On a recent afternoon, Rodolfo Molina, an 81-year-old retired mechanic, dried rice for storage, raking it onto a plastic sheet in front of the home where he has lived for 40 years. He said it is almost certain he and his neighbors will be forced to relocate if the canal is built.
“It can bring jobs,” he said, squinting into the sun, “but it also could bring trouble.”
Back in the capital, Geomara Alvarez, a 27-year-old cellphone accessory vendor wearing a rosary over her purple shirt and jeans, said her country’s future lay in the construction of the canal.
“The canal will change the face of my country, my poor Nicaragua that has suffered so much,” she said. “God wants it to be so.”