After spending three months touring around different islands in Nicaragua, I felt like I was ready to explore a different part of the country, so I decided to head back to the Pacific Ocean. Several people had lovely things to say about Playa Gigante, so I decided to see for myself by making my way to this sweet fisherman's village.
The locals said that there were many places to stay, but I ended up making my way down to the end of the village, to El Camino Gigante.
As I was waiting at reception I noticed it was located in a lovely 'tienda' with several types of handicrafts. The right corner of the room immediately caught my eye, because that's where all the good clay works were. I was later told that they were all handmade by women from close-by San Juan del Sur. There was everything from plates and cups to little ashtrays and knick knacks; and it was clear that everything there was intricately worked and well designed. I was surprised to see such high quality items and was tempted to buy the whole shelf so I could keep everything for myself, (or MAYBE give away as presents for friends and family back home).
After I got my bed in the dorm, I noticed the lockers for tourists to store their things in. Since I didn’t have a lock (and my sun block was almost gone) I went straight back to the tienda where I could easily get the items I needed, which was a relief. Gigante Bay is a little isolated, so I really appreciated the convenience of having everything I needed right there.
Three days later, I decided to extend my stay at Gigante Bay and work as a volunteer with my main focus (of course) being to help organize the shop. For the next three weeks I spent my days filling up coconut-oil, re-arranging displays, talking to the owner, and thinking about useful equipment we could sell. We started sourcing out things like snorkeling-sets, organic/local coffee, condoms, and sprays. And then we also decorated the space with some artwork to make it even nicer. Later I was given the task of adding some artistic flair to a table in front of the shop, right next to our big adobe-oven, so that people passing by might feel more invited to stop, and come in.
And hopefully we achieved exactly that. Because in addition to the things I already listed the shop has handmade shooters, funny masks, little toys, wood-based materials, smoking-accessories (like pipes, papers and bongs), wallets, hammocks, hand-made bags, up-cycled shirts and lots of art work. Literally something for everyone.
I hope you can stop by and enjoy your time in the shop as much as I did. And don't forget to let us know what you think!
All photos by www.breezephotos.ca Walk the plank!