TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - Both were among those spearheading roadblocks protesting the government of President Daniel Ortega in the city of Masaya, which in July was the target of an operation by police and loyalist paramilitaries to quash three months of dissent.
One of the men, a 28-year-old who used the pseudonym Guardabarranco, or "ravine-guard," was one of the coordinators of Masaya's protest movement. The other, a 31-year-old calling himself PSJ, had led those manning one of the barricades.
With only a backpack each, the men have left behind wives and children to join a flow of other Nicaraguans escaping what they see as a national "prison" for the relative safety of Costa Rica.
"We are fleeing the Ortega regime because to protest in Nicaragua is considered a crime.
We've been threatened with death," Guardabarranco said before getting into the small, flat-bottomed boat, known as a "panga."
The United Nations says nearly 23,000 Nicaraguans have sought asylum in Costa Rica since the anti-Ortega protests started in mid-April, overwhelming the country's processing system.
The UN refugee agency UNHCR said it was bolstering its operations. The Costa Rican government says 100 to 150 people are daily crossing through main border station with Nicaragua -- a number that doesn't include many clandestine crossings.