Portal:Nicaragua

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The Nicaragua Portal

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Nicaragua (Spanish: República de Nicaragua, IPA [re'puβlika ðe nika'raɰwa]) is a democratic republic in Central America. It is the largest nation in the isthmus, but also the least densely populated with a demographic similar in size to its smaller neighbours. The country is bordered on the north by Honduras and on the south by Costa Rica. Its western coastline is on the Pacific Ocean, while the east side of the country is on the Caribbean Sea.

The country's name is derived from Nicarao, the name of the Nahuatl-speaking tribe which inhabited the shores of Lago de Nicaragua before the Spanish conquest of the Americas, and the Spanish word Agua, meaning water, due to the presence of the large lakes Lago de Nicaragua (Cocibolca) and Lago de Managua (Xolotlán), as well as lagoons and rivers in the region.

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Augusto Nicolás Calderón Sandino (May 18, 1895 – February 21, 1934) was a Nicaraguan revolutionary and leader of a rebellion against the U.S. military presence in Nicaragua between 1927 and 1933. Labeled as a bandit by the U.S. government, his exploits made him a hero throughout much of Latin America, where he became a symbol of resistance to U.S. domination. Drawing the U.S. Marines into an undeclared guerilla war, his guerilla organization suffered many defeats, but he successfully evaded capture. US troops withdrew from the country after overseeing the inaugration of President Juan Bautista Sacasa. Sandino was executed by General Anastasio Somoza García, who went on to seize power in a coup d'etat two years later, establishing a family dynasty that would rule Nicaragua for over forty years. Sandino's legacy was claimed by the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), which overthrew the Somoza government in 1979.

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Rotonda Ruben Dario, also known as Metrocentro, is the site of one of Managua's many shopping districts


Did you know...

  • ...that the first woman to be popularly elected as President of a Latin American nation was Violeta Chamorro who served her term from 1990-1997 in Nicaragua. As of 2007 she is the only woman to have served in the role?
  • ...that in 1972, nearly 90% of the capital city of Managua was destroyed in an earthquake?
  • ...that Lake Nicaragua is the largest freshwater lake in Central America (19th largest in the world) and is home to the world's only freshwater sharks?
  • ...that Nicaragua's Bosawas Biosphere Reserve protects 1,800,000 acres (7,300 km2) of Mosquitia forest - almost seven percent of the country's area - making it the second largest Biosphere reserve in the world after the Amazon in Brazil?
  • ...that most Nicaraguans begin and end every day with Gallo pinto, a meal of rice and beans cooked separately and then fried together, and that on the Atlantic coast it is common to add coconut oil to the dish?
  • ...that one of the world's finest rums, Ron Flor de Caña, is produced in Nicaragua?
  • ...that in the 19th century the United States had plans to build a waterway linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through the country. The Nicaragua Canal concept was abandoned after the U.S. opted to back the construction of the Panama Canal instead?

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"The people of Nicaragua were suffering oppression. This made us develop an awareness which eventually led us to commit ourselves to the struggle against the domination of the capitalists of our country in collusion with the U.S. government, i.e. imperialism."
- Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega

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Departments

Nicaragua is a unitary republic. For administrative purposes it is divided into 15 departments (departamentos) and two self-governing regions (autonomous communities) based on the Spanish model:

(Department capitals in parenthesis)

  1. Boaco (Boaco)
  2. Carazo (Jinotepe)
  3. Chinandega (Chinandega)
  4. Chontales (Juigalpa)
  5. Estelí (Estelí)
  6. Granada (Granada)
  7. Jinotega (Jinotega)
  8. León (León)
  9. Madriz (Somoto)
  10. Managua (Managua)
  11. Masaya (Masaya)
  12. Matagalpa (Matagalpa)
  13. Nueva Segovia (Ocotal)
  14. Rivas (Rivas)
  15. Río San Juan (San Carlos)
  16. Región Autónoma del Atlántico Norte (Bilwi)
  17. Región Autónoma del Atlántico Sur (Bluefields)
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