An excerpt from Tooth Man: Stories from Nicaragua’s Mosquito Coast…
[The Prussians] had been longing for colonial glory and established a settlement called Carlsruhe near Bluefields in the middle of the Nineteenth Century. They stayed a few years but the project “proved abortive, chiefly on account of the universally prevailing belief, that the climate is unhealthy for Europeans;” John Holm takes this quote from the 1850 volume of a work entitled Periodic Accounts Relating to the Church of the United Brethren Among the Heathen.
Although the Prussians had sailed home long ago, and Carlsruhe is today known as the barrio of Biholden, Holm had reported seeing their influence in the features of a certain Dittmar, a boat captain he had met in 1982. Between the name and the “distinctly Germanic features,” Holm assumed this man was a descendant of a Prussian who evidently had not been entirely disabled by the climate.
Germanic features? Dittmar’s skin was dark but he did have thick eyebrows, stern folds of skin on the forehead, and a proud nose which indicated some Prussian blood. Mateo tried to picture him striking a Bismarckian pose in a military uniform.
Eric Timar lived and worked in the RAAS for three years. He now lives in the Washington DC area with his wife — whom he met in Bluefields — and their two children. More of his writing is at http://erictimarbooks.wordpress.com