I Went to Jail

You may have noticed that I have not posted in two weeks or so… That has nothing to do with this post. If you were expecting a story about how a crazy night in the Managua nightclubs with El Chapo wound me up in a jail cell in San Juan del Sur, well then I deliberately set you up for disappointment. I went to jail to visit someone today. And if you are expecting a post about the horrors of jail in Central America – well again you may be disappointed.

[No pictures, sorry. I did not bring my camera to jail]

It turns out that one person from my financial education group took my advice to save so well that he is stopped buying things altogether and just steals when he needs something. At least that’s what he is accused of – his neighbor has said he stole a bike, and he has been in jail for two weeks now. I have no idea if it is true of not, but nevertheless, he is in jail awaiting trial. I just found out earlier this week from the President of the NGO that organized the financial education series. I decided to go visit my friend, since the President said that not many people are helping him out (luckily the President is a lawyer and is helping him – León and the LGBT community is very lucky to have Marcelo).

Marcelo presenting me with a thank you certificate for the financial education series

Marcelo presenting me with a thank you certificate for the financial education series

The local jail is in the main police station. And unfortunately I did not get to see my friend. Although I was told visiting hours were everyday at 11:30 AM, I found out when I arrived that is only to drop off food. Visits are on Thursdays only. They do not give prisoners food on a regular basis here. Family members have to bring food. I did have a few things for him because Marcelo had let me know that they do not give food. By 11:30 there was a long line of people all with bags of food. A police officer with a wagon came out, felt all bags for hard items and poked at certain food with a spoon. I had brought an avocado and he made me cut it open and take the seed out. Apparently it can be used as a weapon.

All in all it was a sad situation, and I wish I could have seen him rather than just having left him a bag of food with his name and cell number written on it. But I am hopeful that the Marcelo can help him and everything can get resolved.

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