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Thread: Lake Apoyo Spanish Schools

  1. #1
    amsutton
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    Default Lake Apoyo Spanish Schools

    There has been a lot of controversy over the Spanish Schools at Lake Apoyo over the past several months. I have read threads on other traveler websites that demonstrate the confusion that exists among visitors to the area. In particular, there seems to be quite a few people who believe that the Apoyo Cultural Center and Lake Apoyo Spanish School are one in the same. They are, in fact, two different places. The Lake Apoyo Spanish School is the oldest, most experienced Spanish School in Nicaragua. It has been successful for many years under the direction of Dr. Jeffrey McCrary. Over the past several years Dr. McCrary has faced a lot of slander and vicious attacks by the individuals who established the Apoyo Cultural Center. I was witness to one event in December. In December 2010, the individuals who run the Apoyo Cultural Center violently tossed Dr. McCrary off his own property. A large group of individuals carrying chains and knives forcefully entered the property, and through physical means, forced the visitors, students, and volunteers off the property. Dr. McCrary was hurt in the invasion when he was pushed off concrete stairs. They did not even allow him to collect his stuff. Personally I dislike violent means as a way to solve problems. The individuals who established the Apoyo Cultural Center in January 2011 obviously believe in the use of non-peaceful means to take something they want. This ordeal caused me a great deal of personal stress, and two weeks after my departure I suffered a pregnancy loss due to early contractions I experienced throughout this event. I personally have taken classes at the Lake Apoyo Spanish Center (Estacion Biologica). The instructors are very knowledgeable and learning is fun. The entire staff at Estacion Biologica is very warm and accommodating. The rooms are comfortable and clean. The cooks do a great job using fresh, local and organic ingredients to create tasty meals. I just want to warn anyone who is thinking about spending time at the Apoyo Cultural Center to give it some deep thought. Consider that your money is going to support individuals who promote non-peaceful means as a way to solve problems. On the other hand, Estacion Biologica is supported by a non-profit group, Fundeci GAIA Nicaragua. Your money is used for conservation efforts including fish and butterfly studies, reforestation efforts and other worthwhile projects. I welcome commentary on this topic from anyone else who has first-hand experience with this ongoing struggle at Lake Apoyo.

  2. #2
    Viejo del Foro Just Plain John Wayne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lake Apoyo Spanish Schools

    I live in a different neck of the woods but in Nicaragua for 19 years.

    I have learned one thing do not get involved with uneducated locals, find your own place, and do it yourself from scratch, stay straight with the labor laws, and you will be much happier.

    BTW I am sorry for the personal loses.
    To be called a "Has Been" I must surmise, is much Greater than to be called a "Nevah Been"... JW...



  3. #3
    Viejo del Foro El Greco's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lake Apoyo Spanish Schools

    Quote Originally Posted by amsutton View Post
    There has been a lot of controversy over the Spanish Schools at Lake Apoyo over the past several months. I have read threads on other traveler websites that demonstrate the confusion that exists among visitors to the area. In particular, there seems to be quite a few people who believe that the Apoyo Cultural Center and Lake Apoyo Spanish School are one in the same. They are, in fact, two different places. The Lake Apoyo Spanish School is the oldest, most experienced Spanish School in Nicaragua. It has been successful for many years under the direction of Dr. Jeffrey McCrary. Over the past several years Dr. McCrary has faced a lot of slander and vicious attacks by the individuals who established the Apoyo Cultural Center. I was witness to one event in December. In December 2010, the individuals who run the Apoyo Cultural Center violently tossed Dr. McCrary off his own property. A large group of individuals carrying chains and knives forcefully entered the property, and through physical means, forced the visitors, students, and volunteers off the property. Dr. McCrary was hurt in the invasion when he was pushed off concrete stairs. They did not even allow him to collect his stuff. Personally I dislike violent means as a way to solve problems. The individuals who established the Apoyo Cultural Center in January 2011 obviously believe in the use of non-peaceful means to take something they want. This ordeal caused me a great deal of personal stress, and two weeks after my departure I suffered a pregnancy loss due to early contractions I experienced throughout this event. I personally have taken classes at the Lake Apoyo Spanish Center (Estacion Biologica). The instructors are very knowledgeable and learning is fun. The entire staff at Estacion Biologica is very warm and accommodating. The rooms are comfortable and clean. The cooks do a great job using fresh, local and organic ingredients to create tasty meals. I just want to warn anyone who is thinking about spending time at the Apoyo Cultural Center to give it some deep thought. Consider that your money is going to support individuals who promote non-peaceful means as a way to solve problems. On the other hand, Estacion Biologica is supported by a non-profit group, Fundeci GAIA Nicaragua. Your money is used for conservation efforts including fish and butterfly studies, reforestation efforts and other worthwhile projects. I welcome commentary on this topic from anyone else who has first-hand experience with this ongoing struggle at Lake Apoyo.
    Are these people Sandinista???
    Dios es Amor!

