Most Nicaraguans are mestizos. That is that they have white andIndian ancestors. There way of life is somewhat similar to that of SpanishAmericans in other Central American countries. Most people belong to theRoman Catholic Church and speak Spanish. Most of Nicaragua’s people arepoor farmers.
Many of those in the Pacific Region are peasants who work ontheir own farms, cooperatives, state farms, or large private farms. Inwarmer areas, agriculture workers live in metal roofed houses. In thecolder areas of the Central Highlands, they live in adobe houses with tileroofs. The only Indian groups in Nicaragua that follow their own languagesand their old ways of life are in the thinly populated Caribbean Region. In the early 1980’s some of these Indians became involved inanti-government things.Order now
Because of this, the government moved some Indiangroups from their homes near the border to areas in the interior ofNicaragua. EducationNicaragua has a law that requires children to go to school from theage of six through twelve. Before 1980, only about half the children didso because they were poor and couldn’t afford to be sent or it was thatthere weren’t many schools around where they lived. Nicaragua did not haveenough schools, and many rural areas had no schools at all.
But since thenthe new government has built hundreds of schools. The government also helda successful literacy campaign headed mainly by young volunteer teachers. Nicaragua has two universities. The national University of Nicaragua,in Le?n and Managua, is the older and larger one. It was founded in 1812and has more than seven thousand students. The Central American Universityis a Roman Catholic institution in Managua.
GovernmentA president heads the government of Nicaragua. The people elect thepresident and a legislature called the National Assembly. The presidentappoints a Cabinet to help carry out the operations of the government. This government is very similar to our own government.
The president, most of the Cabinet members, and the majority of theNational Assembly members belong to a political party called the SandinistaNational Liberation Front. In 1979, the Sandinistas led a revolution thatoverthrew the government of the Somoza family, which had long ruledNicaragua. From 1979 to 1984 the Sandinistas controlled the governmentlargely through a three-member junta, or a ruling body. The president andthe national assembly were elected in 1984. HistoryIn 1502 Christopher Columbus claimed Nicaragua for Spain. TheSpaniards did not really settle in Nicaragua.
Many pirates set up hideoutsand Dutch as well as others went to Nicaragua instead. On September 15, 1821 Nicaragua and other Central American statesdeclared their independence. They later became part of the Mexican Empirebut broke away in 1823. They formed the United Provinces of CentralAmerica. This union generally followed liberal economic and politicalpolicies. The union began to fall apart because of conservative landownersand the clergy to regain their old privileges.
In 1838 Nicaragua left theUnion. In 1979 their was a civil war which drove the Somoza family out ofgovernment office. They had ruled from 1937 to 1979. Somoza wasassassinated in 1980 while leaving the country as an order by the rebelswho fought and won.