Nicaragua Research Paper

Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, but is also full of history, tradition and life. It is known for its great folk music, deep heritage and culture. Nicaragua is hidden jewel with warm, gorgeous culture and breathtaking nature. It is surrounded by its incredible history, culture and nature. Nicaragua is a little larger than New York State. The capital of Nicaragua is Managua and other major cities are Bluefield, Chinandega, Granada, Jinotega, Leon, Masaya, Matagalpa and Rivas. The climate on highlands is cooler and in lowlands is tropical.
Nicaragua is warm and has many land that has lakes, mountains; rivers, volcanoes, sea and sun. The country is divided into three geographic regions which are the Pacific Lowlands on the west, the mountainous Central Region and the Atlantic Lowlands on the east. The central Region is an area with mountains and ranges over 3,281 feet above sea level. “There are oaks, pines, moss, ferns and orchids are abundant in the massive cloud forests of the region. ” [1] There are many hikers and backpackers; many walk along the tree shaded paths which can lead you to clear waters of the mountain springs.
Nicaragua’s tropical east coast is far different from the rest of the country. The climate is tropical with high temperature and high humidity. The city of Bluefields is located here, English mostly spoken. Nature lovers will find interest in the tropical forests of the area. “A great variety of birds are to be studied including eagles, turkeys, toucans, parakeets and macaws. ” [2] Animal life in the area includes several different species of monkeys, ant-eaters, white-tailed deer and tapirs. The Pacific Lowlands area runs from the Gulf of Fonseca, on Nicaragua’s Pacific border with Costa Rica south of Lake Nicaragua.

From this lowland strip, you can view the Maribios mountain range, with its 25 volcanic cones, which towers over most of the beautiful and impressive beaches found anywhere else in Central America. This region is the most populated. About 27 percent of the nation’s entire population lives in and around Managua, which is known as the capital city. In addition there are many beaches and resort communities located in the Pacific Lowlands. This area is the Spanish colonial heritage, many cities such as Granada and Leon are as well in Spanish colonial architecture and artifacts.
In the year 1998, Hurricane Mitch tore into Nicaragua causing the worst natural disaster of the twentieth century. Till this day the country has slowly been reconstructing their economy. Nicaragua not only has suffered from economy issues but has suffered from political instability, civil war, poverty foreign intervention and natural disasters. Thousands of people died. Some were stuck in mudslides or drowned because rivers broke their banks, which caused towns and villages to flood. “Roads, bridges, houses, crops and animals were swept away, which left people with a destroyed land, towns and villages. [3] In order for people to survive and stay safe they would climb trees, and hung from roofs of their home to escape the high dangerous waters. People were hungry, cold and some were sick because they were waiting to be rescued which took really long. Disease began to rapidly spread because decomposing bodies and rotting animal’s flesh contaminated the water supplies. As many as 3,000 people died the day Hurricane Mitch came. About more than a fifth of the population was, stranded in camps; most of people’s home and livelihoods were destroyed when Mitch hit Nicaragua.
To rebuild the country would take decades and the estimate cost would be over one billion dollars. Nicaragua has dealt with other tragedies like the earthquake that destroyed many hotels, shops. The earthquake destroyed all offices in the year 1972. Sewage systems and the electricity poles were severely damaged. 4Hurricane Mitch has left a negative impact on the country including human lives were lost, crops were destroyed, major environmental damage, and there was also damage to highways, bridges, schools, electrical and water supply systems. Nicaragua is surrounded by its beautiful nature including its incredible history.
The name ‘Nicaragua’ came from a chief named Nicarao. He was chief to a digenous tribe that settled in Lake Nicaragua around late 1400’s and early 1500’s. In 1524 Hernandez de Cordoda was the first Spanish settler to live in the region of Granada on Lake Nicaragua and Leon Managua. Nicaragua gained its independents from Spain in 1821, making the country part of the Mexican Empire and becoming a member of independent Central American. Nicaragua became an independent republic. The west side of the country was colonized by Spain in the 1520’s; it also has aspects of Spanish culture like other Spanish speaking Latin American Countries.
The Eastern half of the country was once a British protectorate. 5“There are several indigenous groups that still maintain a distant identity like the Miskitos, Sumo, Garifuna and Rama. ” These groups still use their original languages and some speak English or Spanish. Spaniards settled in the Western Nicaragua in the early 1500’s. The Spaniards met three main tribes that each had their own languages and culture. Spanish is an official language that is spoken in Nicaragua and only seventy percent of the populations are Spanish speakers. Most of the Spanish speakers live either in highlands or lowlands.
When the British setter came to Nicaragua they introduced English words to the Spanish speakers in the Western Nicaragua. The Creoles, which are the black people of the Caribbean region, were brought from colonial-era slaves. Creoles are English speakers, even though some speak Spanish as a second language. Creoles in Nicaragua included the Miskitos, Rama, and Sumo. Miskitos that speak English didn’t want anything to do with the Spanish culture. The Miskitos referred the Spanish speaking Nicaraguans as ‘los Epoles’. The Creoles resented the Western Hipic culture. Nicaragua remains the second- poorest nation in the hemisphere.