  4. #4
    amsutton
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    Default Re: Lake Apoyo Spanish Schools

    100_7377.jpg Here is a picture of one of the men who had chains and threatened us in a violent way in December 2010 in the building that is now calling itself the Apoyo Cultural Center. I do not know his political orientation to answer the previous post.

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    Viejo del Foro Just Plain John Wayne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lake Apoyo Spanish Schools

    Quote Originally Posted by amsutton View Post
    100_7377.jpg Here is a picture of one of the men who had chains and threatened us in a violent way in December 2010 in the building that is now calling itself the Apoyo Cultural Center. I do not know his political orientation to answer the previous post.
    Be willing to bet it changes like the wind.
    To be called a "Has Been" I must surmise, is much Greater than to be called a "Nevah Been"... JW...



  6. #6
    amsutton
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    Default Re: Lake Apoyo Spanish Schools

    Yes, at the time, it did seem like these thugs who invaded Estacion Biologica were highly motivated by money - and subject to changing allegiances. Attached is a picture of the gang that held us hostage at the request of Dr. Kenneth McKaye. Dr. McKaye appears to have started the Apoyo Cultural Center by taking the building from underneath Dr. McCrary, who ran the Spanish program successfully for many years while Dr. McKaye abandoned Nicaragua for other ventures.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
    amsutton
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    Default Re: Lake Apoyo Spanish Schools

    The man in the khaki pants in the forefront of the picture was the individual responsible for throwing a bunch of volunteers and students from the grounds of Estacion Biologica by a brutal show of force. He was also the man who wounded Dr. McCrary. You can see in the picture that the Nicaraguan man on the left has a machete by his side. They used weapons as a form of intimidation. The whole demonstration was contrary to the way I like to solve issues - peacefully.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Viejo del Foro Just Plain John Wayne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lake Apoyo Spanish Schools

    Peace thru superior firepower, a shot gun loaded with bird shot and shot into the crowd at knee level and the last one with 00 Buck shot for the ones that didn't scatter with the first 4 rounds and tanned their hides.

    If you think I wouldn't put an armed man on the ground don't think of me.


    To be called a "Has Been" I must surmise, is much Greater than to be called a "Nevah Been"... JW...



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    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lake Apoyo Spanish Schools

    Quote Originally Posted by amsutton View Post
    Dr. McKaye appears to have started the Apoyo Cultural Center by taking the building from underneath Dr. McCrary, who ran the Spanish program ...
    Unpleasant indeed, this feud between McKaye's forces and McCrary with his students.
    Who owns the property in dispute? Who has legal rights to it?

    Thugs will work for whomever pays the most. Many Nicas never bother to involve the police.

    Sorry to read of your bad experiences in Nicaragua, but it appears you got caught in the middle of something with a history.
    I never met a Semite I didn't like.

  10. #10
    amsutton
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    Default Re: Lake Apoyo Spanish Schools

    From any of the documents I have glimpsed at, I would venture to say Dr. McCrary is the rightful owner. There was a large chunk of time when Dr. McKaye was not even in the country because he was involved in other pursuits. Dr. McCrary has consistently run a quality program of Spanish language study and volunteer coordination for many years. They have active research studies on-going involving cichlids (fish), butterflies, moths, rodents, bats and birds. This is a picture of a volunteer from the United States preparing seeds for a reforestation effort at Lake Apoyo. Dr. McCrary has spearheaded all of these initiatives. It appears that I was caught in the middle of a dispute, and I am still saddened by the loss of my baby girl at 20 weeks. Four days with no electricity, running water and having food sneaked into a room is definitely stressful for an expectant mother. Dr. McKaye and his "gang" certainly lack in compassion, and I do not like the thought that the Apoyo Cultural Center (started in January 2011) was built upon hostility and tragedy.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #11
    amsutton
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    Default Harassment from Dr. Kenneth McKaye

