Perhaps my one favorite place in Managua was La Casa de los Mejia Godoy. This unique establishment was the best place to visit and understand the revolutionary mood of Nicaraguan people. La Casa de los Mejia Godoy was a restaurant bar that had live music on weekends. The food was good, the prices were fair, and the music was superb! The owners, Carlos and Luis Enrique Mejia Godoy are some of the most popular singers and authors of Nicaraguan music alive. Carlos is a living legend, who thrives on stage when he sings Nicaraguan testimonial songs. Most of the songs are his, he is the author. He sings of the trials and tribulations of Nicaraguan people and their efforts to rid themselves of Anastasio Somoza, a dictator whose family had run Nicaragua for several decades.
During one of my trips to Managua a few years ago, I visited La Casa de Los Mejia Godoy. It was across the street from the Crown Plaza Managua Hotel and Convention Center. I made a reservation, and took a couple of Nica friends with me. I must say that I got goosebumps listening to Carlos Mejia Godoy sing about the Nica Revolution. The passion, the excitement, made me understand the roots of modern Nicaragua much better. Despite the fact that I grew up in Mexico and live in Honduras, I would have never fully understood Nicaragua without this visit.
Back Again to La Casa de los Mejia Godoy!
A few years after my first visit, I ran into a couple of friends from Honduras who were in Managua. They were there for the Nicaragua trade show, and I almost twisted their arms to accompany me. Sonia Regalado from MesoAmerica Travel in San Pedro Sula and Gilberto Arita of Mayan Caribbean Tours, also from San Pedro Sula was reluctant to accompany us. He insisted he was capitalist to the bone and had no interest in listening to revolutionary songs. He slowly changed his mind and got really excited when Carlos Mejia Godoy sang Quincho Barrilete. This song won an OTI Award and was extremely popular with kids throughout Central America. By the time the show finished he was so happy we went, that he decided to add a visit to offer the experience to the tourists he took to Nicaragua.
It is with deep regret that I found out that La Casa de los Mejia Godoy closed its doors in June 2018. The crisis that took place after the April 2018 protests took a huge toll on many businesses that relied on Tourists. In addition, it seems like the Mejia Godoy brothers decided to move to Miami, in an auto-imposed exile to protest the current government of Nicaragua. You see, they are Sandinistas to the bone, but that does not mean the agree with the current administration.
In the end, Nicaragua is the one that has lost most. This was a house of culture. It will be difficult to replicate the experience that I had while visiting La Casa de los Mejia Godoy. Today, I got a picture of what was once the site of this unique business. I was heartbroken for Nicaragua and thankful that I had an opportunity to live an experience there.