing destination for moderately wealthy Americans looking to leave the rat race behind. In their search for quieter and less expensive places, some have chosen to settle in Nicaragua — the poorest nation in mainland Latin America, but also the safest, according to The Economist.

One such quiet and affordable enclave is the tranquil bay of San Juan del Sur. In addition to safe harbor for retirement, the location also offers a break from recession and politics.

Nicaragua was recently named one of the most favorable retirement destinations in the world.

Below are some stories of Americans who picked up and moved south for their retirement years:

 

Fred Goldfarb, 60:
Fred Goldfarb, 60:Kadir van Lohuizen / NOOR

Tom and Patty Lowy (55 and 62 respectively), from the San Francisco area: In 2004 Tom bought land close to San Juan del Sur.
Tom and Patty Lowy (55 and 62 respectively), from the San Francisco area: In 2004 Tom bought land close to San Juan del Sur.

Beverly Gene Marte, 74:
Beverly Gene Marte, 74:Kadir van Lohuizen / NOOR

The tranquil bay of San Juan del Sur is pictured. Although Nicaragua hasn't had good relationships with the US over the last three decades, it is a popular destination for US citizens.
The tranquil bay of San Juan del Sur is pictured. Although Nicaragua hasn't had good relationships with the US over the last three decades, it is a popular destination for US citizens.Kadir van Lohuizen / NOOR

From Colombians fleeing war to North Americans retirees moving to Nicaragua, a photographer's journey from Chile to Alaska explores both the expected and unexpected patterns of migration in the Americas
From Colombians fleeing war to North Americans retirees moving to Nicaragua, a photographer's journey from Chile to Alaska explores both the expected and unexpected patterns of migration in the AmericasK. van Lohuizen / NOOR

Experience the entire journey, from Chile to Alaska, by exploring the slideshow at right, the Via Panam website or by downloading the app for iPad.

More Photoblogs from the Migration in the Americas series:
On the run from water in Panama

Bolivia hopes for windfall from producing lithium for batteries

Mom works in US while family stays in El Salvador

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