Have any pump/CGM users traveled to rural Central America?

I may have the opportunity to travel to Ococona, Nicaragua for a week this summer and I want to know if other pump/CGM users have traveled to this part of the world, and what should I do to prepare.

I’ll be in a rural part of the country; so, there is limited access to electricity, clean water, etc.


I do not know either, but take triple of anything you think you might need.

Ive traveled overseas, although not to S.America, and I agree with Rphil2 take triple of what you anticipate. Take plenty of alcohol swabs. And DEFINITELY invest in Frio cooling for insulin. Its water activated and can cool it off by 20 degrees.


Yes and yes to the above.
Also, I recently saw waterproof cases for pdm/receivers. Kind of like those little bag-type phone cases. Search on Etsy for them, I’m sorry I didn’t save it.
Do not forget batteries too!!! And backup options- pens, syringes, whatever it is that’s your backup. Just bring the whole pharmacy! Lol.

My non-diabetic husband is a contract pilot (a substitute teacher basically, of the the pilot world) and has plenty of experience traveling to remote places. Last year, he was mugged just outside of a Nigerian airport, and came out just fine because we were smart about packing. Some general advice…

  1. You have to think about security, both of valuables and those triplicate diabetic supplies. Western morals about ownership and property rights just don’t extend to lesser developed nations. They are generally wonderful people, but survival is their highest priority, and they won’t hesitate to steal valuables or oddities they think might be valuable. (like those fancy pump supplies). We employ all the travel hacks. Search on YouTube for them. Most of my experience is with hiding money, though, so you’ll have to be creative about hiding pump supplies. The point is to hide valuable things inside things that look worthless Boring a hole into a bar of soap, inserting money, then plugging the hole with more soap. Wrapping money around the center post of a lint roller. Opening the box of a travel toothpaste, inserting money, then re-glue it shut. Get one of those travel undershirt wallets, too. Remember, no matter how amazing everyone you come into contact with is, it only takes ONE to devastate you, unless you outsmart them first.

  2. Divide your valuables across multiple spaces. Those triplicate supplies should be in three different places. And at least one of those places needs to be on your person or carry-on baggage. Do not trust your life to baggage workers. If one bag gets stolen, you should have everything you still need in another.

  3. Make sure you have enough spare cash stored away to secure travel home in an emergency.

  4. Memorize the credit card info of a card that does NOT travel with you. Leave that card at home. This is your last ditch emergency resource that cannot physically be stolen from you.

  5. If there is enough time before your trip to get a duplicate passport, do it! I don’t know why you’re traveling, but if you’re providing a valuable service then they may want to keep you there. Pilots going into lesser developed countries see this way more often than you can imagine. A corrupt government official will take their passport for some official capacity, then not return it… Essentially holding that person hostage for as long as they want. No passport, no home. Same problem if it’s stolen. Also, knowing you have a spare will make you less likely to fight to protect your passport, and potentially save your life if the worst occurs.

  6. Consider phone options. We like Google Fi for travel. There may or may not be cell phone service where you are, but Google Fi will connect to any available wifi connection to give you phone, text, and data for little or no extra charge. Even in crappy areas, there is likely interfet nowadays, be it at a hotel or base camp or whatnot. But don’t expect internet like you have now. Think more like dial-up internet days.

  7. Get a travel adapter for any electronic devices you plan to travel with. Too many people take their plugs for granted and don’t realize that they vary by country.

  8. Secure your own clean water options. Don’t rely on anyone on the other side to make clean water available. Berkey black filters are pretty much our go-to for highly suspect water. The Berkey sport bottle is a great personal option. If you need to supply water for a group, then you’ll need two buckets and lids (possibly obtainable over there), a spigot, and a full sized filter assembly. We also like the OKO bottle, but it’s not quite as good of a filter as the Berkey. This is more for areas that process water, but not to the standards our bodies are used to. The nice thing about the OKO is that it’s a multi-tool. It has a flashlight that will turn a bottle of water into a lantern. It is also a squeeze bottle (instead of the Berkey sport or life straw types that require you to suck water through them), so you can squeeze water into the included cup to flavor anyway you like.

  9. Travel with beach powder. It’s easily obtainable in any laundry or pool supply aisle. The packaging will clearly state that it is not for anti-septic use, or similar phrasing, but you can ignore that. This is only because manufacturers haven’t paid for the FDA clearance to say otherwise, because it is a sightly different chemical formula than bleach, but it reacts with water to form regular beach. That would raise the price impractically. It’s well established in the survivalist communities that bleach powder is just as safe and effective as the liquid form. A little goes a long way for sanitizing. I repackage it into empty airborne tubes for travel. It’s great for sanitizing eating utensils and drinkware, emergency first aid supplies, laundry, and even a tiny pinch could be added to a glass of drinking water. If you intend to drink water treated this way, you need to let it stand for at least ten minutes first so all the microbes die, longer would be better to allow time for the chlorine to off-gas.

  10. Make sure you have a first aid kit. You need at least band aids, Neosporin, ibuprofen (for inflammation moreso than pain), alcohol pads, and a sewing kit. The sewing kit can double as a suture kit, if need be. Also, wrap a good amount of duct tape around an old credit card/gift card/hotel key. Seriously, duct tape is the most useful stuff on Earth, but they cardboard core is such a waste of space. Waterproof things, immobilize something, protect a wound, patch a hole, bind anything together… The more you can afford to carry, the better.

  11. Invest in zip-off cargo pants. With all the other stuff we’ve told you to carry, they’re great for saving space. :slight_smile:


One more thing. I’d check for elevation differences before traveling. Personally, when I go higher into the mountains I burn through sugar like crazy, and I need a lot more insulin at lower elevation.

Also, I would check your local Facebook community for any travel supplies you don’t want to buy for just a week. I know a lot of people might be happy to let you borrow things.