Facts About Nicaragua


Nicaragua map with flag design

1. Nicaragua is located in Central America, an area of the world between Mexico and South America. The country is bordered by the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. It is 50, 446 square miles, or just slightly larger than New York State, making it the largest country in Central America. It is also larger than Ireland and Portugal put together.

2. The official language of Nicaragua is Spanish. The Nicas (short for Nicaraguans) speak a local version of the language referred to as Nicañol. One word that is very specific to the country is “chunche.” It is a word that is similar to “whatchamacallit” in America and can be used to refer to nearly anything.

3. The music of Nicaragua is influenced by a mixture of native and European music, particularly Spanish. Musical instruments include the marimba, bass fiddle, guitar, and guitarrilla (a small guitar similar to a mandolin).

4.  Palo de Mayo is a type of Afro-Caribbean dance. It is also the name of the month-long May Day festival celebrated on the Caribbean coast. The dance and the festival both originated in Bluefields, Nicaragua in the 17th century. The festival welcomes rain, production, and new life and is centered around a maypole, which is a tall wooden pole decorated with several long colorful ribbons suspended from the top.

5. “Nicaragua” was the name given to the country by Spanish colonists. It is a combination of two words, “Nicarao” who was the chief of the native tribe and “agua” which is Spanish for water.

6. The national dish of Nicaragua is “gallo pinto” which is a combination of red beans and white rice. Corn is also the main ingredient in many traditional Nicaraguan foods and even drinks. Mango, papaya, banana, avocado, and yucca are also used in many local dishes.

El Gueguense (wise man) dolls

Building in Nicaragua

7. The country is home to several exotic animals such as monkeys, sloths, toucans, boa constrictors, and wild boars. In addition, manatees and sea turtles swim in the Cayos Miskitos Biological Reserve in coral reefs off the cost.

8. The only freshwater lake in the world that is home to sharks is Lake Managua. They swim up the Rio San Juan from the Atlantic Ocean and remarkably can adapt to fresh water.

9. Nicaragua is home to many volcanoes, both active and extinct. In December of 2015, Momotombo erupted for the first time in 110 years.

10. Nicaragua had the first elected woman president of any Central American country, Violeta Chamorro. She served from 1991 – 1997. She is known for bringing peace to her country.