No, just because a country is ‘developing’ doesn’t mean that everyone is looking to marry you and assume your nationality. Yes, if you’re not from Central America you automatically become more attractive in Nicaragua (even though in reality you’re sweaty, unshaven and constipated).
Nicaragua is traditional. Everyone is supposed to live at home with their parents until they get married (at which time a girl is permitted to discover sex). Men are supposed to initiate everything, women are supposed to feign indifference.
There isn’t a lot of privacy for couples in Nicaragua. There are aunts and priests everywhere. Chaste bike rides and the occasional furtive dry hump on the beach or in the park are the usual order of things. If you’re planning on getting naked and slippery with a Nica, it will probably have to happen at your place, so you might want to rethink the hostel dorm. A lot of hotels (especially the places run by older Nicas) will have strict rules about funny business with locals. Choose you accommodation wisely.
Dating Nica Girls
Yes, they’re dark-eyed latinas, but don’t expect the same number of dolled-up bombshells that you’ll find further north or south in Latin America. Partly because it’s just too damn hot to get all made up (or, it seems, to shave your armpits regularly) and partly because money helps hotness along, and Nicaragua really doesn’t have the money to spend on all those devious beauty secrets. Still, there are plenty of great Nica girls about, and many would love to be swept of her feet by a guy taller and less macho than the local gents.
For a while during the revolutionary days everyone was equal and was supposed to contribute. Now that those days are over women have been put back in their Catholic places. Some girls will flirt with a foreign guy and send obvious signals; many girls will be too shy though. Either way, you’re expected to make the first move, and the second, and to pay for everything, and to open doors and all the rest (you do that anyway though, right?).
Don’t get your hopes up for any slap and tickle on the first date. Even the girls that aren’t particularly religious have grandparents that are. If you’re really set on some one-night loving in Nicaragua hit up the expensive bars in Managua and San Juan del Sur, where the girls fancy themselves liberated western types. University areas are also helpful; students from out of town will be revelling in their freedom from the constant surveillance of family members, and might even have their own place (hang a sock on the doorknob or something; most of them will be sharing the place with a lot of other students).
If you’re happy to put in a bit more work though, there is plenty of fun to be had in Nicaragua. It seems like a rite of passage to have a foreign novio at some point. This doesn’t mean it has to be serious or long term; yes eventually every girl is supposed to find a husband, and to pretend to be a virgin for him, but that doesn’t mean she can’t have some foreign fun first.
Dating Nica Guys
Machismo hangs heavy in the Nicaraguan air (you thought that was the humidity). Any unaccompanied and some accompanied girls in Nicaragua are going to be hissed and kissed at. The group of guys that have the towering wit and courage to shout something at a girl in the street usually can’t make eye contact with her when alone though.
Foreign girls are easier than Nicaraguan girls, according to local wisdom. The blonder or whiter you are the easier you are; it’s like science or something. Don’t be surprised if your new beau isn’t looking for anything particularly serious. For something long term he’d probably rather find a demure Nica girl that can cook and coddle like his mother.
It isn’t hard to pick up/get picked (let him think he’s picked you up) up by a Nica guy; given that Nica girls aren’t supposed to be too forward it doesn’t take much flirtation to get a guy’s attention. Too much flirtation though and the guy really will think you are a loose non-Catholic type (i.e. a whore).
If you’re looking for something short and sweet: every hostel, guide-book-recommended bar and tour agency will have a resident charmer ready and able to satisfy a gringa’s needs. Just don’t expect to be his first or last. Wherever you find him, be prepared to provide the place and the protection.
Be aware that especially in touristy places like San Juan del Sur there are always a few guys who will expect you to pay for everything, and who will probably end up stealing your camera/ipod/whatever. These guys are a tiny minority, but every volunteer clique has a few such stories.