Grenada, Nicaragua

Thursday, July 17, 2014
Granada is the 4th largest city in Nicaragua. Just like Leon, it is full of beautiful Spanish colonial restored architecture, vibrant markets and charming coffee-shops. It is hot in Granada. Most of the drivers are honking their way through the traffic.
By a coincidence we discovered the ‘Cafe de las Sonrisas’ (Cafe of Smiles). This coffee-shop is unique because all of its workers are deaf-mutes. It is the first coffee-shop of its kind in Central America and the fourth in the world.
Inside the ‘Cafe las Sonrisas’ there are lots of helpful illustrations with common phrases and pictures of food or other useful things, which people can use to communicate.
When we first walked in to this coffee-shop, we immediately liked the quiet and peaceful atmosphere. We enjoyed the beautiful garden lined with lots of colorful hammocks. However, both of us did not know that the waitress, who welcomed us with big smile, could not hear and speak. We told her that we would like to drink Nicaraguan coffee. She gave us the menu and was happy to guide us to a nice table. While reading the menu and looking around the coffee shop we noticed that the friendly waitress was deaf-mute. We enjoyed the coffee and the silence. There were no communication barriers between the waitress and us. We remembered the words of a wise man: ‘Silence is one of the great arts of communication.’
The ‘Cafe las Sonrisas’ is connected to a hammock workshop and showroom, which is run by creative women and men, who face life difficulties.