A Nicaragua Holiday – Smiles All Around
Many travelers looking where to spend their holidays consider the natural beauty of a country. Others look to the culture of a country, its history, archaeology or architecture. Who then searches on the internet for a holiday of smiles? All tourism boards promote the “warmth of their people”, so who can really tell from abroad?
Yet a holiday in Nicaragua really is a pleasant experience, not least because of the warmth and effortless openness of her people. A Nicaragua holiday is a bit of a revelation for even the most jaded. How does the populace of the world’s poorest Spanish speaking country smile so much?
Nicaragua’s collective smile has now been documented by a company called Jetpac which did stats on 150 million Instagram posts in 6,000 cities around the globe, to rank the happiest countries on earth: http://www.businessinsider.com/happiest-countries-in-the-world-2014-3 A curious aspect of this survey was that they weighted bigger smiles with more points. After all there is smiling to look good and to look happy vs. smiles from people actually happy.
For those who have enjoyed a holiday in Latin America, it is no surprise that the top 5 in the world were all from the region. Number one was Latin America’s biggest country and biggest economy: Brazil, but then again they are about to host the world cup in a country that worships football and as the Brazilians are quick to point out to their southern tango dancing rivals, “the Pope might be Argentine, but God is Brazilian”.
In any case, a close second on the smile Richter was Nicaragua.
Little Nicaragua, the second poorest in the hemisphere, overflowing with folks quite happy, nearly won the survey. How can this be? Those who have experienced a Nicaragua holiday already know the answer, for smiles indicate friendliness, as much as they do happiness. It is a natural expression of joy, which comes easily to people who enjoy life so much, that they don’t mind wearing it on their sleeve.
Here’s the scores for the top 5:
- Brazil 60.8
- Nicaragua 59.4
- Colombia 49.8
- Bolivia 48.1
- Costa Rica 47.4