Santo Tomás, Chontales

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Santo Tomás
Santo Tomás is located in Nicaragua
Santo Tomás
Santo Tomás
Location in Nicaragua
Coordinates: 12°4′N 85°4′W / 12.067°N 85.067°W / 12.067; -85.067
Country  Nicaragua
Department Chontales Department
 • Total 211.0 sq mi (546.6 km2)
Population (2005)
 • Total 18,404
 • Density 87/sq mi (34/km2)

Santo Tomás is a municipality in the Chontales Department of Nicaragua. It is located 190 km (118 mi) from Managua and 40 km (25 mi) from Juigalpa on the paved highway to Rama, en route to the Atlantic Coast.

The main economic activities are agriculture and livestock. Many of the businesses located in Santo Tomás consist of small stores owned by individuals that live next to their commercial properties. This town is the "quesillo capitol" of Nicaragua, where the rivers run with milk and the rocks are made of the local cheese: donde los ríos son de leche y las piedras de cuajada.

Climate is generally hot, but much more pleasant and breezy than the scorching lowlands of Managua and Leon. The rainy season typically starts in late May and runs until December. Global climate change has adversely affected the rainy seasons, negatively impacting crop production and health of livestock. In November and December, the temperature cools down considerably.

The population consists of 21,000 inhabitants. The majority of the people are Catholic, with a growing number of evangelical church members. The town boasts two patron saint days to honor and celebrate.

There is a central park with free wi-fi. There are private schools and public schools in the area. Students seeking continuing education attend a private university or travel to the national universities in the department seat of Juigapla or the capital city of Managua. There are evangelical churches and a Catholic church.

Santo Tomás has relationships with two international sister communities: with the non-profit organization Thurston-Santo Tomás Sister County Association (incorporated in 1989) based in Olympia, WA, USA, and an official sister city relationship with Mol, Belgium (since 1985).

Santo Tomás is a relatively safe town, where most people get along well and know their neighbors. While there is no endemic malaria in Santo Tomás, the presence of dengue and chikungunya throughout Central America necessitate preventative measures such as mosquito repellents and nighttime use of "mosquiteros".

Coordinates: 12°4′N 85°5′W / 12.067°N 85.083°W / 12.067; -85.083