chapter  13
14 Pages

Waves of change

Coastal hazards, tourism development, and risk communication along the Pacific coast of Nicaragua
WithMatthew L. Fahrenbruch

This chapter is based on ongoing research I have conducted since 2011 in the Pacific coastal community of San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. In 1992, the community was devastated by a large tsunami. The Pacific coast of Central America, which lies adjacent to the Middle American Trench, has a history of tsunamis. Since 1992, tourism has become a major economic driver in San Juan del Sur, shifting both the nature of the economy and of risk in the community. Nicaragua and San Juan del Sur have worked to increase their risk communication capacity since 1992, but coastal tourism development necessitates that future risk communication strategies more effectively acknowledge the special needs of the tourism industry. Here, I discuss the advances in risk communication made in the community and the need to reconceptualize the traditional narrative of risk communication if the community is to be resilient to future crises.