Have you ever wanted to go to a place during our winter season that is warm or hot most of the year? Well, most people choose Florida, or California. But, why not go out of the country this winter and try the largest country of Central America, Nicaragua. I did lots of research on Nicaragua, and I hope you learn as much as I did.
To begin my report, I will give you some brief history. The first inhabitants of Nicaragua were the Nicaro Indians. This way of life was blended with Spanish settlers when they first came. The name of this tribe was from a great Indian chief, whose name was also Nicaro. This chief was so famous that the country of Nicaragua was also gotten from his name.
Next, I will tell you about the land of Nicaragua. It is located in Central America, and is the largest country there. It is on the continent of North America. Nicaragua is 50,193 square miles (130,000 square kilometers). Honduras borders Nicaragua in the north, and it is bordered by Costa Rica on the south. There are two oceans that border Nicaragua. On the east, there is the Carribean Sea and on the west is the Pacific Ocean.
Nicaragua has many different types of land forms. There are mostly volcanoes, some active, behind the coastal plains and along the Pacific border. The active volcanoes cause some danger to the coastal cities, but there haven’t been any serious accidents. The largest volcano in Nicaragua, the Santiago Volcano, lies south of Nicaragua’s capital city. Lots of steam rises from the little holes that surround the volcanoes. East of these volcanic regions are the Central Highlands. This part of Nicaragua is rainy and has some evergreen and deciduous forests dotted around. The forest’s floors are flat, not hilly like some other regions. Very few people live in this forest-like place. There are also some lakes in Nicaragua. One lake, Lake Nicaragua, is the largest one in Nicaragua and Central America. The other lake is Lake Managua. Both of the lakes are joined by the Tipatapa River. The Carribean coast is called Mosquito, or Miskito after the small Indian group who lived there. Most Nicaraguans live there. Although most people live in the Mosquito area, the majority of Nicaraguans say that Matagalpa is the nicest and coolest place to live. Some say that this suburban region is so nice because the sun always shines, but it is less humid than the other Nicaraguan cities and towns. The hottest place in Nicaragua is in the East. It is always hot and wet, but is perfect for growing bananas. There are many rainy places in Nicaragua, and as a result, most of Nicaragua has tropical rainforests. The rainforests are homes to many types of insects and animals. There are many, but I will only name a few. Mammals such as monkeys, alligators, and snakes are the main wildlife. There are billions and billions of (no typing error, just exaggeration) insects from A’ to Z’, such as red ants, mosquitoes, and even a striped house fly called the zebra fly! The wild fowl, such as parrots, toucans, macaws, humming birds, and vultures fly through the air. Fur-bearing creatures like the coyote and grey and red fox, roam the evergreen forests and are even sometimes kept as pets. The least likely place you’d find any animals is the small desert area in the west. This is the driest part of Nicaragua. This place even has a dry winter and hot summer season, and the summer season is hotter of the two. As I said before, the most rain falls in the East. The average was about 100-300 inches a year. Almost all the rain that falls to make up the 100-300 average falls in the east.
Now I will get away from the land (finally) and tell you some things about the people of Nicaragua. The main ethnic group in Nicaragua is the mixture of European and Indian decent, or Mestizoes. 5% are of American Indian decent, and 17% are European. 99% of the population’s skin color is black. The main religion was Christianity, beginning in the early 1500’s when the Spanish missionaries introduced it to the Indians. Now, though, 95 out of 100 people are Roman Catholic. Some other religions are Maven ( a special type of Indian religion) and others who attend a Protestant church.
