Introduction As the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere after Haiti, Nicaragua remains desperate for foreign exchange. Natural disasters, a 40-year dictatorship, the popular revolution toppling the dictatorship, and a bloody counter-revolution have all contributed to the country’s persistent poverty. Since the 1990s the Nicaraguan government increasingly turned to tourism as a means of capitalizing on natural resources and stimulating economic activity beyond that provided by traditional exports. While there is impressive performance in the tourism sector, the country chronically under-performs on economic indicators, including measures of absolute and relative poverty (Cañada, 2013).