One of the things the country suffers from is the constant trading products and managing budgeting. Some traditional export products are coffee, meat and sugar. Some nontraditional exports are vegetables, tobacco products and gold. [4]“Today Nicaragua’s economy is based on agricultural efforts, since the nation has very fertile land and a low density of population on the land. Export crops such as coffee, cotton, bananas, and sugar rose steadily from 1950 to 1975. ” The country was severely damaged by civil war and at the same time it suffered natural disasters including earthquakes floods and hurricanes.
Nicaragua has strong, folklore, music and religious tradition, which are organically from the European culture. The different cultures that Nicaraguans are creative, varied, happy and humorous cultures. Palo de Mayo is celebration to welcome the rain, production and new life. “There is no answer as to how it came to Nicaragua. ” Some people believe that it originated from the Nicaraguan Creoles so they believe that it directly came from Jamaica. The music it is danced to is sensual with rhythm and as time went on things was added on to it. Palo de Mayo is a very huge part of the Nicaragua culture.
Nicaragua’s food is known as the finest in the Central America. They are famous for using fresh ingredients. Nicaragua shares the same flavors and ingredients with Mexican, Honduras and Guatemala food. Nicaraguans consume corn tortillas with most meals. Tortillas are larger and thin and are made of white corn. This is used as an edible utensil to wrap meat and beans. When most people cannot afford meat regularly they eat beans because beans have protes. A breakfast dish the most Nicaraguans eat is red beans, which are small red beans that are put into Gallo pinto.
They are known as red rooster and it a mixture with red and red beans. Another meal the Nicaraguans enjoy is tamales. Tamales are and entire meal that has corn, rice, tomatoes, chili, potatoes, cassava root and sometimes has meat in them. They are wrapped in a leaf and are cooked. Popular fruits are mangos and plantains. [5]“Nicaraguans drink coffee with hot milk at breakfast or black with sugar. ” A famous drink that is known in the nation is Pinol. Pinol is a nonalcoholic drink, which is made from corn flour and water. Food isn’t the only famous part in Nicaragua; music as well is really huge.
Nicaragua’s music and dances are from the heritage and mixture if the different cultures that are around. Each region has its own traditions, and all Nicaraguans consider themselves to share on cultural identity. Some musical instruments that is famous is the marimba, in Nicaragua it is made with hardwood plates, which is placed over bamboo or metal tubes of vary lengths. A sitting performer normally plays it while they are holding it with there knees. The marimba player is usually accompanied by a bass fiddle, a guitar player. The music that Nicaraguans listen quite varies.
They enjoy all types of music coming from Cuba to the Unties States and Dominican Republic. They listen to tons of music that are form different countries. The music in Nicaragua has a mixture of European and Spanish influence. Tourism in Nicaragua is known nation wide and has increased travelers to come visit Nicaragua. The growth in the tourism industry left a positive impact in agricultural, commercial and in finance industries. A famous spot that caught tourist attention is the colonial city of Granada, cities like San Juan del Sur, San Juan River, Ometepe and Mombacho attract many tourists. 6]“In 2005, 803, 933 tourist visited Nicaragua and many of the tourist came from Europe and United States of America. ” Tourist attractions are volcanoes, sand skiing, doing activities such as hiking, climbing, camping and swimming. Nicaragua is referred as the lands of lakes and volcanoes. Tourism improves Nicaragua every year hotels are cheap and there are so many luxury places to visit. There is always something to do while you are visiting or vacationing in Nicaragua. Nicaraguans have the right for freedom of religion and the people are very fond of their belief of god.
Roman Catholicism arrived in Nicaragua with the Spanish settlers in the sixteen century. Many Nicaraguans are Roman Catholic but many blacks believe and belong to the Protestant religion. Roman Catholics are people who attend mass, and receive the sacrament are mostly women, upper class and lower class people. Most Catholic churches are in rural communities and priests preach them. A priest leads mass and delivers the sacraments to church members. Blacks from the coast mostly belong to the Pentecostal. One of the largest Pentecostal churches in Nicaragua is the Moravian Church and Baptist Convention.
Nicaragua’s education is known as being one of the poorest through out Latin America. Its education system has suffered severely. Elementary schools are free, but many children that live in rural areas are unable to attend due to the lack of school around their area and other reasons. [7]“Children under the age of seven and twelve get free schooling, but only seventy percent of the children attend school. ” Communities that are located in the Caribbean coast have schools that teach them in their native language. Nicaragua’s society’s is largely uneducated; twenty percent of first graders only finished the sixth grade.