    At 4:49 PM yesterday I received another call from Dr. McKaye from the phone number, 000-012-3456. His harassment of me is not acceptable. He asked me if I was the one posting information about him on the internet. He made subtle threats saying that he was going to have his lawyers investigate the origination of the material posted on the internet. Is it not enough that the stress he caused in December perpetuated the loss of my baby girl in early January? Can a person not freely talk about a terrible situation without threats against her for speaking the truth? This first call he placed to my cell phone was in February shortly after the event. There was zero sense of empathy for my loss. Dr. McKaye says that individuals at Atlantic Edge Dive Shop in Maryland have alerted him to the internet postings while he is away in Finland. He has a close relationship with this dive shop so I caution anyone who is considering using their services. I don't find it strange that he is in Finland. It seems that over time he has always abandoned his job in Nicaragua while Dr. McCrary has been there faithfully over time, conducting research to continue important conservation studies. The bottom line is that the harassment needs to stop.

  12. #12
    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lake Apoyo Spanish Schools

    This is not the behavior of scientifically educated men. My hunch is there's likely something going on under the surface here. Have the credentials of the people in question been confirmed? It's like gold prospectors fighting over a claim, or maybe there are drug traffickers involved. Just brainstorming, but this just isn't the way people with the title of "doctor" behave unless they've been consumed by greed or have a hidden agenda they can't afford to have exposed.

    JW, do you recall when some fugitive from Delaware was spotted down your way? I don't suppose anything happened with him, but coastal Maryland isn't far from Delaware. Coincidence?

  13. #13
    Active TRN Member renco's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lake Apoyo Spanish Schools

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonh View Post
    This is not the behavior of scientifically educated men. My hunch is there's likely something going on under the surface here. Have the credentials of the people in question been confirmed? It's like gold prospectors fighting over a claim, or maybe there are drug traffickers involved. Just brainstorming, but this just isn't the way people with the title of "doctor" behave unless they've been consumed by greed or have a hidden agenda they can't afford to have exposed.

    JW, do you recall when some fugitive from Delaware was spotted down your way? I don't suppose anything happened with him, but coastal Maryland isn't far from Delaware. Coincidence?

    Jonh,
    I agree about something under the surface, I have no idea about who is right or wrong on this one but McCrary is no stranger to controversy in that community. Never heard of the other ersatz Irishman.

    With regard to the fugitive from Delaware, he was on the lam driving a monstous RV to Nicaragua with his child and his mother, they (mother and fugitive) were arrested, extradited and are currently serving time in the US for kidnapping the child. The mother is either out or shortly set for release as they still have the RV parked in Rancho Monterrey subdivision in Catarina after three years. The RV is supposedly sold and set to be moved per local gossip.
    You'll excuse me, gentlemen. Your business is politics, mine is running a saloon.
    Casablanca-1942

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    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lake Apoyo Spanish Schools

    Quote Originally Posted by renco View Post
    Jonh,
    I agree about something under the surface, I have no idea about who is right or wrong on this one but McCrary is no stranger to controversy in that community. Never heard of the other ersatz Irishman.

    With regard to the fugitive from Delaware, he was on the lam driving a monstous RV to Nicaragua with his child and his mother, they (mother and fugitive) were arrested, extradited and are currently serving time in the US for kidnapping the child. The mother is either out or shortly set for release as they still have the RV parked in Rancho Monterrey subdivision in Catarina after three years. The RV is supposedly sold and set to be moved per local gossip.
    I'm not sure if that's the same one - JW will remember better. I think this one was in Puerto Cabezas.

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    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lake Apoyo Spanish Schools

    Ah-ha. This must be it.

    Legendary aviation explorer Jimmy Angel, who discovered Angel Falls in Venezuela, was quite an exaggerator. He has a relative who has been attempting to sort out the facts of his life from the myths. This one is probably myth...

    A woman by the name of Ruth Robertson, states that in one of Jimmie's flights over the Gran Sabana, before the Venezuelan Government forbade him to fly, he was accompanied by his wife Marie, and in the midst of a storm, he saw, or thought he saw, the lost city of El Dorado, on an island in the middle of a lake. Ruth believes that Jimmie was confused in his memories, because there is a similar city in a lake in Nicaragua, city that can be seen under the right circumstances, and Jimmie had also flown in Nicaragua . . .
    http://www.cahslunken.org/Stories/Soto_on_Angel.htm

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    Viejo del Foro Just Plain John Wayne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lake Apoyo Spanish Schools

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonh View Post
    I'm not sure if that's the same one - JW will remember better. I think this one was in Puerto Cabezas.
    I thought I saw him here and I don't remember who helped me, Marlies gave me the tip with a photo, I know It was one of our members and we took photos, Ahhh It was Thom, and sent but it was not the criminal in question and I did make friends later with the subject we photoed, he laughed about it when I told him.