Nicaraguans have a good economy. Farmland only covers less than one-tenth of the land, but miraculously, almost every 100 people asked, were farmers! The farmland is good though, so don’t get the impression that farming is a poor job. The land, found near the eastern coast, is great for growing cotton, coco beans, bean plants. The main crops are bananas, sugar cane, wheat and other types of vegetables. Some of you may be wondering How did the soil get so fertile?’ Well, the many years ago, when the volcanoes were more active, the ash settled in and got into the land. You aren’t farming on underground ash, though. Due to the ash and volcanoes, most Nicaraguans are farmers. The soil is the most important resource, even if there is such a small amount of it. The industrial center of Nicaragua is Managua. This city is where most of the electrical power is generated. Processed foods, textiles, and clothing are the main chief manufactured products. Other things are cement, cigarettes, leather products, petroleum, and wood products. Manufacturing in Nicaragua has really hit the roof’ since the 1970’s! The most Nicaraguans that are in the service industries work as farmers, government, insurance, real-estate, communication, transportation, and utilities. 4,449, 997 people live in Nicaragua. (Approx.) The two largest cities are Managua, with 682,000 people, and Leon, with 89,000. Other populated areas are Granada, 10,000 and Masaya, with 79,000. The official language of Nicaragua is Spanish, but some Indians also speak there own language, too. There aren’t any famous painters or sculptors who really stand out in Nicaragua. The real artists are the citizens of Nicaragua. There are lots of beautiful murals painted and put in museums. These murals mostly tell about the government.
Speaking of government, that brings me to my next subject. The government in Nicaragua is a lot like the U.S. government. A president is in charge of the country’s government. Nicaraguans elect a legislature and the president appoints a cabinet (no, not a shelf) to help carry out operations. Some famous people ruled Nicaragua for a period of time. They were the Somoza family. They ruled Nicaragua in a harsh and cruel way. There was an election, and the Somoza family, who ruled from 1937-1978, lost the battle for the control of the country to the Sandastist family. Elections were held in 1984, and the Nicaraguans in favor of the Sandastists won most seats. Others thought the elections were very shameful, though. The Sandastists improved education, and health services. The Sandastists had enemies, the Cortez. Nicaraguan solders need to patrol the borders of Nicaragua, to monitor any people who want to come in.
There is a law that says children must go to school. The age that is required is between 6 and 12. You MUST go to school until you hit graduate school. (The end of highschool) Whether you go to college or not is up to you. Schools are good in Nicaragua now, but before 1980, many children never learned to read, write, or get any good education for that matter. Then, some young volunteer teachers made a literacy campaign. Since then, the government has made plenty of schools for everyone. Nicaragua has three major universities, or colleges. The oldest and largest one is in the city of Leon. It is called the National University of Nicaragua (NUN). NUN was found in 1812, and teaches over 22,000 students.
Nicaraguans love many of the same sports and eat and do many of the things we do. The national sport in Nicaragua is baseball, and it is the most popular one, followed by soccer, basketball and football. There are some professional teams, but they are not famous in the United States. Another favorite sport is bullfighting. These sports are a few of the many favorite pastimes of Nicaraguans. Other favorite pastimes include cultural activities like pottery, painting, dance, and theater. Nicaraguans also like to listen to music and write short stories. (These are my kind of people!!!) Nicaraguans also love to eat. They mainly enjoy the foods that are grown in their country. Mostly they like fish, coffee, and even pizza! To buy the foods they love, they use a form of money called cordoba, which is divided into 100 centavos. For transportation, most people use mules or oxcarts, carts carried and led by oxen. Most people use the mules because many of the places in Nicaragua cannot be reached by an automobile. The good roads are mostly found in the Pacific region of Nicaragua. The Pan American Highway is the main highway in Nicaragua. Approximately 1 out of every 100 people own an automobile. That is why you don’t see any Nicaraguan made cars driving down the highway. Railways are very common, again, in the Pacific Region. There is also a large international airport. Nicaraguans communicate in different ways. One way is by reading the newspaper. There aren’t many newspapers, though. The largest and most popular newspaper is the La Presusa. Government operated telephone, telegraph, and postal systems only serve cities and town.
There are lots of people who were famous who live in Nicaragua and people who were only visiting for a short period of time. One American politician helped Nicaragua become independent and helped it survive the Cold War. This man was U.S. president, Ronald Reagan. He did many things and played an honored role. Without President Regan, Nicaragua would not be anywhere near what it is today.
Well, my report is finally ending. If you ever want to go on a fun trip, where you can eat a banana breakfast, play ball, read the newspaper and even spend some money that you have never used before, think about taking a trip to Nicaragua, where the sun always shines!