Nicaraguans are appreciated for their natural warmth, hospitality and wisdom. Caribbean – Though the African culture plays an integral role in this region, influencing both the music and dance, the contribution of the native indigenous tribes can not be forgotten. The annual average temperature there is in the low 80s °F (about 27 °C), and annual precipitation averages 75 inches (1,905 mm). Ometepe Island, also called Alta Gracia, the largest island in Lake Nicaragua, in southwestern Nicaragua. The dance of choice is the ‘palo de mayo’, crafted in Bluefields, an energetic dance which highlights the role of the body with sensual movements. 8 Interesting Facts About Nicaragua By Oishimaya Sen Nag on August 6 2019 in World Facts There are active volcanoes in Nicaragua. Despite its progress over the last few decades, Nicaragua remains one of Latin America’s least developed countries. Lets take a look at some of the fun and interesting facts that make Nicaragua one of the best countries in the world …then turned his attention to Nicaragua. History and Ethnic Relations Emergence of the Nation. 1823 - Nicaragua becomes part of the United Provinces of … Their chief was named Nicarao. Besides great beaches and scenic volcanos, Nicaragua is home to the oldest city in all of Central America. In 1893 a man named Jose Santos Zelaya made himself dictator of Nicaragua. With eastern Caribbean side, many volcanoes, lakes and colonial towns on the west side, it’s becoming a popular tourist destination. The country is known as the land of poets, and Nicaraguan poet Rubén Darío is the father of Spanish-American literary movement, Modernism. Nicaragua is a country keen on their music and dance, a product of the different heritage and cultures from before. Masaya – Here the cultural feature is referred to in the Latin American term ‘mestizaje’, a mixture of culture. The coastline is broken by river mouths and deltas and large coastal lagoons as well as by the coral reefs, islands, cays, and banks that dot Nicaragua’s continental shelf—the widest in Central America. Managua lies on a geological fault line that seismologists predict will cause the city to experience a severe earthquake every 50 years or less. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. https://www.visitnicaragua.us/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/WhatsApp-Video-2018-08-08-at-5.29.49-PM.mp4, Nicaragua will celebrate this coming 7th of December the traditional Gritería, Images of Nicaragua you haven´t seen before, If you love adventures and feel adrenaline, in the Cerro Negro you can practice an activity call Volcano Boarding, Enjoy the freshness and the greenery of the mountains of the municipality of Estelí. In the extreme south the San Juan River flows for 124 miles (200 km) from Lake Nicaragua into the Caribbean in the northern corner of Costa Rica. Conservative Granada had long played rival to the colonial capital, Liberal León - and with independence, its position was suddenly vulnerable. In the northern mountains temperatures are cooler and average about 64 °F (18 °C). It is also the country’s third largest city after Granada and Leon. https://www.britannica.com/place/Nicaragua, National Geographic Kids - Countries - Nicaragua, Central Intelligence Agency - The World Factbook - Nicaragua, Nicaragua - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), Nicaragua - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). 27. The western half of Nicaragua is made up generally of valleys separated by low but rugged mountains and many volcanoes. The land, economic, and educational reforms initiated by the socialist-oriented Sandinista regime were negated when it became embroiled in guerrilla warfare with a U.S.-backed insurgency beginning in the early 1980s. Nicaragua's capital city, Managua, is located in the southwestern part of the country. In 1855 an American Adventurer called William Walker seized power in Nicaragua and in 1856 he declared himself president. Nicaragua has a unique history in that it was the only country in Latin America to be colonized by both the Spanish and the British. Dances known as the ‘polcas’ and ‘mazurcas’. By 1937 he took presidential power in a rigged election in what would become the longest dictatorship in Nicaragua’s history. In 1912 the USA sent marines to occupy Nicaragua. É o maior país em área da América Central e sua capital e maior cidade é Manágua.Um quarto da população do país vive na capital. It is as if each region gave birth to a different music and dance, yet still come together to mesh perfectly creating this one cultural identity. It's located near the famous Momotombo volcano. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. The Río Grande de Matagalpa flows for 267 miles (430 km) from the Cordillera Dariense eastward across the lowlands to empty into the Caribbean north of Pearl Lagoon on the central coast. History of Nicaragua . In Nicaragua, … The first European to visit Nicaragua was Christopher Columbus in 1502. It was rebuilt northwest of its original site. Read More Senior associate and director of remittances and development at the Inter-American Dialogue. The rivers that flow to the west empty into the Pacific Ocean or Lakes Managua and Nicaragua. The family of Anastasio Somoza García dominated Nicaragua from 1936 to 1979, when it was toppled by an insurrection led by the Sandinista National Liberation Front (Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional; FSLN). The highest volcanoes include San Cristóbal (5,840 feet [1,780 metres]), Concepción (5,282 feet [1,610 