    One of the families he ripped off was willing to pay 20K for the right one, hey that got my attention.

    Thom, 007 and his magic camera. F*ckin Canadian.... but it was fun, I have to admit. We stalked the wrong man.
    To be called a "Has Been" I must surmise, is much Greater than to be called a "Nevah Been"... JW...



  17. #17
    amsutton
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    Default Re: Lake Apoyo Spanish Schools

    I can assure you that Dr. McCrary and Dr. McKaye are well-educated men who earned their diplomas. You can check them out on google scholar if you need further verification. As for myself, I am just tired of subtle forms of harassment.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Lake Apoyo Spanish Schools

    Quote Originally Posted by amsutton View Post
    I can assure you that Dr. McCrary and Dr. McKaye are well-educated men who earned their diplomas. You can check them out on google scholar if you need further verification. As for myself, I am just tired of subtle forms of harassment.
    what is google scholar and how does it work...
    All this for a flag? Michelle Obama http://hotair.com/archives/2011/11/0...our-years-ago/

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    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lake Apoyo Spanish Schools

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Demento View Post
    what is google scholar and how does it work...
    I didn't know either...

    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl..._ylo=&as_vis=0

    Follow the money - who's funding him?

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    Active TRN Member dixietraveller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lake Apoyo Spanish Schools

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Demento View Post
    what is google scholar and how does it work...
    Well, if you have to ask. . . . . It's for scholarly scholars, of course!

    Seriously, however, if you use iGoogle, click on "more" on your top toolbar and a dropdown menu will take you to Google Scholar. Or

    http://scholar.google.com/

    (And you might find it useful for legal opinions and journals!)
    O quantum est in rebus inane! / A palabras necias, oídos sordos

  21. #21

    Default Re: Lake Apoyo Spanish Schools

    Quote Originally Posted by dixietraveller View Post
    Well, if you have to ask. . . . . It's for scholarly scholars, of course!

    Seriously, however, if you use iGoogle, click on "more" on your top toolbar and a dropdown menu will take you to Google Scholar. Or

    http://scholar.google.com/

    (And you might find it useful for legal opinions and journals!)
    i ain't exactly scholarly... i admit it....
    All this for a flag? Michelle Obama http://hotair.com/archives/2011/11/0...our-years-ago/

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    Former SJDS Bureau Chief, TRN Danpolley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lake Apoyo Spanish Schools

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Demento View Post
    i ain't exactly scholarly... i admit it....
    Say it ain’t true
    Sometimes I think I understand everything, then I regain consciousness.

  23. #23
    amsutton
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    Default Re: Lake Apoyo Spanish Schools

    Well I currently have no idea who is funding McKaye. He was working for the University of Maryland Appalachian Laboratory, but I was told that he was fired from that position. I also hear he was working with the World Wildlife Fund, but he was fired there too over some issues. The last I heard he was working with the Atlantic Edge Dive Center in Maryland. As a matter-of-fact when he called to harass me into providing him with information, he said that someone at Atlantic Edge had told him about the posts. That is why I caution anyone against using their services. I know they dive Lake Apoyo and Xiloa. Dr. McCrary is legitimately backed by the non-profit group Fundeci Gaia. He collaborates on research with others from non-profits and universities. I personally am a high school guidance counselor. I love my job, but I do "work to live" and not the other way around. I can't wait to get back to Nicaragua this summer!

  24. #24
    amsutton
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    Default False information on website

    I just came across this website today:
    http://centroculturalapoyo.drupalgar...ontent/history
    It appears that the group who violently took the building and land from Dr. McCrary are promoting their site. There are many false statements made on this site. First, the courts have not ruled in favor of Dr. McKaye. He is illegally inhabiting this building. Second, he and his daughter are not actively involved in the community. Dr. McKaye himself called me from Finland to harass me over the phone. He indicated he had been there a while, and this is no surprise since he spends more time out of Nicaragua than he does in the country. His daughter is also in Maryland finishing up coursework. He just has enough money to pay thugs to force people off the property in a violent way.

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    Viejo del Foro Just Plain John Wayne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lake Apoyo Spanish Schools

    Drive him broke....
    To be called a "Has Been" I must surmise, is much Greater than to be called a "Nevah Been"... JW...



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