As different as things can be here, sometimes they aren’t that different at all…and that can be a good thing.
La Colonia is one of two major supermarkets in Nicaragua, the other being La Union. La Union is actually owned by Walmart, sad but true. There is a 3rd supermarket here called Pali, although I’m not sure the word “super” really applies to it. It is quite bare bones. Pali does have almost everything you need, but it is a no frills shopping experience…basically a concrete warehouse full of stuff.
La Colonia and La Union are comparable to shopping at major supermarkets in the States. In fact, aside from being smaller, they are both exactly like HEB, the major grocery store chain in Texas.
One major difference here than in the states is that carry out service is not an exception, but a rule. When you bring your cart into the checkout area you leave it there. Your items are then checked and bagged and put on another cart – specialized cart – made to be scooted outside by an employee. They help you load your vehicle, or if you need to get a taxi (like we always do) they will take your groceries out by the street and hail a taxi for you…waiting as long as it takes…then they will load your groceries into the taxi’s trunk. Usually the taxi driver will also get out and help load groceries into the trunk. We always tip the grocery carry out guy before getting in the taxi, and the taxi driver when we get home, because he will usually also help us unload groceries on arrival.
La Colonia, like La Union, has kid-sized shopping carts so kids can participate in the shopping experience.
Most of our fruits we get from a nice lady who shows up at our door every morning with a huge cart full of melons, oranges, limes, bananas, etc., etc. The only fruit we get from La Colonia or La Union is apples, but we do get lettuce and celery from those supermarkets as needed.
I snapped a few pics during our trip to La Colonia this evening…