LAGO COCIBOLCA, NICARAGUA — “Dude You’re Screwed” is a survival-themed reality show on Discovery Channel, now at the end of a second successful season. “The Island of Death” episode, which originally aired December 10, 2014, features the lakes, volcanoes, and, yes, haunted islands of Nicaragua.
Download the 43-minute episode (for $2.99) on iTunes here: Episode 7, “The Island of Death”
The concept of the show is a new twist on the survival genre. In “Dude You’re Screwed,” an elite group of bad-ass bros, all experts in survival, take turns kidnapping and dropping each other off in some of the most extreme environments on the planet. They call it “playing the game.”
They give their buddy a few random tools before releasing him into the wild, then they make a basecamp where they monitor his progress. The man in the field has 100 hours to find civilization. The cameraman cannot help him in any way. They dudes monitor their friend’s vital signs and they are aware of all local threats and dangers. Earlier this year, the dudes decided to release their boy Jake Zweig, a football coach and former Navy Seal, in the middle of the Nicaragua jungle, in the middle of Lake Nicaragua (or Lago Cocibolca). As a “Nicaragua fixer,” or location specialist, I was all too happy to help them pull it off.
I have been traveling and working in Nicaragua for many years, including as a Peace Corps Volunteer and as the author of Moon Nicaragua, the first comprehensive guidebook to the largest, most misunderstood country in Central America. My job as fixer is use my connections and experience to arrange and manage the logistics of filming somewhere as unique, remote, and challenging as Nicaragua. I work with Rodney McDonald, a fellow Returned Peace Corps Volunteer and Director of Emergency Response Services for Latin America, to manage all kinds of filming projects in Nicaragua.
For the “Dude You’re Screwed: Island of Death” episode, I helped determine a viable drop site for the dude, then I assembled a team of Nicaraguan guides, drivers, security guards, PAs, porters, helicopters, hotels, and, on the final night, folk musicians to celebrate a successful shoot. It was a wild ride and the dudes and the crew were wonderful to travel with. My interview (in Spanish) about the shoot on Nicaraguan television; article about the project in Nicaraguan press.
Official Discovery Channel “Dude You’re Screwed” page.
I’d like to extend a big THANK YOU to all of the people, services, and business that assisted with this project, including:
INTUR – Visit Nicaragua