Similar to the rest of the world, alcohol is the most commonly abused drug in Nicaragua–for many reasons but perhaps mainly because it’s both legal and easily accessible in your local store. Here, however, hard liquor is cheaper than soda, so it’s very common for local residents to overindulge all day.
Most just stumble around the town harmlessly and beg for money to buy more alcohol. On the other hand, unfortunately, some of them use more destructive tactics in order to get just one cordoba ($0.05).
Our first week here, we witnessed a drunk walking down the street in front of our apartment with a large rock in the middle of the day. He approached each building and threatened to break the windows with his rock. He yelled at the people inside the buildings and even went as far as sticking his arm through the bars in attempt to break the glass. The business and home owners came outside furious. One owner threw a bucket of water on him, while another threatened to hit him with a piece of wood–both aggressive retaliations fueled the fire and made a scene until he eventually left. The more sympathetic owners just paid him the cordoba to leave peacefully. He did this all the way down the street as far as we could see. There wasn’t a moment that anyone was truly in danger, but it quickly became clear why almost all of the buildings invested in metal bars on the outside of the windows.
Desperation makes people do some very interesting things.