Nicaragua

*"En Dios Confiamos"*

History

In 1519 the first of the Spanish arrived in Nicaragua. The people they found near Lake Nicaragua gave the Spanish most of what little gold they had causing the Spanish to come back a later date in search of more treasures (Snaden). The settlers who founded Granada and Leon in 1524 unfortunately found that the land was lacking of gold. So instead the colony of Granada moved on to an advantage that was available, the rich soil around Lake Nicaragua. They were able to grow many crops thanks to the rich soil (Snaden).


In Leon, however, the crops were barely sustainable. Regardless, the Spanish chose Leon as the Capital because of the access it had to the Pacific Ocean (Snaden). The people of Granada were more than unhappy with this choice and a violent rivalry ensued between the two cities. None of them could gain an upper hand so a compromise was proposed, the city of Managua was chosen as the capital city, lying between the two cities (Snaden).


Nicaragua gained their independence in 1838. Nicaragua fell into political conflict around Being more recent, Nicaragua had a revolution called the Sandinista revolution, from 1974-79 and a war called the Contra war, that spanned from 1979-90. These caused the land some problems that were both physical and abstract. People died from land mines that were placed and the poverty they were suppose to reduce or end got worse. The fights themselves stemmed from mostly a failing economy and also from the natural disasters that ravaged the land (Klerien). The country is recovering, although at a slow pace.

Government

Nicaragua has a republican government and currently has Daniel Ortega (Right) as its president (CIA). There is controversy that says the election were rigged for Daniel to win, especially since he lifted a ban that previously only allowed one term, a term being five years (Millett), per president. Nicaragua has a Supreme Court with the power to nullify a presidential veto by majority vote. The Cabinet members are appointed by the president (CIA). Although most of the government may be corrupt, some are still on the side of the people.

Economy

Nicaragua gets most of its GDP value from the production of services such as education, government, tourism, etc. at 58% followed by industry at 25% and agricultural at 17% (Snaden). Being surrounded by water, shrimp has become a big business in Nicaragua. Nicaragua’s biggest areas of illegal trade revolve around cocaine and arms-dealing, though their is some minor kidnapping and human trafficking (CIA). Because of the soil, people are able to grow a wide variety of crops for subsistence farming as well as for profit (Snaden).
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Major Issues/Problems

Currently, Nicaragua is plagued with poverty. Nicaragua is the poorest country in Central America and the second poorest on the western hemisphere, only behind Haiti (Rural Poverty Portal). Most of the poverty lies in the rural areas while the urban areas thrive. Along with this, Nicaragua is plagued with natural disasters with it being surrounded by water and near volcanoes (Snaden). A final major issue in Nicaragua is the government corruption and negligence of its people.
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Geography

Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America being slightly larger than the state of New York. (Visit Nicaragua) “Nicaragua claims the largest expanse of tropical rain forest north of the Amazon.” (Visit Nicaragua). Nicaragua being part of the “Ring of Fire” it’s prone to volcanic eruptions outside and within its borders. Inside Nicaragua also lie the two largest lakes of Central America, Lake Nicaragua and Lake Managua (Snaden). These lakes are also the only place on the earth where freshwater sharks reside. The rich soil and large amount of water are Nicaragua's greatest natural resources (Snaden).

Crime

The crime in Nicaragua consists mostly of robberies, kidnappings, drugs and arms trading, and some homicide (CIA). The homicide rate throughout Nicaragua as of 2012 statistics was 11 people per 100,000, though in some areas it was a bit higher at 39 per 100,000 (Nicaragua 2014). Theft occurs in all forms, from petty to grand larceny. Perpetrators will go as far as to follow victims into their hotel rooms and simply rob them on the spot (Nicaragua 2014). Criminals do what is called “express” kidnapping and most of the time it involves a taxi. When a lone person or a couple enters a cab, the cab will drive up to a certain area where the criminals will jump into the car and rob the victims, including bank accounts sometimes, until they are dry. This can last anywhere from hour to four hours until the criminals feel satisfied (Nicaragua 2014).


Extra Facts

  • The currency used is the Nicaraguan Cordoba, sometimes referred to as the Peso, and the U.S. dollar exchange rate into the Cordoba is 27.76 (Nicaragua Facts).
  • Although Spanish is the official language, many Nicaraguans are able to speak English if only in bits and pieces (Nicaragua Facts).
  • The Star Thrower Foundation works in Nicaragua and is currently trying to improve the Star Thrower hospital in Chinandega.
  • Nicaragua's standing with the U.S. is currently being questioned after all the events that have occurred in Nicaragua concerning corruption and human rights/government negligence towards its people.
  • Primary and Secondary education is free but High school has to be paid for.
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