Recently, I took a vacation to Nicaragua. It was purely a rest-and-relaxation trip, but while I was there, I did learn a bit about the Nicaraguan Revolution, an event that spanned much of the 1980’s, and turned Nicaragua against the United States. The Sandinistas, revolutionaries named after Augusto Sandino, a revolutionary in the 1930’s, staged a coup against the government that was in power, the Somozas’, and were able to wrest power away from them. In response, a group of militias called the Contras were formed. The Contras attempted to fight against the the radical communist regime of the Sandinistas. The US, living in fear of communism, supplied the Contras with weapons and military training. In response, Russia provided the Sandinistas with training. Historians consider this war to be a “proxy war”, or a war fought between two global powers using a third party. Eventually, it emerged that the US had been using illegally acquired funds to buy weapons for the Contras, so the US was forced to pull out of Nicaragua. The Sandinistas were than able to gain power. While this backstory may be interesting, what was really interesting was the effect that all this had on the country. A tour guide we met had trained with the Russian special forces. The airport we flew out of was called Sandino Airport. The rich/poor divide was extremely obvious. Mansions with pools and multiple cars were less than a mile away from metal shacks. It was very interesting to see the effects of a recent revolution in person.