metres]), and Momotombo (4,199 feet [1,280 metres]). The 485-mile- (780-km-) long Coco River flows for 295 miles (475 km) along the Nicaragua-Honduras border and empties into the Caribbean on the extreme northern coast. Nicarágua é um país localizado na América Central, ao sul de Honduras e norte de Costa Rica. Facts about Nicaragua, where the only fresh water sharks in the world, the bull sharks, can be found. In 1909 there was a rebellion and Zelaya was forced to resign. In 1538, the Viceroyalty of New Spain was established, encompassing all of Mexico and Central America, except Panama. History of Nicaragua - … One thing that people notice about life in Nicaragua is that it’s loud. As well as honoring these Saints with gifts in exchange for blessings, celebrations take place called ‘Fiestas Patronales’ that can last several days and are colorful, folkloric events. Or embrace the change, learn the language, seek out local friends, and immerse yourself in the culture of your new home. Como muitos outros países da América Central, a Nicarágua é conhecida por seus altos níveis de biodiversidade e ecossistemas únicos. The western region of the country was colonized by Spain, where the east was once a British region with a culture similar to that of the Caribbean nations. These events are often loud, joyous celebrations that attract large crowds with dance, music and traditional interpretations. The national capital is Managua, which also is the country’s largest city and home to about one-sixth of the population. 1821 - Nicaragua becomes independent, but is incorporated into the Mexican empire. Learn some interesting facts about Nicaragua and you will want to start planning your visit. In 1821, Nicaragua gained its independence from Spain. Additionally, the political unrest that broke out across the country in 2018, some of which continues today, has drastically slowed down the country’s progress and has severely affected job prospects for families living in poverty. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? On the Pacific coast the soil is volcanic, and about four-fifths of its area is fertile. Located in the southern isthmus, the lake and its distributary, the San Juan River, have long been discussed as a possible canal route between the Caribbean and the Pacific. 50 Fascinating Facts about Nicaragua Nicaragua is located on the Central America isthmus directly between Honduras and Costa Rica. The climate is slightly cooler and much wetter in the east than in the west. Learn more about country history, maps and photos, statistics about education, religion, culture, and much more. By 1570, the southern part of New Spain was designated the Captaincy General of Guatemala. The name Nicaragua comes from Chief Nicarao who was the leader of a tribe that lived near Lake Nicaragua when the first Europeans arrived. In May 1856 President Franklin Pierce recognized the Walker regime. By Bonnie Hayman When you move to a new country, especially where a different language is spoken, you have two choices. Nicaragua is bounded by Honduras to the north, the Caribbean Sea to the east, Costa Rica to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Nicaragua has a population of around six million people and almost one million of them live in its capital city of Managua. Nicaragua won independence from Spain in 1821, and the resulting power vacuum led to civil war. Nicaragua’s population of 6.3 million is concentrated mostly in the western regions of the country. The mountains are highest in the north, and Mogotón Peak (6,900 feet [2,103 metres]), in the Cordillera Entre Ríos, is the highest point in the country. In 1524, Francisco Hernández de Córdoba arrived in the isthmus and founded the first European settlement. In 1855 Walker took advantage of a civil war in Nicaragua to take control of the country and set himself up as dictator. The Somoza era spanned three different members of the Somoza family across two generations. The merging of different cultures within Nicaragua has caused the dawn of a creative, lively and blissful culture. Lake Masaya is prized for its swimming and fishing facilities; the sulfurous waters of Lake Nejapa have medicinal properties ascribed to them; and Lake Tiscapa is located in the capital city. Today the country is a democracy, with elections and a government dedicated t… Many religious celebrations take place throughout the country. In 1936 Anastasio Somoza Garcia … Lake Nicaragua, with an area of 3,149 square miles (8,157 square km), is the largest lake in Central America. Nicaragua can be characterized by its agricultural economy, its history of autocratic government, and its imbalance of regional development—almost all settlement and economic activity are concentrated in the western half of the country. 1927-07-16 Augusto Sandino begins 5½ year war against US occupation of Nicaragua; 1928-11-04 Jose Moncada elected president of Nicaragua; 1931-04-01 Earthquake devastate Managua Nicaragua, kills 2,000; 1933-01-02 US troops leave Nicaragua; 1934-02-21 Nicaraguan patriot Augusto Cesar Sandino assassinated by National Guard; 1936-06-02 General Anastasio Somoza García takes over as … This intricately dissected region includes the Cordillera Entre Ríos, on the Honduras border; the Cordilleras Isabelia and Dariense, in the north-central area; and the Huapí, Amerrique, and Yolaina mountains, in the southeast. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Religion plays a momentous role within the Nicaraguan culture. Today the country is a democracy, with elections and a government dedicated to social justice and peace. NOW 50% OFF! The rhythmic marimbas and folkloric dances give vibrancy to our fiestas across the country and the beautiful work of our skilled artists spreads an understanding of our history and nature. There are six freshwater lakes near the city of Managua. Among the widest Caribbean lowlands in Central America, these plains average 60 miles (100 km) in width. Author of. They remained there until 1933. Nicaragua’s northern mountains are home to Nicaragua’s most important crop coffee, fine hand rolled cigars and an ancient method of gold mining. The Pacific side is characterized by a rainy season from May to November and a dry season from December to April. Nicaragua has a unique history in that it was the only country in Latin America to be colonized by both the Spanish and the British. They include Lake Managua, which covers an area of 400 square miles (1,035 square km), Lake Asososca, which acts as the city’s reservoir of drinking water, and Lake Jiloá, which is slightly alkaline and is a favourite bathing resort. Learn about its geography, history, culture and major attractions that make it a special place. It is the largest of the Central American republics. Momotombo Volcano (left) and Momotombito Island, viewed across Lake Managua, Nicaragua. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. Soils on the Caribbean coast are varied and include fertile alluvial types along waterways and relatively infertile types in the pine-savanna and rainforest regions. The election results, which were deemed free and fair by the international community, signaled an end to the armed conflict in Nicaragua. The Ruins of León Viejo date back over 500 years, and it's another big draw for tourists. The highlight of these festivals tend to be the philharmonic bands called ‘chicheros’, where trumpets, clarinets, drums and a cymbal come together come together to create an energetic melody. Nicaragua is located in Central America, above Costa Rica and to the south of Honduras. Dances are expressed with soft movements as guitars strum lightly in the background with the national folklore instrument, the wooden marimaba, painting the picture of a dance between man and woman. They are divided into two groups: the Cordillera de los Marrabios in the north and the Pueblos Mesas in the south. Other lakes in the Pacific watershed include Lake Apoyo, near Lake Masaya; Lake Apoyeque, picturesquely located between two peaks on Chiltepe Point, which juts into Lake Managua; and the artificial Lake Apanás on the Tuma River, which generates much of the electricity consumed in the Pacific zone. Nicaragua is the land of traditions, history and culture that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Nicaragua’s famous Dual Volcano is the only one … Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Prevailing winds are from the northeast and are cool on the high plateau and warm and humid in the lowlands. Omissions? Nicaragua’s population is made up mostly of mestizos (people of mixed European and Indian ancestry). The eastern rivers are of greater length. Under Spanish rule Nicaragua was part of the Nicaragua: History | Infoplease The lake is bisected by a chain of volcanos which has led to the formation of numerous islands, the largest of which is Ometepe Island. info)), is the largest country in the Central American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the northwest, the Caribbean to the east, Costa Rica to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the southwest. North/Central – The European heritage brought by the Spanish and German descendants is prominently displayed in this region. The western region of the country was colonized by Spain, where the east was once a British region with a culture similar to that of the Caribbean nations. However he was driven out in 1857. Examples through history include the fight led by the “general of the people” Augusto C. Sandino against the intervention of the United States in 1927, and the Sandinista People’s Revolution against the Somoza dictatorship, which led the way to democracy and solidarity in Nicaragua. The area of Nicaragua was divided into administrative "parties" with León as the capital. The Sandinistas returned to power after winning a national election in 2006 but promised to uphold many of the economic reforms of their predecessors. On the Caribbean side of the country, the rainy season lasts for about nine months of the year, and a dry season extends from March through May. The largest ethnic population is mestizo, or mixed European and indigenous, with smaller groups of whites, blacks of Jamaican origin, and other indigenous minorities. When Spanish chronicler Fernandez de Oviedo arrived in 1528, he estimated Managua's population at around 40, 000; most of these original inhabitants fled to the Sierritas, the small mountains just south, shortly after the Spanish arrived. The central mountains form the country’s main watershed. Following is a break down of the regions: Pacific – A mixture of the indigenous and Spanish culture resulting in a wide range of diverse music and dance with flutes and drums accompanied by dancers in Spanish garb demonstrating the duality of cultures. Present-day Nicaragua is still recovering from its legacy of dictatorship and civil war. In fact, the gases have been harnessed by a geothermal power station erected on the side of the volcano; the station generates one-fifth of Nicaragua's electricity. Religious authorities lend their guidance in key state developments and they often mediate between parties during political crisis. Music in Nicaragua is the same as elsewhere in the region. Nicaraguans are partiers and like to have fun. In 1610, the volcano known as Momotombo erupted, destroying the capital. Europeans did not arrive in Nicaragua until 1524 when Hernandez de Cordoba founded Spanish settlements there. This cultural tour program gives the visitor an in-depth look at the beauty and history of León, Granada, Los Pueblos and the Northern Mountains with the aid of an English speaking guide. Monument to the poet Rubén Darío in Managua, Nicaragua. On its west is the Pacific Ocean, while the Caribbean Sea borders the country to the east. Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America and the most overlooked place. Choose to try to replicate the life you had in your home country, surrounding yourself with other expats, live in a gated community and not get involved with the local people. The traditional Latin styles like salsa and meringue rule. Nicaragua was left alone by the Spanish for nearly 20 years, until the first attempt to conquer the country in 1520. Updates? The Sandinista-dominated government was finally defeated by the U.S.-funded National Opposition Union, a coalition of parties, in the 1990 presidential elections. They are short and carry a small volume of water; the most important are the Negro and Estero Real rivers, which empty into the Gulf of Fonseca, and the Tamarindo River, which flows into the Pacific. Other rivers of the Caribbean watershed include the 158-mile- (254-km-) long Prinzapolka River, the 55-mile- (89-km-) long Escondido River, the 60-mile- (97-km-) long Indio River, and the 37-mile- (60-km-) long Maíz River. Each city and town has an official Saint, also known as the ‘Santo Patrono’, which have been designated since colonial times. The towns of Granada and Leon were founded at this time. Nicaragua also disputes the Treaty of Quita Sue ñ o, ratified by the US Senate in July 1981, according to which Colombia received the uninhabited islands of Quita Sue ñ o Bank, Roncador Cay, and Serrana Bank. Nicaragua, country of Central America. The country probably takes its name from Nicarao, the leader of an indigenous community inhabiting the shores of Lake Nicaragua that was defeated in 1522 by the Spanish under Gil González de Ávila. History . Nicaragua's name comes from its native peoples that lived there in the late 1400s and early 1500s. Religious freedom and tolerance are promoted both by the government and the constitution, there is no separation. There are ongoing disputes over land ownership, and Nicaragua continues to be dependent on foreign aid, mainly from the United States. During the 19th century Nicaragua was divided between Liberals and Conservatives. The country won independence in 1838. The eastern half of Nicaragua has low, level plains. The country’s name is derived from Nicarao, chief of the indigenous tribe that lived around present-day Lake Nicaragua during the late 15th and early 16th centuries. Political History of Nicaragua Throughout the 1980’s, Nicaragua was believed to be and depicted as a dangerous socialist country by the U.S. For many decades Nicaragua was controlled by the oppressive U.S.-backed Somoza dictatorship. Nicaragua gained its independence from Spain in 1821 and became part of the Mexican empire for several years. To the west and south of the central mountain core is a string of 40 volcanoes—some of which are active—that stretches northwest-southeast along the Pacific coast. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Britannica Kids Holiday Bundle! History A fishing encampment as early as 6000 years ago, Managua has been an important trading center and regional capital for at least two millennia. Nicaragua has a total area of 50,193 square miles (130,375 square kilometers). Examples through history include the fight led by the general of the people Augusto C. Sandino against the intervention of the United States in 1927, and the Sandinista Peoples Revolution against the Somoza dictatorship, which led the way to democracy and solidarity in Nicaragua. It was not until 1524 that the country was colonized by the Conquistador, Francisco Hernández de Córdoba, who is the founder of Nicaragua. The annual average temperature is about the same as on the Pacific side, but annual precipitation averages almost 150 inches (3,810 mm). On the other hand, the country has been home to many prominent artists, writers, and intellectuals, and it began to attract a significant income from tourism in the early 21st century. The Central American country of Nicaragua is known for its unbridled nature, exotic wildlife, stunning landscapes, and unique indigenous cultures. Nicaragua, which derives its name from the chief of the area's leading Indian tribe at the time of the Spanish Conquest, was first settled by the Spanish in 1522. Moreover, the country’s infrastructure was severely damaged in 1998 by Hurricane Mitch, which killed more than 1,800 Nicaraguans and destroyed several villages. These volcanoes are surrounded by low plains extending from the Gulf of Fonseca in the north to the Bay of Salinas in the south and are separated from the mountains by the great basin that contains Lakes Nicaragua, Managua, and Masaya. The Caribbean side has its own Caribbean Island vibe, as well as the traditional Garifuna Punta style. The country’s name is derived from Nicarao, chief of the indigenous tribe that lived around present-day Lake Nicaragua during the late 15th and early 16th centuries. 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