Vida - Blog

Baho (beef, plantains and yuca ) from Nicaragua

Baho Click here for

What to pack? 10 essential items to bring along

Traveling as an abroad health care volunteer is very different from any other trip you may have done in your life, and so is packing for it. Thinking about what to pack when you have a two week trip to a tropical country and a limit of one suitcase and one carry one, can be very challenging. And that is the reason why we’ve put together a list of the essential items you should pack for this kind of trip.  Click here for read more...

Going Kiche for a couple of days: My homestay experience in Ixtahuacán, Guatemala!

Dr. Emilia Aragon, Director VIDA Guatemala Click here for read more...

"High Risk" soccer game between Costa Rica and USA towards Brazil 2014.

The United States soccer team arrived in Costa Rica three days ago in order to face a very important qualifying match that the FIFA labeled as “high risk” due to various reasons. Click here for read more...

VIDA, changing lives one patient at a time!

This is a great example of how you can change someone’s life in just one consult. Click here for read more...

Jocón (Chicken in tomatillo-cilantro sauce) from Guatemala

Jocón or pollo en jocón is a dish popular with the Mayan population of Guatemala. Chicken is simmered in a tasty sauce tinted a beautiful green by tomatillos and cilantro and thickened with ground sesame, pumpkin seeds and corn tortillas.

4 to 6 servings


  • Chicken, cut into serving pieces -- 2 1/2 to 3 pounds
  • Water -- 4 cups
  • Salt -- 2 teaspoons
  • Pumpkin seeds (pepitas) -- 1/4 cup
  • Sesame seeds -- 1/4 cup
  • Corn tortillas, chopped, soaked in water, drained -- 2
  • Tomatillos, hulled and chopped -- 1 cup
  • Cilantro, chopped -- 1 bunch
  • Scallions, chopped -- 1 bunch
  • Jalapeño or serrano chile pepper, chopped -- from 1 to 5


  1. Place the chicken, water and salt into a large pot over medium-high flame. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  2. Remove the chicken to a bowl and strain and set aside the broth. Let chicken cool, then remove the meat from the bones and shred it with your fingers. Set aside.
  3. Heat a dry skillet over medium flame. Add the pumpkin and sesame seeds and toast, stirring, until lightly browned. Remove to a coffee grinder and grind to a fine powder.
  4. Add the sesame and pumpkin seeds, tortillas, tomatillos, cilantro, scallions and chile peppers to a food processor or blender. Add 1 cup of the reserved broth and process until smooth. If using a blender you may have to do this step in batches.
  5. Return the chicken to the pot. Pour over pureed sauce and add 1 to 1 1/2 cups of the remaining broth to give it a sauce-like consistency.
  6. Heat over medium-low flame and simmer for an additional 15-25 minutes. Adjust seasoning and serve.

Jocon Variations

  • Leave the chicken pieces whole if you prefer.
  • If you can't find pumpkin seeds, simply use 1/2 cup of sesame seeds. And if finding sesame seeds is a problem, you can substitute a slightly smaller amount of tahini.
  • Cubed pork can be substituted for the chicken. There is no need to shred the pork, but you may need to simmer it longer for it to become tender.
  • Use any remaining broth to make rice to accompany the meal.
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Salpicón (Nicaraguan Minced Meat)

Hi everyone, this is by far my favorite Nicaraguan dish!! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. :)  Click here for read more...

Sopa Negra (Black bean soup) - Costa Rica

Costa Rican Black Bean Soup Click here for

Pure Medicine in Central America

VIDA Volunteert Travel Click here for

The Dangers of TVT

VIDA Volunteert Travel Click here for