Poverty affects children’s to go to school because most families are unable to afford to pay for their children to attend school. Secondary education institutions are private and too expensive for a vast amount of Nicaraguans. Only eight percent of the population enrolls in universities, which are mostly upper class families. One of the first universities to be built was in the city of Leon and Managua. Children in Nicaragua wear school uniforms and pay a fee to the school that covers basic school materials. Mostly all schools lack with money to buy sport equipments, science/ computers technology and musical instruments.
Students are taught basic subjects but aren’t able to really learn how to use computers or equipments of any kind. There are different times students are able to attend school which is either in the mornings, the afternoons or the evenings because many kids work to increase there family income. Teachers have no incentives, limited training and horrible working space. Teachers are paid very low salaries. Most of the teachers are single or abandoned mothers who work to provide a future for their children. Poverty is on of the biggest social problem in Nicaragua it has been for decades.
In Managua poverty is so bad that some of the urban people live and have house that are made from cardboard boxes with dirt on the floor. Some Nicaraguans do not have access to clean drinking or plumbing water. [8]“The government in Nicaragua is making progress in improving healthcare and education mostly for the poor and rural communities. ” Almost seventy-five percent of families in Nicaragua live in poverty. Families of low- income are framers and land workers, one member per families work at farms. Most of Nicaragua’s rural poor live in vast dry central region, where natural resources are limited to plant.
Rural people dependent of crops such as beans, vegetables etc, but at times droughts occur and it affects their food and income. The reason why the rural people are poor is because Hurricane Mitch causes an environmental disaster, and another reason is Nicaragua was in the civil war from 1980 to 1990 and because of that the economic crisis collapses. Nicaragua’s government is divided into three branches; there is the executive, legislative, and the judicial. The executive branch has the president, vice president and an appointed cabinet of ministers.
Such as the Ministry of Education, Defense, Environment, Family, Foreign Affairs etc. The legislative branch has ninety- two members of the National Assembly, and it as well enforces the countries law. The judicial branch has the Supreme Court, which is located in Managua and other lower courts. The Supreme Court has twelve judges and has criminal, civil and constitutional matters divisions. The government is responsible to control the urban development, construction, and maintenance of roads, parks, and bridges including creating museums and libraries.
In conclusion, Nicaragua is a country that is full of immersing history, culture, nature and tradition. Nicaragua is known as the second’s poorest country in the western Hemisphere. There are many areas that Nicaragua needs to improve like education, poverty and social problem. Nicaragua’s culture is full of history and immersing tradition. Works Cited Channel, By Nicaragua. “Culture in Nicaragua | By Nicaragua Channel. ” Nicaragua Hotels, Travel and Destination Guide | By Nicaragua Channel. Web. 01 Nov. 2010. . Channel, By Nicaragua. “Page Not Found on Nicaragua. com | By Nicaragua Channel. Nicaragua Hotels, Travel and Destination Guide | By Nicaragua Channel. Web. 01 Nov. 2010. . Merrill, Tim. Nicaragua: a Country Study. Washington (D. C. ): Government Printing Office, 1994. Print. “Nicaragua – History. ” Country Studies. Web. 01 Nov. 2010. . “Nicaragua Facts. ” Sponsor a Child – Compassion. Web. 01 Nov. 2010. . “People – Nicaragua – Central America: Nicaragua Population, Nicaragua People, Lake Nicaragua, Mestizo People, Center Government. ” Countries Quest. Web. 01 Nov. 2010. . Plunkett, Hazel. Nicaragua in Focus: a Guide to the People, Politics and Culture. Brooklyn, NY: Interlink, 1999.
Print. Plunkett, Hazel. Nicaragua in Focus: a Guide to the People, Politics and Culture. Brooklyn, NY: Interlink, 1999. Print. “Why Nicaragua? ” NICARAGUA Spanish Schools | VOLUNTEER Nicaragua | SPANISH STUDY ABROAD Nicaragua | LEARN SPANISH Granada NICARAGUA | Nicaragua EDUCATIONAL Spanish PROGRAMS | VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES in Nicacaragua | NICARAGUAN EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS. Web. 01 Nov. 2010. . “Youth and Education Issues in Nicaragua. ” Foundation for Sustainable Development | Grassroots International Development | Intern, Volunteer, Donate. Web. 01 Nov. 2010. . ———————– 1] http://centralamerica. com/nicaragua/info/general. htm [2] http://centralamerica. com/nicaragua/info/general. htm [3] In focus Nicaragua (A guide to the people, Politics and Culture) Author: Hazel Plunkett [4] http://www. spainshhprogramnicarga. com/nicaragua_information. htm [5] http: elibrary. bigchalk. com [6] http://www. compasion. com/about/where/nicaragua. htm [7] http://www. spainshprogramnicaragua. com/nicaragua_information. htm [8] http://countrystudies. us/nicaragua/3. htm [9] http://www. nicaragua. com/culture/education [10] http://www. fsinternational. org/country/Nicaragua/hropps

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